|The Message of A Course in Miracles: A Translation of the Text in Plain Language|
Introduction to This Translation
This is a translation of the first-edition Text of A Course in Miracles. It is written in plain, simple, everyday language to give you easy access to the Course’s message. But it is not simply a straight translation of the Text into more accessible language. It is an interpretation of the Text through its whole message and through the translator’s own experiences of Oneness through direct revelation of God and in a Holy relationship.
Besides the obvious undoing of the original Text’s dense figurative language this translation’s content may seem on the surface to be very different from the original but it really only provides a simplification of the original’s content. For example, the original often seems to be speaking to you on two levels. It seems to straddle both your perception of the world as your reality and the necessity of you recognizing that the world is only a perception in your mind because God is your Reality. It provides a role for you in your relationships with others in the world that you perceive and a superficial reading of it seems to imply that you are responsible for the salvation of others. But this translation takes you immediately to the deeper reading by bringing the Course’s whole context to the surface from the beginning and throughout it speaks to you only on that level. It emphasizes your inward journey so it deals only with your mind, which is where you must correct your perception of separation from God. It acknowledges that you think that you are in a world with others but it always brings you back to the fact that the world and others are only in your perception. Because they are in your perception they are in your mind so you don’t need to save them but you need to save your mind from the belief that it is split between “you” and a world that seems outside of you.
Since much of the original Text reads like a dialogue between Jesus and Dr. Helen Schucman, who scribed it, and much of it addresses her specific experience, this translation attempts to generalize the Text’s message as much as possible. Where necessary many paragraphs in this translation offer clarifying elaborations that are not in the original. This means that some ideas are brought into focus earlier in this translation than they are in the original. Occasionally, to clarify an idea, examples not included in the original are offered in footnotes. But phrases like, “You have not yet realized…” remain.
Because of the conversational tone of the Text there are a few paragraphs and sections that veer off of the immediate topic. The translation of these passages is bracketed  to delineate them from the surrounding context.
Dr. Schucman experienced a Holy relationship with Dr. Bill Thetford, who assisted her by typing out the manuscript as she read from her notes. A Holy relationship is an experience of Oneness with someone that you have perceived as outside of yourself. The lesson of the Holy relationship is that they are not separate from you but a part of your Mind. While the experience of Oneness is always the same each expression of the Holy relationship in the world is unique. Drs. Schucman and Thetford were both aware of their Holy relationship, which resulted in a reciprocal experience where what one felt the other experienced as well. Many students do not have the opportunity to experience a Holy relationship with another who is experiencing it with them so the passages in the original that deal with the specific aspects of the Holy relationship between Drs. Schucman and Thetford have been generalized in this translation and in a few cases whole phrases have been omitted. Where the omissions are significant this is noted in a footnote.
Since the goal of the Course is to move you away from a personal identity this translation has de-personalized God from a “Who” to an “It”. Male pronouns have been replaced by neutral pronouns to encompass all readers.
In the original it is not always clear when “you” means you in your identification with a personal mind, as the decision maker, or in your Oneness with God. In this translation “you” addresses the decision-maker. The decision-maker is your mind at the point where it seems to be split between God and a personal mind so it is referred to here as “your split mind”. The decision-maker is the “student” in your mind that decides from which “teacher” you will learn what you are: the personal mind, which your split mind made, or the Holy Spirit, Which you are and Which is One with God. It is the level of your mind where your error of perceiving separation from God occurs so it is the level where you must make correction.
References to Jesus have been limited to His specific role and most “I” phrases have been translated as the Holy Spirit or your Christ Mind. Many Biblical, philosophical, and literary references have been omitted and their meaning has been distilled as part of the whole paragraph in which they occur. An exception to this is where the Course gives an example of a corrected reading of a Biblical passage.
To bring greater clarity some terms have been changed or replaced. For example, this translation uses the term “Real Perception” in place of “real world”. The “real world” is a change in your perception of the world that is brought about through miracles. A miracle is a shift in your perception away from separation and toward the Oneness of your mind and all that it perceives. This can be either a shift in your internal experience alone or a shift in your physical world as well as in your experience. “Real Perception” is used in this translation because “perception” encompasses both what you perceive and your interpretation of what you perceive.
The titles of chapters and sub-sections have been retained for ease of comparison to the original even though they contain the figurative language that has been undone in this translation of the body of the Text. This translation is based on the first edition Text because the first edition is in the public domain but since most students today study later editions its sub-sections and paragraphs have been numbered for easier comparison. The sub-sections are numbered with Arabic numerals rather than in the Roman numerals of later editions because the numbering system of later editions is copyrighted. A glossary of terms that compares terms in the original with this translation is included at the end.
|Copyright 2009 Elizabeth A. Cronkhite|