A Course in Miracles is one of many thousands of lesson plans designed to re-awaken you to the awareness that only God is Real and that you are One with God. It is your choice to be separate from God – your True Being – that gives rise in your mind to a world of separation that is full of lack, pain, loneliness, attack, guilt, fear, and aimlessness. The Course comes from your True Self, the Christ in your Mind, the part of you that is Eternally Part of God in answer to your call for Peace and an end to suffering. Your free will means that you get to choose when you will learn what is taught in the Course but whether the Course or some other path is the specific means for you to learn these lessons is up to the Holy Spirit within you.
The Course has three parts: the Text (theory), the Workbook (practice), and the Manual for Teachers (path). There are also two supplements to the Course - Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice; and The Song of Prayer: Prayer, Forgiveness, Healing. They are written in a heavily figurative language that takes familiar everyday and religious terms and gives them new, loving meaning. For example, Christ is not only Jesus but the part of your mind that is eternally One with God. Father and Son mean God’s Wholeness and Part of God’s Wholeness. The Course also uses distinctions to clarify its meaning: to create means “to be one with”; to make means “to bring into existence”. God’s Creation, then, is the Extension of God’s Own Being and you are Part of This in Truth. Everything else was made, not by God, but by your erroneous idea that What is All can have an opposite.
The Course teaches that there is no sin because at no time can you make your perceived separation from God your reality. This perception is an error to be corrected, not punished. So the Course does not prescribe a lifestyle because at no time is the world your reality and what you do in the world has no effect on God. But clearly you think that you are in a world and this is the source of all of your pain and sense of lack. The Course helps you to undo this by teaching you how to sort out Truth (God) from illusion (everything else) in your mind by teaching you to distinguish between the thought systems of the Holy Spirit (your Christ Mind) and the ego (the personal mind). Under the Holy Spirit’s Guidance your forgiving your perception that you are separate from God is the only purpose that the world has for you. By extending God’s Love in your awareness – the miracle – you heal your sense of separation from God. When your forgiving is complete your mind is healed and it is prepared to accept the Wholeness of God again.
Every moment you are teaching yourself what you believe you are and in the process of undoing your sense of separation from God you are what the Course calls a “teacher of God”.
Where A Course in Miracles Came From
Starting in the mid-1960s Dr. Helen Schucman, a child psychologist, took down A Course in Miracles through a process of inner dictation. She identified the Voice in her mind speaking to her as Jesus. As the Course teaches, Jesus is now wholly identified with the Christ Mind and you can look at the Voice in the Course as the Christ, or Holy Spirit, in your mind, represented to Dr. Schucman by the form of Jesus.
Dr. Schucman considered herself the “scribe” and Jesus the “author” of the Course. She was assisted by a colleague, Dr. Bill Thetford, who typed out the Course as she read from her notes. The whole process took around ten years and A Course in Miracles was first published in 1975.