As the title implies, A Course in Miracles is a teaching device. It teaches us what is real and what is unreal, and leads us to the direct experience of our own Inner Teacher.
The Course is arranged in three parts: a text, a workbook for students and a manual for teachers. The Text presents the concepts underlying the Course. The workbook contains 365 daily lessons that give students the opportunity to apply and experience the concepts on a practical level. The teacher’s manual is presented in a question and answer format, addressing typical questions that a student may ask; it also provides a clarification of terms used throughout the Course.
On How it All Began
The Course was written by Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, two highly trained and successful Professors of Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Helen was the scribe for the Course, writing down in shorthand the internal messages she received. Bill typed what Helen wrote. It took a total of seven years to complete A Course in Miracles, which was first published in 1976 in the United States. Helen wrote additional pamphlets. Her Song of Prayer was published in 1977 and The Gift of God in 1978.
Over the past 34 years, the popularity of free acim resources has grown and spread worldwide. It has been translated into 18 different languages and more translations are in the works. Throughout the world, people gather with other like-minded students to read the Course together in order to better understand the Course’s message. In this era of electronic and social media, A Course in Miracles can be obtained in e-book format, on CD, and through iPhone Apps. You can interact with other Course students on Facebook, Yahoo Groups, Twitter, and numerous other websites.
Experiencing the Course
The Course is designed to be a self-study tool. However, many students find that their first interaction with the material is difficult and overwhelming – the change in perspective that it offers is contrary to traditional thinking. Taking an introductory class with a trained facilitator or teacher allows for a gentler opening to these new ideas and a more fulfilling experience.
There are many classes and courses of study based upon the philosophy of A Course in Miracles, and even specific classes on key Course concepts, such as True Forgiveness or Cause and Effect. Such classes give students the chance to experience the theory and application of specific material more deeply. Through such deep experience, many students find the reassurance of inner peace and the joy of knowing the Inner Teacher.
“This Course is a beginning, not an end… No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God… He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word (Workbook, p. 487).