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Introduction to A Course in Miracles

Updated on July 8, 2011

The Author

A Course in Miracles was written by two people, Helen Schucman and William Thetford, both Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

The author of the book is the Holy Spirit.These two people were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the course as a result of their willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to write through them. It took them seven years to complete the course which comes in three parts, the text, workbook for students and manual for teachers.

The purpose of the course is to guide people to find the Holy Spirit within and to trust this inner source of wisdom as our inner teacher.

A Beginning

The course is Christian in statement but deals with universal spiritual themes. It does not claim to be the one and only right way back to God but simply states that it is one way to get us back on track to HIM. The course is but a beginning and once the student has found the inner teacher all subsequent learning will be directed by the Holy Spirit.

Real and Unreal

Truth as real perception is unreal. Truth is independent of the observer, unchanging and eternal. Truth may not be recognised by everyone but it also cannot be changed. Only what God has created is real and what God created is beyond anything that can be conceived by the mind and simply is.

Perception on the other hand depends on interpretation and is learned. Perception is founded on belief in opposites and separate wills in perpetual conflict with each other and with God.

Perception appears to be real because it allows the perceiver awareness of only that which fits in with the belief system of the perceiver. The world of perception is an illusory world we defend and get caught in. We are living in a world we believe is real the way we experience our dreams at night.

There is way out of this dream and God has provided His voice for us to follow to freedom. This is the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness Is The Way Out Of The Dream

To escape does not mean death but rather living your life between two worlds, knowing the truth and at the same time recognising the illusions that keep people dreaming their unreal world and not believing in them.

The Holy Spirit seeks to teach us how to unlearn what we have taught ourselves to think. Forgiveness is the tool used by the Holy Spirit to enable us to achieve this. Recognising that what we see is not real and therefore not true we learn to forgive ourselves and the projections from ourselves that we believe are separate from us.

Sin is Ignorance of the Truth

Sin is the mistake we make in believing our perceptions to be true. When we do this we close our eyes to God who is truth. There is only one reason why we have chosen to close our eyes and dream of a world separate from God and in perpetual conflict and that is lack of love. Sin is not an evil to be punished it is a mistake or a distortion in our awareness to be corrected.

As a result of this distortion we believe in lack and inadequacy. We look for in others what we perceive as lacking in ourselves. We love another in order to feel complete. True love is unconditional and asks for nothing. The distorted awareness of the “I” we think we are looks outside of itself for everything it feels it needs to become complete and to be happy. It seeks external approval to validate itself, it requires the accumulation of possessions to feel secure, and seeks external love oblivious to the ocean of love within.

The Higher Self

The real self or Higher Self is the Self that God created and needs nothing. It is complete and gives and receives love unconditionally. The real self loves all and serves all without asking for or requiring anything to feel complete.

It is in using the illusions that we have created as a means to learn forgiveness that we can eventually awaken from our dream of imagining we are separate from God. An illusion isn't real so when you judge yourself or another you are dreaming. By imagining that any relationship is any more special than another is a trick to maintain the separateness necessary to sustain the dream. The Holy Spirit teaches us to learn how to automatically forgive and in doing so we no longer invest in the illusion. By forgiving everything we perceive we withdraw our projections and the truth will finally reveal itself as we awaken from the dream we ourselves have created.

Christ's Message

The body is the vehicle through which we perceive the illusion. The body like everything else we perceive is used by the mind to achieve what it wants. When the mind stops seeking external fulfilment and turns instead to the Holy Spirit that is when the distortion in awareness begins to be corrected and we begin to come out of our dream of separation.

Christ's message was the voice of the Holy Spirit. He came into this world of illusion to direct us out of our sleep. He sought to teach us to stop believing in a reality of sin, guilt and death. He proclaimed a way of thinking that made a return to God an inevitability for all. By changing our mistaken way of thinking he said that we would no longer perceive injustice as anything other than a cry for help. We would not see conflict, illness or sin as anything other than a cry for love. We would stop imagining attack and tear down the walls we have built between each other to defend ourselves from an attack than does not exist. We will come to realise that the needs of the world are our own needs and everyone we perceive in our dream world is on the same journey back to God and we need each other to find our way home.

A Course in Miracles is a Step toward God

Forgiveness is necessary in this dream world in order to correct the mistakes we have made in a thinking that keeps us separate from ourselves and from God. Forgiveness is the key to us remembering the truth and reclaiming our place with God.

When we take one step toward God He will take ten steps toward us. A Course in Miracles is a step toward God.

The Book - A Course in Miracles

Follow the linkbelow to read the reviews made by readers of the course:

A Course in Miracles - Combined Volume (Hardcover)

The ONLY Complete Edition published by the Foundation for Inner Peace


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