How "the Course" Came to Be
How It Came:
A Course in Miracles began with the sudden decision of two people to join in a common goal of finding a better way to relate in peace with each other as Professors at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. A Course in Miracles is the result of their collaborative venture which took about seven years. The Course was dictated to Helen Schucman via "the Voice" in a kind of "rapid, inner dictation" and then typed by Bill Thetford who also offered encouragement and support. There is a 669-page Text, a 488-page Workbook for Students, and a 92-Page Manual for Teachers, plus several supplements to the Course, including Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice which is summarized in this site. The Workbook is also summarized in this site and these will be followed by additional summaries until all are made available. At the end, the reader is left in the hands of his or her own Internal Teacher, Who will direct all subsequent learning as He sees fit. The Workbook states quite clearly that this Course is a beginning, not an end.
What It Says:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
This is a mind training Course that helps the reader to make a fundamental distinction between the real and the unreal; between knowledge and perception.
Knowledge is truth, under one law, the law of love or God. Truth is unalterable, eternal and unambiguous.
It can be unrecognized, but it cannot be changed.
It applies to everything that God created, and only what He created is real.
It is beyond learning because it is beyond time and process. It can only be remembered or known.
It has no opposite; no beginning and no end.
It merely IS.
The world of perception, on the other hand, is the world of time, of change, of beginnings and endings.
It is based on interpretation, not on facts.
It is the world of birth and death, founded on the belief in scarcity, loss, separation and death.
It is learned rather than given, is unstable in its functioning, and inaccurate in its interpretations.
From knowledge and perception respectively, arise two distinct thought systems which are opposite in every respect.
In the realm of knowledge no thoughts exist apart from God -- and God and all His Creations share one Will.
The world of perception, however, is made by the belief in opposites and separate wills,
in perpetual conflict with each other and with God.
What perception sees and hears appears to be real
because it permits into its awareness only what conforms to the wishes of the perceiver.
This leads to a world of illusions, a world which needs constant defense precisely because it is not real.
To be caught in the world of perception is to be caught in a dream from which you cannot escape without help.
God has provided the Answer, the only Way out, the true Helper.
In the dream, the world seen merely reflects the internal frame of reference of the dreamer.
The dreamer decides the kind of world to be seen and then proceeds to project that dream onto the world and see it as real. Yet what is seen is not true and must be looked beyond (through a process of forgiveness) in order to see the light of truth. All distorted errors of thinking must be corrected in order to see the truth.
To do this you must have help, because you have been caught in the dream too long to extricate yourself.
Help comes through seeing with the vision of Christ and through the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit, abiding in each of us, and through those chosen by the Holy Spirit to enter our path and assist us.
Forgiveness is the means by which we will remember as the thinking of the world is reversed.
When all the world of perception has been forgiven,
and the world of knowledge and truth and light have been chosen instead,
the Son of God will return home, to where he never in truth really left, and he will remember: only love is, only truth is, only