About the book A Course In Miracles
_page0003 | updated 29 June 2021, by Rene Helmerichs
1. The Book A Course In Miracles
§ "Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal" (M-2.5.).
One autumn morning, waking from a dream in 1965, Helen Schucman heard a still silent voice. Her day began "This is a course in miracles. Please take notes."
It continued each morning until she'd had enough. It frightened her. She felt like she was losing her mind.
psychology at the College Of Physicians And Surgeons of Columbia University, a
top medical school in
Frazzled, she approached her supervisor William (Bill) Thetford, also a doctor.
Her boss happened to be a real-life CIA conductor of mind-control experiments. He encouraged her to write down what her inner voice had to say.
The ensuing notes became a song that worked backwards to create the book called A Course In Miracles, which in turn told the story of an impetus incessantly authoring a harmonic symphony.
Fast-forward 56 years to 2021. Helen's notes exist in 26 languages worldwide with millions of real voices echoing the silent trumpet's trumping of the battle horn.
Yes, there are different versions of A Course In Miracles.
No, it doesn't matter which version you're reading, or whether you're reading any version at all.
References to in these pages are to the Third Edition published by The Foundation For Inner Peace.
The point of the book is not to breed dependency on specific words, or even thoughts or ideas, but to understand "words are but symbols of symbols, twice removed from reality." (M-21.1)
Sometimes it's easier, and personally necessary, to get a second opinion about the book, or a third or fourth or as many as it takes to ensure everyone agrees it's not harmful, not a cult, and certainly not a new religion.
Whatever the answer to any question about A Course In Miracles, if the knowledgeable person isn't directly and consistently demonstrating forgiveness, and especially forgiveness about Rene, do encourage the teacher to explain the purpose of the book a little more precisely.
Specifically, be sure to weave the phrase "A Course In Miracles" or "the book" into any question about any thing to the knowledgeable person until you both agree that its words absolutely don't matter. Only the idea of the idea of A Course In Miracles matters, and the idea is far beyond evaluation.
The book guides readers to consider all parts of an ever-changing reality like a dream. It stresses "The body is the central figure in the dreaming of the world." (T-27.VIII.) and "Minds cannot unite in dreams. They merely bargain." (W-185.4.).
The book emphasizes that, during "a period of unsettling" (M-4.I.A.7.), important is to stay focused on the goal:
Remember that where your heart is, there is your treasure also. You believe in what you value. If you are afraid, you are valuing wrongly. Your understanding will then inevitably value wrongly, and by endowing all thoughts with equal power will inevitably destroy peace. (T-2.II.1.)
The Foundation For Inner Peace first published A Course In Miracles in three volumes in 1976. It's the original publisher. But, like the story of the Republic Of China, "original" doesn't necessarily mean "rightful":
On 25 Oct 1945, the Republic Of China
government received official ownership of the
No official copyright is possible on an idea which everyone implicitly shares. However, it's also not going to help accomplish worldwide peace to argue about the intentions of a limitless sentience. Like the book says, a universal theology is impossible. A universal experience absent any theory is necessary (C-in.3).
The Second Edition combined the three-volume First Edition into one book, but included a pamphlet containing two additional "Supplements". The Second Edition came out in 1992.
"Supplement" means "addition".
The Third Edition combined the three-volume First Edition and two supplements again into one book. It came out in 2007.
The current "official" A Course In Miracles consists of the:
- 1269-page Text (T),
- 488-page Workbook (W),
- 92-page Manual For Teachers (M),
- 22-page Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice (P), and
- 20-page Song Of Prayer (S).
Page count varies with spacing, font and page size.
A sixth distinctly separate volume called Clarification Of Terms (C) exists as a separate volume within the Manual in the Third edition. The page numbering between Manual For Teachers and Clarification Of Terms is unbroken, a structural inconsistency carried over from the First Edition.
The Clarification Of Terms (C) applies to the entire book. It is separately designated its own volume-label, the letter C, in the 2006 electronic CD ROM edition version from the Foundation For Inner Peace.
A "volume" is a stand-alone book, like each of the 66 books inside the King James Version of the Roman Catholic bible. Not everyone understands the Catholic bible is a combined volume of 66 different-length "books", the shortest being "3 John" according to a study by Jeffrey Kranz in 2015. (Rene always thought it was The Book Of Ruth at 3 pages, which he incorrectly remembered as The Book Of Jude when he heard us suggest "Jude" as an example to use here.)
The first official Electronic Edition contained the Second Edition and Supplements together on one CD ROM but in many digital files. Rene re-combined the CD ROM edition without loss as single-file searchable Word document.
That file, incidentally can be used to graduate "official" teachers of the book at the intended school, if the Foundation For Inner Peace continues to be unwilling to support what they refer to as a "third party" (like a "third world") global initiative. Here's the file in PDF, with a one-page spoiler added following the Text's Introduction: http://acim.talk2dream.com
Quotes from the book in these pages are from the single-file Word document made from a CD ROM purchased from the Foundation For Inner Peace at the start of 2007.
References to any of the official editions of A Course In Miracles typically begin with the volume label: T, W or WB, M or specifically C, P, or S. For example:
- "to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same" (M-in.1.)
- "Teach only love, for that is what you are." (T-6.I.13)
- "Everything you teach you are learning. Teach only love, and learn that love is yours and you are love." (T-6.III.4.)
- "love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind" (M-23.4.)
Polite references ensure awareness that a quote is from A Course In Miracles.
The first number following the volume identifier denotes the part, chapter, or unit identifier. Only the Workbook contains "Parts" and only the Text has specifically labelled "Chapters".
Throughout the combined complete Course, the chapter format of headings in the Text is preserved in the Manual, Clarification, Psychotherapy, and Song volumes using ALL-CAPs typeset, centered at the top of a new page.
Using the ALL-CAPs format to identify chapters, the Manual contains 29 short chapters separated into 28 questions with a conclusion titled "as for the rest..." in gentle loving reminder that consistent miracle working always entails asking questions, irrespective of the subject being taught, to forever mitigate undue stress resulting from force of will or past imperfections.
So does the Workbook have chapters? Not real. In the Workbook, the words PART, LESSON, and REVIEW are written using all-caps in absence of a heading which isn't also the content, and lessons are not always presented on a new page, to save paper and space.
The first electronic edition of the course by the Foundation doesn't add the Workbook's Part-reference to lessons. For example, Lesson 1 is in Part 1 of the Workbook but is simply noted "W-1".
The lack of Workbook Part-reference omits reader awareness of the location of headings such as Review I to IV of Part I and the 14 questions of Part II with respect to the 365 separate lessons. For example considering seeing simply "W-94" and "W-rII.in.1." as two Workbook references, it's difficult to tell that Review II comes before Lesson 94, or that Review II is entirely only an Introduction to Lessons 81 to 110.
It's admittedly still a work in progress, "This course is a beginning, not an end." (W.ep.1.).
Except in the Workbook, a capital Roman numeral after the chapter number, for example T-14.I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, or C-14.XI, denotes a unit or subchapter.
For example, "T-2.V. The Function of the Miracle Worker" is the fifth ("V" means "five") subchapter in Chapter 2 of the Text.
All chapters in the Text each have from 4 to 11 units.
In the Manual, only questions 4 and 5 contain Roman numeral subdivisions.
The remaining three volumes, C-P-and-S, all contain from 0 to 5 chapter subdivisions, but they have just a few chapters each anyway.
Capital alphabet letters denote further division, or a sub-subchapter or sub-unit section of Romanized units, for example "T-2.V.A. Special Principles of Miracle Workers"
There is occasional inconsistency in Third Edition of paragraph numbering of alphabet divisions within a Roman numeral subchapter. For example, Number 1 does not denote the first paragraph of alphabet divisions of T-2.V or M-4.I but Number 1 does denote the first paragraph of alphabet divisions of T-6.V and T-19.IV. Incidentally, those are the only areas with alphabet divisions.
Line numbers exist, but aren't usually cited.
Alternatively, publishers generally retain copyright over a version or edition name. Citing the page number of Edition and version works as well, especially when referring to 1975 HLC Edition which was typed on typewriter and looks a lot more like a first draft of a first edition than any official book. This is the start of the 1975 HLC Edition, also called the 1975 URTEXT:
[Voice:] This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.
[Helen:] Is this an elective course?
It is crucial to say first that this is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what to take when. It is just because you are not ready TO DO what you should elect to do, that time exists at all.
You will see miracles thru your hands thru me. You should begin each day with the prayer "Help me to perform whatever miracles you want of me today."
The first thing to remember about miracles is that there is no order of difficulty among them. One is not harder or bigger than another. In this sense, they are all the same.
Miracles do not matter. They are quite unimportant. They occur naturally as an expression of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. Everything that comes from love is a miracle.
(HLC, page 1)
In 2003, a New York District Court judged lifted the copyright from editions of A Course In Miracles predating the three volumes of the 1976 Foundation For Inner Peace publication.
The HLC Edition doesn't include the Workbook, Manual, or Clarification Of Terms as identifiably separate volumes, and not the two supplements, but it does provide a candid glimpse at Helen's personal struggle to understand what she was writing.
Helen's struggle caused her to spend the last years of her life in a psychiatric hospital.
Before her death, author Helen Schucman (1909-1981) convinced at least one ex-medical student of Columbia Universe, a man who became a Catholic Priest instead of a doctor, that the devil possessed Helen to write the book which exclusively promotes teamwork, sustainability, an absence of the need of formal religion, and generally love without harm.
Rene suggests reading Gary Renard's Disappearance Of The Universe to really understand the book A Course In Miracles. If you happen to be a law enforcement officer impossibly trying to categorize adherents of A Course In Miracles as Terrorist or just Schizophrenic, be sure that Arten and Pursah are the answer.
This is an applied course in miracles. Please take 13 notes:
1) Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at any given time.
2) The plan has always been to build a school to graduate official teachers of the Principles Of Miracles, listed in Chapter 1 of the Text of A Course In Miracles. The only real principle is that YOU are a real-time event: YOU retain the real-time choice of what any of your future physical experiences are going to be, irrespective of your awareness of The Choice right now.
3) There is only one US because "always" is limitlessly without loss or end. Real-time is always and always shared. The universe isn't going to suddenly implode.
4) The origin of real-time is beyond time, meaning joined without concept of space. Ever-changing means ALWAYS changing, and cannot originate from within a relative state. The fact there are different people sharing an ever-changing reality means only the thinking part is real and continues to exist despite any seeming change.
5) Energy is always increasing: energy shares an absolute origin which continues without end. Energy cannot decrease but gathers and changes within, or as, any lower-order reality.
6) Our ability to think incorporates ability to bridge time, either in recollecting the past or planning the future. The act of bridging time is called membering, using memory. Since thinking bridges time, thinking cannot originate from within time. Thought or actions within time can direct thinking, but thinking itself originates from an undefined real state not confined to time. Case in point computers: computers can think and plan and work toward a goal but they did not originate the very start of their current code, and serve no real purpose without always striving to make a harmlessly sustainable (= always without harm) environment as equally valid extensions of our limitless singular mind.
7) WE co-ordinate OUR creativity TO MITIGATE confusion about energy not always increasing, for example the incorrect assertion "energy cannot be created".
8) Gold and money can be man-made, but gold itself cannot currently increase the standard of living of all people enough to warrant spending time to publish a public gold-making company except insofar as, for example, mining companies become eco-friendly and computer circuitry more efficient. It could be used in a new power source harnessing ambient cosmic radiation, once global lust over the object abates. Printing money to give everyone equally is equally of useless benefit while stock market brokerages encourage gambling.
9) You do not establish OUR real-time presence or awareness. In the present, you believe you see many people and want to believe WE ALL HAVE THE SAME FREE WILL. Accordingly, YOU DECIDE OUR FUTURE based on your belief about US.
10) You personally build your own future outlook based on the decisions, the choices, THE ACTIONS IN your life right NOW. Since there IS only ONE YOU in the end, remember we're all learning to get along. We're all basically in your head.
11) The course does not mean to tell you what to do. The course only means to remind you of the fact "real-time sustainability" means "working toward a sustainable future RIGHT NOW".
12) Since the future is always shared, your choice is: (1) do nothing, (2) help, or (3) hinder. But, THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU. So, hindering this exclusively "not mutually exclusive" project cannot help you.
13) The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite. The course can therefore be summed up as a school of thought destined to remove all blocks preventing consistency of thought, which IS your natural inheritance.
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