A Course in Miracles is a couple of self-study materials published by the Foundation for Inner Peace. The book’s content is metaphysical, and explains forgiveness as applied to daily life. Curiously, nowhere does the book have an author (and it is so listed with no author’s name by the U.S. Library of Congress). However, the text was written by Helen Schucman (deceased) and William Thetford; Schucman has related that the book’s material is founded on communications to her from an “inner voice” she claimed was Jesus. The original version of the book was published in 1976, with a revised edition published in 1996. Part of the content is a training manual, and students workbook. Since the initial edition, the book has sold several million copies, with translations into nearly two-dozen languages.
The book’s origins may be traced back to the early 1970s; Helen Schucman first experiences with the “inner voice” generated her then acim podcast supervisor, William Thetford, to make contact with Hugh Cayce at the Association for Research and Enlightenment. Subsequently, an introduction to Kenneth Wapnick (later the book’s editor) occurred. At the time of the introduction, Wapnick was clinical psychologist. After meeting, Schucman and Wapnik spent over a year editing and revising the material. Another introduction, now of Schucman, Wapnik, and Thetford to Robert Skutch and Judith Skutch Whitson, of the Foundation for Inner Peace. The first printings of the book for distribution were in 1975. Since then, copyright litigation by the Foundation for Inner Peace, and Penguin Books, has established that this content of the initial edition is in the public domain.
A Course in Miracles is a training device; the course has 3 books, a 622-page text, a 478-page student workbook, and an 88-page teachers manual. The materials may be studied in the order chosen by readers. The information of A Course in Miracles addresses the theoretical and the practical, although application of the book’s material is emphasized. The text is mainly theoretical, and is a basis for the workbook’s lessons, which are practical applications. The workbook has 365 lessons, one for every day of the year, though they do not have to be done at a pace of 1 lesson per day. Perhaps most such as the workbooks which can be familiar to the typical reader from previous experience, you are asked to utilize the material as directed. However, in a departure from the “normal”, the reader isn’t required to think what’s in the workbook, as well as accept it. Neither the workbook nor the Course in Miracles is intended to complete the reader’s learning; simply, the materials are a start.
A Course in Miracles distinguishes between knowledge and perception; the fact is unalterable and eternal, while perception is the world of time, change, and interpretation. The world of perception reinforces the dominant ideas inside our minds, and keeps us separate from the reality, and separate from God. Perception is limited by your body’s limitations in the physical world, thus limiting awareness. Much of the ability of the world reinforces the ego, and the individual’s separation from God. But, by accepting the vision of Christ, and the voice of the Holy Spirit, one learns forgiveness, both for oneself and others.
Thus, A Course in Miracles helps the reader find a method to God through undoing guilt, by both forgiving oneself and others. So, healing occurs, and happiness and peace are found.