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A Course in Miracles is spiritual guide for life. The book begins: "This is A Course in Miracles, it is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary." "The Course" as the book is commonly known, comprises of 365 lessons of spiritual guidance. It is divided into three sections: Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual for Teachers.
The author, Dr. Helen Schucman channeled the content of the book over a 7-year period between 1965 and 1972 whilst she was a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York. She gave herself no credit for the authorship of the text and claimed she received it as a kind of mental dictation from a voice who identified himself as Jesus. Needless to say A Course in Miracles has caused consternation among certain Christians who cry, "Beware of false prophets" and while the book is Christian in tone, much of the writing is comparable to eastern wisdom traditions.
The book tells us of the return of Jesus. It states, "The Second Coming is the awareness of reality, not its return. Behold, my children, reality is here. It belongs to you and me and God and is perfectly satisfying to all of us. Only this awareness heals because it is the awareness of truth."
The key tenet throughout the book is forgiveness, and we are informed, forgiveness is the answer to all of life's problems. "Let forgiveness be the substitute for fear. This is the only rule for happy dreams." The book goes on to say; "forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven. What is sin, except a false idea about God's Son? Forgiveness merely sees its falsity, and therefore lets it go. What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God."
"The only thing that is real is created by God, there is nothing else and everything we think and feel is real in the physical world is nothing but an illusion. What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist."
Love is everything; perfect love is the goal for all of us and we simply have to let it in; "the search for love is but the honest searching out of everything that interferes with love." Love is the opposite of judgement and love really does conquer all.
The original text was dictated to Schucman who sat in a trance state and wrote down in shorthand everything the inner voice told her. Dr. William Thetford, was Schucman's supervisor and friend at the time, and he assisted her by typing up the text and arranging it into a coherent document. Personal information given to Schucman and Thetford was intentionally omitted and the 1500 pages that remained became what we now know as A Course In Miracles. The "Course" is essential reading for spiritual seekers, religious followers, or anyone searching for spiritual meaning in their lives.