A Course in Miracles
I began studying A Course in Miracles around the time I turned forty. It had been circling on the periphery for a couple of decades before that. But you can’t force this stuff. When it’s time – and when it’s right – you’ll know. I just knew it was time to buckle down and ACIM was the way to do it.
What is A Course in Miracles? It depends who you talk to. One of its finer qualities is its ability to meet readers where they are. I identify as a Christian, albeit one who is deeply and helpfully influenced by eastern religions and philosophy. I find the Course a natural fit – what co-scribe Bill Thetford once called “Vedantic Christianity.”
Others disagree – sometimes strenuously. It’s the true words of the historic Jesus! It’s the perfect blend of spirituality and psychology! It’s the Christianity for the new age! And so forth. I have long taken the position that there are no wrong readings of A Course in Miracles – only helpful and unhelpful ones. Is it working? Then use it. If it’s too dense or too orthodox or too conservative – no problem. There are many paths and this is only one.
Readers will notice that my own thoughts and beliefs about the Course have shifted over the years. It’s tempting to edit those posts, or delete them altogether, but I’ve resisted the urge. It’s nice to know where you’ve been, and good to be reminded that you’re in motion. One of my goals is honesty – with myself and, by extension, with you. Don’t take anything I write as gospel. It’s emphatically not! Yet it might be helpful, if only to the extent that you recognize another fool stumbling beside you.
All that said, it’s fair to ask what I do in fact believe about ACIM. My practice is grounded in both the text – a massive tome that Helen Schucman scribed first (the early fifth of which is quite heavily edited). It is one of the most eloquent and consistent pieces of writing that I have ever encountered. It is not a normal book in any sense of the word – at least not in my experience. To me, it is a sacred text.
I practice the lessons close to daily. I have been through them several times and – slow learner that I am – I continue to study them. It grounds me. The workbook – and the ACIM daily lessons it offers – are easier to read than the text. They provide an opportunity to bring the course’s ideas into application. In the end, we’re not really called to “think” or “talk” about miracles – we’re meant to live in and through them. Thus the workbook.
While I have read the related material – the Manual for Teachers, Schucman’s poetry, etc. – it is the text and workbook to which I return most frequently. What the Course has done for me is introduce me in a practical and tangible way to Jesus Christ. That relationship – which is mysterious and complex and deeply personal and thus hard to talk about in language – has in turn opened space inside of me. It has nurtured an interior relationship with God that is so vivid and intense it is often frightening. It is my daily practice and – as imperfect a student as I am – I am never not grateful for its presence in my life.
Is it right for you? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe. Are you interested in what you read here? There are no accidents! Why not try it? Or, if you’re in a dry spell, try it differently? Read a new teacher. Stop doing the lessons. Do the lessons. If you meditate sitting, try it while walking. Open an ACIM soup kitchen. Who knows?
A Course in Miracles is a self-study course. Though teachers and coaches abound, it is really about what happens on the inside. You and Jesus, you and the Holy Spirit, you and God. Are those the relationships you want to deepen? Are those the relationships that call to you? If the Course is right for you – which is not to say that it will always be easy or fun – then (at least in my experience) nothing else will ever bring you closer to God. And you can always turn back.
I’ve collected those articles here that relate to A Course in Miracles. Perhaps you will find them helpful. Perhaps not. I’m one student amongst many – many of whom are writing and teaching. Don’t take my word for the Course. Find your own. And thank you – thank you! – for dropping by.