A Course in Miracles is a three-volume self-study course that teaches its students how to differentiate between the voice for God, or Love, which it calls the Holy Spirit, and the voice of fear, which is the ego. By making the distinction between the two plain, and observing the effects of their respective teachings, the course teaches students to hear only the Holy Spirit and through its guidance align their will fully with God’s, which ends conflict and suffering.
Inner peace and happiness are direct effects of studying and practicing A Course in Miracles.
The course indicates that there are only two ways of seeing, each of which brings about a very different experience of self and world. When we listen to ego, we believe that we are vulnerable bodies in a dangerous and unpredictable environment. This is called separation and is reinforced by the perception of separate interests which are predicated on the apparent physical separation of bodies in a world of scarcity, necessitating attack and defense in the interests of survival.
This way of seeing the world brings forth chaos and grief. It alienates us from our brothers and sisters, from Creation and from our Creator. This is a problem to which A Course in Miracles proposes the Atonement, which is the healing process by which separation is undone and we remember what we are in truth.
The Holy Spirit is the opposite of the ego and thus produces an opposite experience. It represents our healed mind and thus speaks for wholeness, God and Love. While it is aware of the world of separation brought forth by belief in the ego’s lies, it does not uphold or honor that world. Rather, it constantly directs our attention to the power of our mind to choose how it sees. It always respects our power of decision and never depreciates the creative power of mind.
By listening to the Holy Spirit, we gradually remember our shared interests with all our brothers and sisters. We all want to be free of suffering, and we all want to be at peace. The Holy Spirit teaches us to see with the Vision of Christ, which only recognizes shared interests, and thus strengthens our remembrance of unity with and as Creation. Each remembrance is a miracle: a shift in mind away from fear and towards love.
In a sense, A Course in Miracles is given to heal our spiritual identity crisis by reminding us what we are in truth and thus allowing us to take our rightful place in Creation as extensions of Love Itself.
The course emphasizes abstract creation and process over form. Our focus is not on symbols of separation or atonement but rather on the mind which gives those symbols their meaning and determines their function. The level of mind, which is the the only level of Creation, is the level of oneness. That is our home; that is our Heaven. In this respect, A Course in Miracles is an extension of many spiritual paths and traditions, including gnosticism, neo-Platonism, Christian Science, Freudian psychotherapy and Advaita Vedanta.
A Course in Miracles takes approximately one year to complete, though study and application can extend well beyond that time frame. It meets students where they are, taking them as far as they are willing and able to go at a given time. It is not for everyone! But if it is one’s spiritual path, then it merits attention and care.