I do not believe that the historical Jesus dictated A Course in Miracles to Helen Schucman. Rather, I believe that Helen – in an action of profound love, profound willingness – accepted through the symbol of Jesus her real Self which, in conjunction with Bill Thetford, created the work that we now call A Course in Miracles.
Thus, the work itself – the books and supplements – represent a written manifestation of a personal relationship with Jesus that was intimate, deep and real. It naturally redounds to the benefit of those for whom ACIM is a good spiritual fit. My gratitude is vast.
This view seems most consistent with the course itself. The man named Jesus cannot be more real than you are, nor can he be special. There is nothing wrong with rendering him symbolic of Love, and entering into relationship with the symbol in order to better know that Love, but a certain clarity about that process is helpful. There are no exceptions to Oneness, and this includes Jesus.
However, our real goal is not to be right about the role that Jesus played in the writing of the course, but rather to make contact with the Love that he embodied, which is the Love that Helen embodied in her way, and which we embody, but perhaps dimly still, uncertainly.
So the question is: how do we begin to make contact with that Love? What is the bridge between the egoic thought system and the Thought of God?
I think the best answer, the most helpful answer is “through relationship.” More specifically, if we are going to use ACIM as our means, “through relationship with Jesus or the Holy Spirit.”
“Relationship” in this case should be taken literally. It is tempting to substitute the language of holiness for the experience of it (a substitution process that can tie you up in knots for decades, as I am only too happy to attest), but as I pointed out in the first paragraph, Helen’s relationship with Jesus was profoundly – practically – real. It was also profoundly productive. That’s what we want – an experience of relationship with Christ or God, through highly functional personal symbols (Jesus, Holy Spirit, Shiva, Source etc.), that infuses our day-to-day existence, rendering it creative and loving in deeply fructive ways.
The thing is, nobody can tell you how to have that relationship. If they are, then you are in relationship with them. And while that can be helpful in its way, and even desirable sometimes, it’s the not the relationship we’re after. I can read all I want about walking in the forest, tracking animals, identifying trees and flowers and bird songs, but if an intimate relationship with forest is what I’m after then there really is nothing to do but get out there and stay out there
A similar sort of principle attains to knowing God. We have to enter that which we desire. We’ve got to make space, prepare a place, extend an invitation.
We think of truth alone as we arise, and spend five minutes practicing its ways, encouraging our frightened minds with this:
The power of decision is my own. This day I will accept myself as what my Father’s Will created me to be.
Then will we wait in silence, giving up all self-deceptions, as we humbly ask our Self that He reveal Himself to us. And He Who never left will come again to our awareness, grateful to restore His home to God, as it was meant to be (WpI.152.11:2-6).
All that happens is that we are going to remember that we are already saved. It is simultaneously amazing and very simple, clear and familiar. “Oh, it’s this.” And we will slip in and out of it for a while, but never that far, because the slipping is just a mind wandering away for a few minutes. It is never not at home.
So I think it is helpful to make that relationship a focal point of our practice, understanding that we will ultimately know it as a relationship with our Self, which is not separate from anything – including Jesus, including God.