A Course in Miracles is some 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’s so listed without an author’s name by the U.S. Library of Congress). However, the writing was compiled by Helen Schucman (deceased) and William Thetford; Schucman has related that the book’s material is based on communications to her from an “inner voice” she claimed was Jesus. The first version of the book was published in 1976, with a revised edition published in 1996. Part of the content is a teaching 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 can be traced back to the early 1970s; Helen Schucman first experiences with the “inner voice” led to her then best acim podcast supervisor, William Thetford, to contact 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 per year editing and revising the material. Another introduction, this time around of Schucman, Wapnik, and Thetford to Robert Skutch and Judith Skutch Whitson, of the Foundation for Inner Peace. The very first printings of the book for distribution were in 1975. Ever since then, copyright litigation by the Foundation for Inner Peace, and Penguin Books, has established that the content of the initial edition is in people domain.
A Course in Miracles is a teaching device; the course has 3 books, a 622-page text, a 478-page student workbook, and an 88-page teachers manual. The materials can be studied in the order chosen by readers. The information of A Course in Miracles addresses both theoretical and the practical, although application of the book’s material is emphasized. The text is mainly theoretical, and is a cause for the workbook’s lessons, which are practical applications. The workbook has 365 lessons, one for every day of the entire year, though they don’t need to be done at a speed of one lesson per day. Perhaps most like the workbooks that are familiar to the common reader from previous experience, you’re asked to use the material as directed. However, in a departure from the “normal”, the reader isn’t required to believe 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 certainly are a start.
A Course in Miracles distinguishes between knowledge and perception; the fact is unalterable and eternal, while perception is the planet of time, change, and interpretation. The world of perception reinforces the dominant ideas within our minds, and keeps us separate from the facts, and separate from God. Perception is limited by the body’s limitations in the physical world, thus limiting awareness. A lot of the experience of the planet 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 discover a way to God through undoing guilt, by both forgiving oneself and others. So, healing occurs, and happiness and peace are found.