It includes 365 Workbook Lessons for daily practical application to undo our mind of fear and to accept this peace, 31 Chapters of Text to further understand the content of the lessons and our Mind; as well as a Manual for Teachers so that we can learn to teach and give as we have received.
ACIM is a tool for mind training. If we are not willing, we will not learn. But if we are willing, we will learn everything and be at peace. The goal of A Course in Miracles is peace.
Reason & the ego
During this discerning process, our ego begin's to sense that there is another voice we are listening to. It begins to realize that our attention is being taken away from IT. This can, at times, take us on a trip into our own unconscious darkness. We want to look there, because now we are bringing the light(reason) with us to shine upon it and dispel it. This path is not meant to be "easy", in fact, it can be quite intense and emotional at times. But only because it deals with our own psychology and makes us look at things within that we may have been too distracted or fearful to see before.This path is simple however, because it only asks us to forgive. And the forgiveness that we learn through ACIM, is brought about through the act of mind training and reasoning out our past and present experiences/ relationships from a perspective of Love.
Who is the Author of A Course in Miracles?
One seemingly average day Bill got sick of the endless conflict and proclaimed out loud to Helen that there "must be a better way." She agreed immediately and from that moment on they were determined to end conflict. Shortly after this Helen began to have dreams that prepared her for writing A Course In Miracles.
Helen had no personal affiliation with any religion and in fact was a self proclaimed atheist. Since her dreams prepared her for an experience of the like, when a voice began to speak to her that introduced himself as Jesus, she was open to its possibility. Instead of questioning it or denying it, she wrote down exactly what she heard word for word. After which, every morning, she brought her notes to Bill where he confirmed the power of these words and that they were not of Helen. He encouraged her to proceed in listening and documenting every word she heard. So in short, Jesus is the true author of A Course in Miracles. And as we begin to read and apply ACIM ourselves, we can learn of the validity of Jesus in our own minds, and have a direct relationship with him, if we want, too. Whether you believe Jesus wrote it, or believe what it teaches really does not matter. What matters is ones willingness to learn a new way to live life on earth that brings about joy and peace for self and others. That's what ACIM is for. Debating who wrote it, or even caring, misses the point. But its still good info to have :)
Why would I NOT want to use ACIM?
How to begin A Course in Miracles
I would then start on applying the Workbook Lessons right away. They are meant to be applied 1 lesson every day for 365 days. If you feel the need to stay on a lesson longer, do so. But continue to move forward until you reach the end goal of all 365 lessons, no matter how long it takes you. Every lesson builds on top of the previous one, so make sure they are done in order, and that you read carefully the instructions at the beginning and through out, in order to apply the lessons as directed each day. Only do one lesson per day, no more.
I would read the text along with the Lessons if your up for it. Its good to read through the text at least once in its entirety as it helps to give more background to what the lessons are meaning. The text is quite dense, so with that too, take your time. Be still after each paragraph, or sentence even. I find giving the words time to settle in my mind helps me to see it and thus understand it.
This is a COURSE in miracles. Its meant to be taken, learned, applied, passed.
When you are done your lessons and your text, its time to move onto the Teachers Manual and give what you have received. The Course assumes you will pass it, because it speaks to you as the powerful being that you are, and not the weak and small self that you think you are.
This course, if taken seriously, at the pace that works for you, and applied diligently every single day to your mind and events that come up each day; will carry you to the place of perfect peace, freedom, purpose and joy within. This is what we all deserve. We can begin to help others remember this reality, as we remember it within. ACIM helps us to remember our identity and peace, to have it, live it and to give it.
My final thoughts on A Course in Miracles
It is not meant to make others into idols or to believe another's opinions of ACIM over your own. It is not to be turned into another religion or spiritual following. It teaches us to trust ourselves, to trust our brothers and to trust God. In this circle of Trust, we can experience the Reality of Heaven here and enable miracles to become actualized in our daily life.
The purpose of ACIM is to forgive, find our shared purpose and BE at peace. Once we are at peace, miracles become natural. The ultimate goal is to become miracle workers like Jesus was, but in the form that is needed most in today's world. This role is exemplified through the application and acceptance of ACIM lessons and principles; not in part, but totally and completely. We must be totally committed to the goal of peace, in order to attain it within and extend it out. Our circle of trust and peace can happen in an instant, or it can grow and evolve and expand over time. Part of this process is patience and non judgment with our process and the process of others.
I am so grateful for ACIM. My heart beats in deep deep gratitude for this Course, and for it being the incredible teaching aid that it is.
Helpful ACIM Resources
Do you have a copy of A Course in Miracles yet?
Bonus ACIM Material:
- You can learn more about the details of the "story" of Helen Schucman and Dr. Bill Thetford and their original experiences of bringing forward A Course in Miracles through a documentary found here.
- You can hear from Carl Howe, a direct and personal friend of Bill Thetford, and hear about who he is and why his contribution to the A Course in Miracles was so imperative and important. You can take a listen here
"This course will be believed entirely or not at all. For it is wholly true or wholly false, and cannot be but partially believed. And you will either escape from misery entirely or not at all. Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you can pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. Until you choose Heaven, you ARE in hell and misery." ACIM Text 22.2