‘You have but two emotions, love and fear… one you made and one was given to you. Each is a way of seeing and different worlds arise from their different sights… see the Love of God in you and you will see it everywhere because it is everywhere… With love in you, you have no need except to extend it.’
Foundation for Inner Peace and Autobiography of Dr. Helen Schucman
How to apply A Course in Miracles in your daily life
Helen Schucman talks about the 'Voice' which revealed A Course In Miracles to her
A Course in Miracles (1976)
Helen Schucman
In Summary

The bodily world of fear, conflict and duality is but an illusion. The only thing that is real is divine love, forgiveness and union with all things.


‘There has to be another way’, they both muttered in desperation. Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford worked together – or rather, tried to work together – in the psychology department at Columbia University, hashing out their mismatched personalities in an unending war of harsh words and harsher memories. At wit’s end, they came together to commiserate their losses, jointly longing for a better way forwards. Schucman later pointed back to this meeting as the seminal moment in their relationship (and in their lives), not because they solved anything that day but because of what happened shortly after.

Schucman began hearing things – a voice whispering over and over again: ‘This is a Course in Miracles. Please take notes.’ Unable to make it stop, she confided her visions to Thetford, who replied that if the voice said to ‘take notes’ then maybe she should try taking notes. Working together harmoniously for the first time, they began writing down everything the voice revealed, amassing hundreds of pages of seemingly channelled text. Their devotion to the task only increased once they realised the voice belonged to Jesus.

The content of Christ’s revelations apparently transformed Helen and Bill’s relationship, convincing them of the need to share its healing insights with the world. Published anonymously in 1976, A Course in Miracles helped solidify and expand the emerging spirituality in the West, embedding its terminology in the new zeitgeist.


There are apparently two worlds: the real and the unreal. The unreal world is what is perceived by the body and indulged in by the ego as we ricochet back and forth between bodily pleasures and hot-blooded anger, judgement or fear. We are aliens in unreality; this is not our true home and so we are afraid of what might happen, picturing duality, conflict and death all around us. Our ego projects these selfish concerns onto the world, and – since the world isn’t ‘real’ – it simply mirrors our fears back to us. We cyclically forge the very things that reinforce our fantasy: ‘Projection makes perception.’ We need a helping hand from beyond the illusion.

The Holy Spirit gifts us with the vision of Christ, seeing things through God’s eyes rather than through the illusory perceptions of the body. Forgiving the trespasses committed by and against us, we come to see – as God sees – that these earthly sins were never real to begin with, for all that truly exists is perfect, divine and united in peace. There is no egoic self, no ‘other’ to sin against, no worldly things to hoard or fear or avenge. Once you step into this light you start to see that you had been living in a shadow world. You slowly begin to extend in love and forgiveness rather than project fear and vengeance. You forgive others as well as yourself, for you admit there is no ‘self’ and ‘other.’ This realisation and transformation is, in itself, a miracle, for the ‘holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.’


If true, A Course in Miracles provides humanity with another way to address conflict, fear and transgression. Through its message, Schucman and Thetford were apparently able to overcome their differences by accepting that there in fact were no differences. The dichotomy of self and other was swallowed up by forgiveness – a forgiveness that does not forget sin but rather recognises that it never existed to begin with. We have nothing to fear from others or the world, for ‘Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.’

While the main text outlines the basic system of the Course, there are also 365 daily devotions to work through, as well as a manual for teachers. These exercises help readers go beyond mere theory, retraining their perceptions on a practical and daily level to see the oneness in all things. The teacher’s manual also includes a series of questions and answers, helping them process, manifest and communicate the content of the Course.

Although A Course in Miracles was widely read in the ’70s and ’80s, it truly exploded after Marianne Williamson discussed it on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1992, selling over two million copies. An industry of individuals has arisen to interpret the Course, while its underlying philosophy lurks in the myriad of movements it helped to inspire. Undeniably, as one of the most influential works of faith in the last fifty years, A Course in Miracles is necessary reading for anyone who wants to understand the new spirituality or grow in its teachings.

Further Reading By This Author

Schucman’s magnum opus was also her only opus. Or at least her only paranormal opus. While she wrote two earlier psychological treatises, including Evaluating the Educability of the Severely Mentally Retarded Child, and The Retarded Child from Birth to Five, plus posthumously published The Gifts of God, a collection of poems, A Course in Miracles remains her first and final word on her spiritual subject.

Marianne Williamson has published a number of works in the spirit of the teachings of A Course in Miracles which helped make them more accessible for many readers. These include Return to Love (2015) and Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment (2016).

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