You might ask yourself, “What is A Course in Miracles?” A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is a self-study program with an approach that is quite unique. It is designed to bring a consistent state of happiness and peace to the student through the application of its principles. These principles can seem radical and not from this world. However, this uncompromising and fresh approach is very effective for those looking to heal abandonment, victimhood, and any other seeming lifelong issues.
The Course was scribed by Helen Schucman, a Medical Psychology Professor at Columbia University, during the years of 1965 to 1972. With the help of Bill Thetford, Ken Wapnick, Robert Skutch, and Judith Skutch Whitson, the Course was compiled, edited, and ultimately published (by the Foundation for Inner Peace) on June 26, 1976.
New experience comes from following A Course in Miracles’ intentional and careful structure. As the Course states: “A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed.” (C-in.2:5-6) This simplicity becomes evident when studying ACIM.
The study and learning of A Course in Miracles can be like climbing a ladder. Each rung represents a new realm of understanding where beautiful pearls of wisdom have more and more depth the higher one climbs.
Another simplistic yet profound theme is in the introduction to ACIM which states:
This Course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
For a complete online version of A Course in Miracles, follow this link.
The Course is comprised of three books, a glossary-style Clarification of Terms and two pamphlets (Supplements):
The Text (622 pages) lays out the concepts upon which the Course is based.
The Workbook (365 lessons, one each day for a year) is presented in a very practical format, encouraging the student to apply the ideas to the best of their ability without making exceptions.
The Manual for Teachers consists of questions and answers intended to deepen students’ understanding of the concepts learned in the Text and Workbook.
The Supplements are Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice and The Song of Prayer: Forgiveness, Prayer, and Healing, which provide further application of the Course’s teachings, specifically in relation to prayer and psychotherapy.
An Introduction to A Course in Miracles by David Hoffmeister
A Course in Miracles is a very powerful spiritual tool. It is one pathway among many and it defines itself that way. It says it’s one form of the universal curriculum and that there are many others. It’s a pathway of quantum forgiveness. The Bible says, “Forgive seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22) That’s only 490 times—it gives a sense of many. Maybe 2000 years ago, 490 was many times. Today, I think we know it’s going to take a deep cleansing of our consciousness to come to a state of peace of mind, referred to by Jesus in the Bible as the Kingdom of Heaven. In the east it might be oneness, pure love, Nirvana or just seen as bliss.
A Course in Miracles is a curriculum that comes from Jesus Christ. It’s very practical. If you really read the gospels and the teachings of Jesus from 2000 years ago, you could see that it was a lot about forgiveness and love—loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. He really emphasized the first two of the ten commandments. And now, 2000 years have passed, we have some new words—new terminology, new fields of study. One of them is psychology. 2000 years ago, we didn’t have Sigmund Freud. We didn’t have all these teachings about the unconscious guilt, defense mechanisms, the ego, and so on. A Course in Miracles uses the teachings of psychology, the teachings and terminology of education, and it also uses Christian terminology. The psychology concepts which it uses are projection, repression and denial—the dynamics of the ego that keep us trapped. We remain locked in defense and attack whenever we are using these mechanisms.
The Course talks about the ego in a way that is beyond what Freud did. Freud saw the ego as having some kind of value, as a mediator between our morals and mores on the one hand, and our unconscious urges and impulses on the other. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles, the ego is a mask that has been laid across the face of Christ. It’s an attempt to have a false identity—to be disguised from who you really are, which is Spirit.
A Course in Miracles starts off with a text that lays out the theory or theology. There is then a Workbook with 365 daily lessons—one lesson for every day of the year. It’s very practical. Kind of like when we were in high school, maybe we had chemistry class and would go into the lab to actually perform the experiments with the elements to actually see how it works practically in our life. That’s what the Workbook is about, clearing away the ego debris from the mind and learning how to trust in the Spirit and let go of judgment, criticism, and condemnation.
Then it has a Manual for Teachers in the back, for those that really go into the curriculum as, you might say, a miracle worker or a teacher of God. Basically it is saying that this is our true profession, that underneath all of our earthly professions, everyone wants joy, happiness and peace. And everybody needs much more training in being conduits or instruments for miracles as in St. Francis’ prayer: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
As you go on the spiritual journey, you begin to find all kinds of subtleties of pride that come in. The ego actually wants to come along on the spiritual journey. It wants to have some kind of power, turn it into something prideful, some kind of concept that’s built upon even the ideas of healing. There seem to be some spiritual teachers and healers that have more ability. There are those that have less, or those that are in need of those that have the healing powers.
ACIM is teaching us about our perfect equality; that everyone and everything is perfectly equal. We are reflections of this Divine Oneness. We need to be freed from all these ego beliefs of inferiority and superiority, of having a false sense of pride as well as shame, and deep unworthiness. All of these concepts are part of a mask that’s worn to act as a cover over our true Christ Identity.
The Manual for Teachers is also saying that Christ is an idea in the Mind of God, so Christ is neither female nor male, feminine or masculine. It is a creation of perfect love and it’s saying that we are all God’s children and that we came from God and we have forgotten who we are. We’ve fallen asleep and we are caught in a dream in which we feel we’re alone and separate from everything and everyone. And we aren’t going to awaken from that dream until we learn how to forgive—until we learn to exchange our unhappy dream to a happy one, then we will wake back up into reality.
Most modern nations are very familiar with the Judaeo-Christian language because it’s so common. We are very familiar with Judaeo-Christian theologies and teachings. It states in the Bible, if you go back to Genesis, that Adam fell asleep. At no point in the Bible does it say that Adam ever woke up. In that sense, A Course in Miracles is using the Judaeo-Christian language but in a way that is inspired and comprehensively designed to raise up consciousness, raise up awareness, so you can transcend the ego’s limiting beliefs and come into a very high state of mind which is the gateway back to the Kingdom of Heaven.
But the Kingdom of Heaven is an inward direction, a state of attitude, a state of mind, the beatitudes in the Bible, and it’s not about the form. It’s not like you go to another place or as if there’s an afterlife in which you begin a new life. It’s more like you open your heart and you open your mind to a state that Jesus calls the Kingdom of Heaven. And he says it’s within you. It’s not outside of you. You don’t have to seek for it out in the world or out in the cosmos.
The teachings of the Course are non-dualistic teachings. If you go back into ancient China or back into India, you would have heard of Advaita Vedanta. Advaita actually means “not two,” and that is a way of talking about the fact that there is a oneness which connects us all. Even in quantum physics, they’re now talking about the quantum field, the unified field, in movies like What the Bleep Do We Know?! and so forth. They’re describing the same thing that Jesus, Buddha, and many of the mystics and saints have talked about.
It’s a unified field of awareness where everything is completely connected. Every star, galaxy, atom, and molecule are all connected, even though the ego beliefs are of space, time, and distance which makes it seem like, as a person, we’re disconnected and separate. We’re very tiny from the human perspective. A Course in Miracles is saying, no, actually you’re powerful and vast beyond measure. This is your true identity. You do have to go through a system of training your mind to let the ego go in order to be consistently aware of that high state of mind. Many of us get glimpses and we’re so grateful for them. Thank God, Hallelujah! Thank you for showing me who I really am and how it feels. The struggle comes in when we drift back into the human realm of consciousness and awareness; it’s back into separation.
So, this is a practical curriculum in training the mind to higher states of consciousness that pulls from three areas of study: psychology, Christianity, and education.
The Course is truly pointing to the experience of peace of mind. It’s not meant to be just another theology or another philosophy. It’s actually pointing to an experience, a consistent experience, of peace of mind. All the songs about peace and love, they go into talking about something that has been a goal of humanity for many centuries, and ACIM is saying here are the practical steps you can go through to reach that goal, and to know your Self as you truly are, as God created You. The Latin word for personality, “persona,” means “mask.” The personality self is like a mask that has to be seen and released so that we can experience our authentic Self.
ACIM Insights Audiobook — Our Free Gift to You
One early morning in 2015, David began recording the Text and Workbook lessons of A Course in Miracles. Every morning for one year, he was inspired to start the day in this way. From the pure mind of the Holy Spirit, words were shared at the end of the readings to illuminate and clarify the deeper meaning of the lessons. We chose the first 25 lessons with David’s insights for this audiobook because of their incredible depth and significance. We hope you receive this as a gift of support for your practice and a deeper experience of what the Course is pointing us to … that the separation from God has not occurred and we have never left our Home!
You can hear more of David Hoffmeister’s deep teachings, inspired by A Course in Miracles, from a large number of theme-based talks and gatherings from around the world. These talks are available in both audio and video formats.
David’s extensive and beautifully organized collection of audio teachings can be found at acim.me.
And to explore a rich library of David’s teachings on video at acim-online-video.net.