A Course in Miracles (often called just “the Course”) is a self-study course for retraining the mind that is spiritual, rather than religious, in its perspective. Although it uses Christian terminology, it is ecumenical in its approach, and its underlying ontology is reminiscent of ancient refrains, echoing the world’s most hallowed traditions. The Course is pragmatic in its method, and its aim is a peaceful mind: “Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. Peace is.” Nevertheless, the Course frequently emphasizes its simplicity.
Perhaps the most important spiritual work of the twentieth century, the Course is devoted to teachings about who we are, our relationships to God and with each other, and the actually mental nature of our bodies and the world. There are three constituent parts to the Course: The Text, a Workbook for Students, and the Manual for Teachers. The Text lays out the theoretical foundation for the metaphysical system of the Course. The Workbook contains a series of 365 Lessons to be practiced daily for the purpose of retraining the mind and healing our perception. Finally, the Manual contains information for and about advanced teachers of God.
This Original Edition faithfully reproduces the original transcript of the book that was produced as a result of the collaboration between Schucman and Thetford, whom many believe were involved with each other in the “holy relationship” described in Chapters 17 through 22 of the Text. This edition preserves the original language of the dictation of those chapters, which were addressed to the two collaborators as they worked together to produce the manuscript. Later editing of the manuscript changed the focus of these important chapters and addresses them to a solitary reader, removing the mutuality that is explicit in the original dictation.
After 1972, Thetford withdrew from further detailed editing work, and the editing process resumed. Along with changes in paragraphing, punctuation, capitalization, and section titles of the 1972 manuscript, in the absence of Thetford’s steadying influence, there was a great deal of line-by-line editing. In addition, about one-fifth of the material in the first five chapters was removed. Finally, a new section, the Clarification of Terms, was added. The resulting edition, was published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
In this Original Edition, we have taken great care in dealing with the editorial issues presented by the original typed manuscript. Our focus has been upon reproducing as nearly as possible the content as it was originally given to Schucman and Thetford.