What is “A Course in Miracles”?

When Marianne Williamson appeared on Oprah’s show in 1992 promoting her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles, she sold out the 70,000 copy first printing in one day.

Marianne’s reflections were based upon a book called “A Course In Miracles” written by Helen Shucman, a professor of Medical Psychology at Colombia University who took ‘dictation’ from an ‘inner voice’ that she recognised as Jesus.

In the years since, A Course in Miracles has resulted in an international spiritual movement expressive in two foundations: Inner Peace, an administrative and publishing arm, and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, with thousands of study groups, hundreds of newsletters, and many teaching centres.

Helen’s Jesus told her the Bible needed correction.  It took from 1965 to 1972 to complete all Jesus had to say.  I guess Jesus had a lot to correct.  Her Jesus began by saying, “This is a course in miracles, please take notes”.

These are some of the corrections that Jesus had to make to the Bible:


God is your identity, you will be like God.

God’s name is holy, but no holier than yours.

To call upon His Name is but to call upon your own.

God Himself is incomplete without me.

God and man are not separated.  The writings teach that God and His creation are one.

If you are part of one you must be part of the other, because they are one.  The Holy Trinity is holy because it is One.  If you exclude yourself from this union, you perceive the Holy Trinity as separated.

There is no separation of God and His creation.

The Kingdom of heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him.  Heaven is neither a place nor condition.  It is merely the awareness of perfect oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else, nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within.


We do not need a saviour.  We are the sources of our own salvation.

My salvation comes from me.  Nothing outside of me can hold me back.  Within me is the world’s salvation and my own.

He will teach you how to see yourself without condemnation by learning how to look on everything without it.  Condemnation will then not be real to you, and all your errors will be forgiven.


There is no sin, it is all an illusion.

And therefore all your sins have been forgiven because they carried no effects at all.  And so they were but dreams.

Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged Cross’.  The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the Cross.  Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose.  This is not the Gospel I intended to offer you.

Helen’s Jesus did not intend to give us the Gospel we have now.  He meant to give us the pantheistic (everything is God) bible.  He meant to give us the moral relativist bible.  He meant to give us the bible which is more aligned with Hinduism than anything else.

I am amazed at how many people believe and adhere to A Course in Miracles.  I overheard a woman on a plane in the seat across from me telling her friend she believed every word in it.  Many intelligent women take the word of one woman who says she heard voices in her head over the time-tested authenticity of the Bible.

Worse yet, countless churches in America use this book in place of Bible study.  Why would they do such a thing?  According to one pastor, “My congregation likes it”.  I’m sure they do – it absolves them from sin without repentance.

The reason this book plays well for many baby boomers who left the church when they were kids and are now starting to come back is because it sounds like Christianity.  The language of the book is very Christian.  Since they have little biblical knowledge they are easily duped.  For the uninformed, it is the perfect book, combining the familiarity of Christianity with moral relativism and pantheism.  Many people today want the comfort the church can give without all the inconvenient repentance part – and certainly not the part that says there is only one way to God.

Marianne Williamson, who has fashioned herself after Helen Shucman and her Course in Miracles attempts to personalise an impersonal God who is an energy or force she calls love.

“The love in one of us is the love in all of us.  There’s actually no place where God stops and you start, and no place where you stop and I start.  Love is energy, an infinite continuum.”

In this statement, God is impersonal.  However, in other parts of the book she prays to him and states that he guides our thoughts and feelings.  Again she refers to God as impersonal and then back to personal.  She can’t seem to make up her mind.  This idea is not uncommon with the New Ager.  He may pray to a God whom he sees in his mind, who cares about him in the morning, and then whom he later tries to connect to as a God-like energy by aligning his chakras in the afternoon.  At no time does it occur to him that he is living in complete spiritual contradiction.

One of the themes of the New Age is the reference to Jesus and Christ as being separate from each other.  Jesus was one who embodied the Christ consciousness, the attitude of complete love and forgiveness, better than anyone else.  The Christ consciousness is a goal or an indwelling spirit to be obtained – not a separate God to be worshipped.

New Age writer David Spangler wrote a book titled Reflections on the Christ, in which he states that Jesus was an ordinary (though quite spiritual) human being who became a vehicle through which the Christ manifested himself for a short period of three years.

After this time, at the crucifixion, the Christ departed from the body of Jesus, having fully accomplished his mission.

The Christ is a mighty spirit being (or force) who utilised the body of Jesus in order to become a potent evolutionary influence in man’s development on Earth.  The Christ needed the body of Jesus in order to make the transfer from his own realm (that is, the spiritual realm) to the realm of Jesus (that is, the realm of matter and form).

Marianne believes this same concept: Jesus was the one who perfectly embodied the Christ (love) essence and hence is a perfect model for the rest of us.  The special thing about Jesus is that he was a perfect vehicle for the ‘Christ’.  But we can do just as he did.  Jesus fully ‘accepted’ Christ, and so can we!

The concept of a divine, or ‘Christ’ mind, is the idea that, at our core, we are not just identical, but actually the same being.  “There is only one begotten Son” doesn’t mean that someone else was it, and we’re not.  It means we’re all it….. Christ refers to the common thread of divine love that is the core and essence of every human mind”.

This of course contradicts the Bible.  “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

The underlying theme of Marianne Williamson’s belief system goes back to the Bible when Lucifer said we can become like God.  In an interview with In Touch magazine, Marianne stated: “Because the world as it is perceived by most people, is a world of finite resources… Jesus was able to do the miracles of the loaves and the fishes because he realised that he was not a being of this world.  When we realise that we are not beings of this world, we are freed from being at the effects of those laws.”

Marianne believes we have unlimited power available to us or she would not have written a book about it.  However, she has yet to duplicate the miracle Jesus performed with the loaves and the fishes.  Granted, she has sold thousands of books and made a lot of money, proving that a great source of wealth can be gained by writing about this subject.  Selling 70,000 books after one appearance on Oprah might be considered a miracle.

The poor audience on Oprah’s show ponies up hard-earned money to buy books like this, hoping they too can enjoy the benefits that Marianne promises.  Is Marianne right?  Or has she followed the philosophy of another great mind to produce her miracle – P.T. Barnum.  To paraphrase Barnum’s most notable quote, there is an infinite source of fools born every day looking for God, wealth and happiness in all the wrong places.  Marianne and others like her stand ready at the till.

by Brian Flynn – excerpted from “Running Against the Wind”

About Truth in Reality

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9 Responses to What is “A Course in Miracles”?

  1. frunobulax57 says:

    You are ONE THE MONEY with this article friend! There is no “course in miracles” and anyone who believes that Jesus spoke to mankind through the automatic writing of a psychic witch, soon finds themselves in doodoo as deep as the pile Schucman found herself.

    • Laurence says:

      I find your comment interesting. Why? Because is wreaks of judgment without application. Also, within this comment, I find a severe lack of faith just as much as this article demonstrates. It’s so unfortunate that so many believe God to be clumsy enough to create imperfect beings. Do you actually believe you can grow and evolve without trial? Do you honestly believe that learning from our mistakes (what you call sins) lacks value? Why is it that so many choose to believe that “repenting” for our “sins” is the key to salvation. Here’s a better question. Why is it that YOU believe that you have all the answers and have the authority to deem an alternate belief to yours incorrect, or dangerous? Do you not see this as an act against God? Everything that this universe is most certainly is God’s creation. I mean EVERYTHING. This includes all perspectives of God’s truth, and even yours. Is this something you really want to challenge? I wouldn’t, and I don’t. I am just as willing to accept your perspective as I am to accept one like my own. I only wanted to propose these questions to you so you can ask yourself. Unlike the egos of many, ACIM (like Taoism) doesn’t force you to practice it. For so many people in my experience, I can’t even get them to consider looking at the cover. However, our faith should keep us believing that they will find salvation. So there’s no need for downing other religious practices or attempting to disprove them. Faith trumps all.

      • Sheila says:

        What is faith ? …if it is believing something that someone has told you and you don’t have experience of it yourself …it is blind faith……..I like some of the ideas in ACIM but it seems unnecessarily complex……..and so I find that the Buddhas teachings resonate far more with me ….I was willing and open minded to look at it and great if it works for others …….we can only each find our own truth and I see it is pointless to argue or try an persuade another to follow what is right for you but not right for them…………Byron Katie work addresses all the places we feel threatened when others hold different views from ours…as well as anything else which causes discomfort ….peace to all

  2. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
    “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34

    If you believe in the Bible so strongly, I invite you to really take this scripture in and contemplate all it’s meaning. When you are done, re-read this entire article and ask yourself, “is it aligned with this scripture?” Why do we waste time attempting to define God’s truth? Personally, I am Taoist, but I do find value in the Bible’s teachings just as much as I do in the Tao Te Ching. This single scripture seems to summarize the human “struggle”. It’s as if we choose to fight reality. It’s what ACIM would call “insanity”. Do you see any other form of life questioning what is, and isn’t reality? No. Why do we?

  3. silverpen123 says:

    Thank you for sharing those details. I read part of the book 25 yrs ago. Drive me crazy. The course and its concepts contradict itself. That alone shows me that whatever it says is a lie and opposes the truth. If you try to apply logic with human nature as God created us, you come up with “what the heck?”. Helen should have proofread her work. But what do expect from a book that claims so much is an illusion while getting information from a disembodied voice in her head?
    The bible, on the other hand, is consistent with logic to see truths. Amazingly, it teaches real life in one’s higher thinking and actions of love.
    New age ideas are like a day at Luby’s. Pick what ever makes you feel good, go back for seconds and try something else. Leave your brains at the door.
    The path to the kingdom is a narrow road. There’s not much room to fudge, just like the truth.

  4. Celeste says:

    “…aligning his Chakras in the afternoon.” I don’t entirely agree with everything the Course says, however I must ask, do you know what Chakras are and what it means to align them?

  5. Sandi says:

    I use ACIM to assess my sanity. It is gibberish to me so I know I’m sane. The Bible makes perfect sense.

  6. Lewis Tagliaferre says:

    The mystery about A Course in Miracles is what makes it attractive to many people. Having studied the Course and many other holy books including the Bible, I have concluded there must be some force higher than all of them I call Most-High GOD as generator, operator, destroyer…the prime force in the universe controlling everything from atoms to galaxies. From that conclusion I infer a belief that everything from atoms to galaxies is the will of GOD…including all the various thought systems known to mankind as well as commentaries such as this on the Course. ergo Theofatalism. The conclusion is to accept what is because it must be necessary or it would be different. Whether you accept this idea or not also is the will of GOD. GOD makes atheists too. Please google my name for reference. Thanks. Lewis Tagliaferre http://www.schooloftheofatalism.org

  7. Following the mystical teachings of Jesus, the approach to God focuses on the Guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is our Inner Compass allowing the form of the path to be given moment by moment. This is a practical, direct, and single-pointed approach, as advocated by ACIM, where absolutely everything in our daily lives is used for one Purpose: forgiveness. We come to the experience of true Inner freedom in Christ. The Holy Spirit meets us where we believe we are, unwinding and taking us deeper and deeper into an expansion of the mind to the awareness that there is no separate Self. Stepping stones are Given to gently bring us along the path into the Present moment, where the idea of a path disappears in the release of all concepts and the recognition that there was never anything wrong (and no path to walk on). God’s Will is for Perfect Happiness.

    To dive deeper into an experience of prayer with Jesus and to better hear the guidance that is given, sink into The Mystical Teachings of Jesus: A Course In Miracles. I have followed and practiced ACIM for 36 years, living in the Presence of Christ. I am very grateful for this direct pathway to God’s Love.

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