Someone asked me to write an introduction to the Course. Well, here it is:
Introduction to A Course in Miracles
What is A Course in Miracles? It has been called a spiritual psychology, a spiritual mind training and a self-study course. It has no doctrine and no theology because it is designed to bring about a personal experience of conscious contact with God. It awakens the individual to a new thought system, one of enlightenment and freedom. It uses Christian vernacular yet has been compared with esoteric teachings. The author is Jesus of Nazareth. His voice is unmistakably very comforting to the reader.
When the Course speaks to you it has an immediate personal effect as you do the lessons. It opens up a new alternative that changes your thinking fundamentally. It goes beyond concepts, theology, religion and beliefs. It’s purpose is to free you from the perception of separation from God to Oneness with God. This is its only purpose. There isn’t any real problem, but you think there is, therefore, you need a solution.
The Course is a path of true healing and awakening that affects you on your deepest level. It can be helpful to anyone willing to take the time to try it and experience something different. It requires faith in something greater than your perception of yourself. It’s sole purpose is to free you from your self-imposed exile from Heaven and give you, through acts of forgiveness, your true inheritance.
I came to the Course after a period of deep depression, desperate, confused and not understanding why my anxiety would not go away with psychotherapy or hypnosis. No one seemed to know how the mind actually works or where fear comes from. That was deeply upsetting.
The Course answered these fundamental psychological questions like who am I and why am I here? Most importantly, the mind training shows me that fear isn’t real and can be released with the recognition that I made it up. It is a simple matter of constant surrender to God that brings true peace. It is a deeply personal experience that is universal. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary.
Jesus began speaking directly to me when I found it. I was so frightened by the certainty of his voice. But because he immediately began to give me guidance, I began to trust this voice inside me. I had no choice. It was that or nothing, sickness or death. I needed the answer. This voice began to encourage me to start teaching the Course publicly. I didn’t want to do this, I was terrified of speaking in public, but I could not deny him.
To teach the Course, you simply offer what it says and let it do the healing. Your personal story of awakening is always helpful. The Course is simple and easily undertaken by anyone who wants true peace and happiness. The systematic mind training of the Workbook is thorough and direct. It is designed to undo fear and ignite a personal spiritual awakening. It states that it is a celestial speedup. This means it will save you time.
I know from experience that the Course increases frequency into illumination. There are greater states of evolution beyond this Earth plane. In the first year of reading the Course, I experienced a recognition of the unity of teachings of enlightenment from all spiritual paths. Indeed, truth is true and nothing else is true.
People come to the Course from all religions and no religion. It doesn’t matter what your past beliefs or convictions are, because it is always giving you more than your past experience. You will most likely love it, hate it, deny it and run from it. It will lead you into your own denial and fear and then relieve you of it. Transformation is a relinquishment of your ideas of God, time, space, bodies, good, evil, sickness, pain, birth and death.
You don’t have to believe what the Course says, but it is helpful to be willing to let your beliefs be challenged and your thought system changed. It will confront you on a very fundamental level because it is an undoing of the self-constructed human condition of limited consciousness which constitutes you as a closed thought system.
Enlightenment is an experience, not a doctrine. Light comes into your mind when you open up to a new experience of yourself. You surrender and let go of conflict of your self-constructed egoic identity so that you can let go and find true peace. Peace is its goal. It is beyond your idea of peace. There is nothing required of you that you have this experience. In truth, you can do nothing. The mind training does everything for you. Just be open, have faith and be willing to have a new experience.
This is an uncompromising offering of a present state of total happiness that is beyond your concepts of good and evil, life and death. It is found within you because that is where you must go to release fear and to accept that love is what you are.
The introduction states that “free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”
Wisconsin Dells, 2012