A Course in Miracles
Text Study Group
If you are student of Course and have a foundation of its material, you can scroll down to the section “THE ACIM TEXT STUDY GROUP.” If you are new to the Course, please read on.
A Course in Miracles is a complete spiritual path that provides a roadmap and journey back to God. The “Course,” offers radical transformative teachings that provide a step-by-step way to applying those teachings to assist us on our spiritual journey. A journey to inner peace, love, forgiveness and our return home to God. These teachings help us to remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence in our lives by letting go of fear, anger, judgment and guilt allowing us to choose true forgiveness.
A Course in Miracles on one level, is a restatement of the core of wisdom found in every major world religion. The course does contain some religious terminology, Eastern mysticism and modern psychology. However, the Course is a spiritual teaching rather than a religion. The Course makes no claim of being “the only way,” but clearly states that it is only one of many thousands of forms of “the universal course” that can be used for personal transformation.
The language of A Course in Miracles is extraordinarily rich and profound. Many sections of the Text and Workbook are very poetic and written in blank verse, and have led some people to compare the Course with some of the world’s great literature. The text and language can be at times, head scratching, and triggering because of the way it is written. This can frustrate many who begin the journey and path with the Course and they will simply put it aside. The thought system of the Course is intellectually sophisticated, and combines spiritual inspiration with deep psychological understanding of such phenomena as belief and defense systems, perception and identity.
However, A Course in Miracles is also very practical. The daily Workbook lessons provide a systematic, step-by-step approach by which one can apply the principles of the Course. The lessons do not require a lot of time nor long practice periods, but they do require a willingness to question every value one holds as to what the world is all about, and the willingness to see things differently–through the eyes of God.
A Course in Miracles teaches that there are only two basic thought systems, one of “perception” and the other of “knowledge.” The thought system of perception is inherently illusory because it is based upon interpretation, not on fact. It is founded on our belief in our separation from God and from one another. From this flows a belief in evil, sin, guilt, fear, and scarcity. It is a world of appearances, of birth and death, of time and constant change. This thought system of perception is what the Course calls the ego, which is actually a set of beliefs that center around the body as our reality and the limit of our being.
The world of knowledge, on the other hand, is truth. The Course teaches that the real world, which reflects truth, can be seen only through spiritual vision, and not through the body’s eyes. The world of knowledge is one of unity, love, sinlessness and abundance. The Course views reality as composed only of God’s thoughts, which are loving, constant, timeless and eternal. evil, sin and guilt are regarded as misperceptions. Sin is regarded as lack of love, or as a mistake calling for correction and love, rather than for guilt and punishment.
Once we are caught in the world of perception, or the ego’s thought system, it is as though we were caught in a dream. In order to awaken to reality, it is necessary to reverse our thinking and correct our mistakes. We need help to awaken from the dream because our physical senses accept only that information which reinforces our belief in the reality of the dream. A Course in Miracles offers us an avenue of awakening by showing us that our usual perception and sense of identity are distorted. It offers us a way of correcting these distortions so that we can see ourselves and the world more clearly. This change in perception is what the Course means by a “miracle.”
Unlike some other thought systems, A Course in Miracles does not suggest withdrawal from the world. It teaches that our relationships offer us unique and valuable opportunities for learning, awakening and healing. The Course offers a variety of approaches by which relationships based on fear and lack can be healed. Forgiveness of ourselves and others provides the means by which we can use relationships to let go of the past with its burden of guilt and grievances. In the context of the Course, “forgiveness” means recognizing that what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. Forgiveness does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees that there was no sin. Forgiveness shows us only the extensions of love or the calls for love, not the attack or hate. By changing our perception in this way, we can remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which the Course says is our natural inheritance.
A goal of A Course in Miracles is to train us to listen to God’s voice, the Holy Spirit. This extension of God’s mind serves as our inner guide, who will direct our thoughts, telling us exactly what to do, and directing all our efforts. To be truly effective, we must learn to rely on our own internal teacher rather than looking for help outside ourselves. We are thus guided to discover our own God-given function.
As we are led from the world of the ego to the world of love, our perception of ourselves as separated persons is corrected, and we remember our higher, or true Self. We remember we were created by God as His Child, and we are enabled to accept the Christ within, and to see with Christ’s vision. We recognize our oneness with God, our Self, and all our brothers, and are able, finally, to “teach only love,” which is our true function as Children of God.
WHO WROTE THE COURSE?
A Course in Miracles was received and scribed by Helen Schucman through an inner voice that came to her via inner dictation. The inner voice identified itself as Jesus. Helen was a research psychologist at Columbia Medical Center in New York City. The Course was published in 1975 and is written in 27 languages. We will learn more about Helen, her story, the Courses scribing and journey during the ACIM Intro class.
THE ACIM TEXT STUDY GROUP
When you we become a student of the Course, it becomes a life long journey in studying and practicing its wisdom, lessons and messages to freeing the mind of the ego. I have been a student of the Course for over 10 years and I am still practicing Jesus’ teachings in every moment.
This text study group will be a 1-2 year process for those that hang in there. The ego will see this as a long, torturous endeavor and task. Take a moment to feel what comes up when read the time frame. What excuses will you come up? What fear comes forward? This work is not a quick fix because we have had many lifetimes of programming that need to be dismantled. This is a course in mind training and a step-by-step spiritual approach and practice to break free from the ego’s thought system of fear, anger, sin and judgment and return to our True Nature and Self which is Love.
The Text Study Group will be broken up into three sections:
ACIM More than An Intro
The text study group will start with and introduction and overview of the Course. This will enable new and seasoned students of the Course to have some clarity on the Courses background, terms, characters Jesus brings forward, and spiritual practices this version provides. We will go over some brief guidelines for the class and participants. This introduction will be 8 weeks, meeting once a week.
Main Text Study
After the Introduction, we then begin to dive into the Main Text body of the material. You will be given specific sections to read each week so that when we meet, we will go over those sections that you studied. In class, I will share an over view of those sections, answer any questions, engage in a couple in class exercises and have open free time to discuss anything that came forward for you during class. Because the Main Text is the longest and most important, we will be taking approximately 52 weeks to move through this.
Workbook Lessons - 365 Days/1 Year
After we have completed the Main Text, we will then move on to the Workbook Lessons. I personally have experience the magic and transformation practicing these lessons in my life. This section contains 365 lessons studied and practiced once a day. We will meet once a week to go over that weeks lessons and I will do a short video on each lesson per day as an overview for the daily lesson. You will have access to the daily videos on the FaceBook page, or other platform.
We will be using and studying the edition called “A Course in Miracles - Complete and Annotated Edition” Edited by Robert Perry, founder of the Circle of Attonement. There are several version in print and many current students have the FIP (blue book) version which can be used, but you will be challenged in following along with the group study and handouts. To fully participate, I would suggest getting the CAE edition that has the purple cover.
You can purchase a copy of the Complete and Annotated edition here for $29
This copy of the Course includes the main text, all 365 lessons, special cameos of Helen Schucman’s journey in writing the course and the manual for teachers. The Complete and Annotated Edition (CE) aims to restore the material that was lost. It was created by going back to Course scribe Helen Schucman's shorthand Notes and editing afresh, retaining the original words to the maximum degree possible. By going back to the words Helen heard in her mind and wrote down in her notebooks, the CE brings you into a more direct encounter with the power of those words. It includes, either in its main body or in appendices, those approximately forty-five thousand words that had been removed in the original published edition.
The teaching in this edition does not contradict teaching found in other editions of A Course in Miracles. However, we believe this edition will allow the Course's true meaning and character to shine through more clearly and enable you to better see the Course for what it is, relate to it as it is, and apply its profound truths to your life.
- Circle of Attonement
WHEN DO WE MEET?
Start date for the ACIM text study group will begin the week of JANUARY 8, 2024
The study group will meet once a week for approximately 1-2 hours. If over 2 hours, we will have a small break included. The schedule will be determined on how many participants we have and how many can show up on a specific day and time. This will be worked out by the end of December. I am looking at doing these classes in the evening as this seems to be a time when everyone can join.
You will be added to a messenger and FaceBook group dedicated to our study group so that you may interact, share, practice and ask questions, as well as scheduling.
ENERGY EXCHANGE: This is a FREE study Group. The only cost is your participation each week and purchasing “A Course in Miracles - Complete and Annotated Edition”
Please fill out the registration form below. I will contact you with further instructions and place you in the FaceBook messenger and FaceBook group page.