ACIM History & Issues

  • The Earlier Versions and the Editing of A Course in Miracles This article details the long and complicated process by which Helen Schucman's original notes became the published Course we are all familiar with. Essential reading for any Course student.
  • Court Transcript of Judge Sweet's Verdict Court Transcript of Judge Sweet's Verdict concerning voiding the copyright of A Course in Miracles
  • This Baby is too Precious to Throw Out This article addresses the idea that maybe all the mess over the Course's copyright means that we should dispense with the book and its words.
  • And Now It Belongs to the World On May 28, 2004, the copyright on A Course in Miracles passed away forever. Robert has written an opinion piece on this important event. It begins with the latest details on the copyright situation and moves into an exploration of what freedom from copyright means for the future of the Course.
  • Copyright Decision: What Does the Verdict Mean? On October 24, 2003, the copyright on A Course in Miracles was ruled to be invalid. This article explains the reasons given by the judge in rendering that verdict.
  • The Copyright Infrastructure This article is a brief but excellent summary of the history of the Course copyright controversy from 1992 to January of 2004.
  • On the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Scribing of A Course in Miracles Fifty years ago today, on October 21, 1965, the scribing of A Course in Miracles began. Students of the Course know the familiar story: one evening, while recording some her thoughts in a notebook, the voice that Helen Schucman had been hearing sporadically since that summer gave her a definite instruction: "This is a course in miracles. Please take notes." Helen then called Bill Thetford in a panic, wondering what she should do. Bill wisely suggested she try to write more and see what happened. Helen then received a mental explanation in which she was told that she had agreed before coming into this life to take down A Course in Miracles as part of a larger "celestial speed-up." Still not satisfied, she asked the voice, "Why me?...I'm just about as poor a choice as you could make." The voice replied, "On the contrary, you are an excellent choice, and for a very simple reason. You will do it."
  • What If Jesus Really Did Write This? This is a lightly edited version of a talk Robert gave at the 2007 ACIM Conference in San Francisco. Robert presents his reasons for believing that Jesus really did write A Course in Miracles, and explores the huge implications of that amazing claim.
  • Three Aspects of Our Relationship With God Robert explores Helen Schucman's subway vision, which he says contains three aspects of our relationship with God, aspects which we all long for, but which often seem incompatible with each other.
  • Helen and Bill's Joining: A Window onto the Heart of A Course in Miracles What is the heart of the Course? What is the point at which it all comes together. This article views Helen and Bill's joining in "a better way" as that point, as the example of what the Course is trying to have happen in the lives of all of its students.
  • "This Is My True Church" Are we supposed to actually go out and help people, or does that go against the nature of the Course? To answer that question, this article draws on specific examples where the author of the Course told Helen and Bill how to apply his teachings in real-life situations.
  • Being Truly Helpful Robert draws out the meaning of the famous prayer which begins "I am here only to be truly helpful," by looking at its original context. The prayer was initially given to Bill Thetford to use at a conference on rehabilitation.
  • Who Wrote A Course in Miracles? Part I The first part of a two-part series in which Robert Perry presents his case for Jesus' authorship of the Course, based on what the Course itself says as well as on personal guidance to Helen and Bill documented in Ken Wapnick's Absence from Felicity. Part I covers the relevance of the issue of the Course's authorship, and discusses the role of Jesus in its scribing.
  • Who Wrote A Course in Miracles? Part II The second part of a two-part series in which Robert Perry presents his case for Jesus' authorship of the Course, based on what the Course itself says as well as on personal guidance to Helen and Bill documented in Ken Wapnick's Absence from Felicity. Part I covers the relevance of the issue of the Course's authorship, and discusses the role of Jesus in its scribing.
  • Here I Am, Lord In this article Robert looks at Jesus giving Bill Thetford the prayer "Here I am, Lord," and shows how this prayer was specifically designed to counteract Bill's particular defenses, with intended miraculous results.

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  • My Response to Bruce MacDonald's Views on the Course Robert responds to Bruce MacDonald's piece in which his guides criticize the Course. Robert says that their inadequate knowledge and understanding of the Course means that their views on the Course shouldn't carry any weight.
  • My Response to Bruce MacDonald's Views on the Course Robert responds to Bruce MacDonald's piece in which his guides criticize the Course. Robert says that their inadequate knowledge and understanding of the Course means that their views on the Course shouldn't carry any weight.
  • Never Correct a Brother's Error? The "Correction of Error" section in the Text (T-9.III) is a section that confounds many Course students. It is often taken to say that you should never correct a brother's error at any time for any reason. But does this section really say that? Greg examines the section carefully and draws from other Course material—especially the sections immediately following—to come up with an answer that may surprise you.
  • Interpretation and the Future of the Course Course students tend to have an uneasy relationship with the whole idea of interpreting the Course, yet the issue of interpretation is crucial, for how we interpret the Course determines our whole relationship with it. There are many perspectives on how to interpret the Course but the key question is "What did Jesus think about interpretation?" Robert offers an answer to that question based on the Course material itself, an answer that provides a whole new vision of Course interpretation.
  • What Does It Mean to Be in the Present? The idea of being in the present is extremely popular in spiritual circles. When people speak of being in the present, they often mean that we must get in touch with the immediate experience of our physical world, to "lose your mind and come to your senses." But is this what the Course means when it speaks of being in the present? Or is it pointing to something else entirely?
  • What Was Helen's Interpretation of the Course? In a 2007 interview, Judith Skutch-Whitson says that Helen Schucman was both her teacher and Ken Wapnick's teacher, and implies that Ken carries Helen's pure understanding of the Course to the world today. Such a story, coming from someone who was there, exerts a powerful effect on the minds of students. But does this story hold up? What was Helen's interpretation of the Course? And was it the same as what Ken teaches now? Finally, how do we align ourselves with the pure beginnings of A Course in Miracles?
  • We Can Be Wrong The Circle’s views can sound ironclad, as if we believe our interpretations to be infallible. Yet can any interpretation be perfect? In this article, Robert shares some of his changes of mind along the way, as well as his views on the enterprise of interpreting the Course.
  • "Do You Prefer That You Be Right or Happy?": Does This Line Force Us to Choose Between Rightness and Happiness? This oft-quoted Course line is usually taken to mean that we must give up all desire to be right if we want to be happy. But is this really what it means? This article takes a fresh look at this line within its original context in the Course, a context which reveals that rightness and happiness are not mutually exclusive. Then the article discusses the practical impact of how we interpret this line.
  • Does the Holy Spirit Actually Do Things in the World? This article is an excerpt from the book One Course, Two Visions, which compares the views of the Circle of Atonement and Ken Wapnick. Does God not even know about the separation (as Wapnick teaches), in which case the Holy Spirit is just an illusory split-off part of our own minds, a metaphorical symbol for the memory of God that does not have a plan or actively help us in any way? Or did God actively respond to the separation by creating the Holy Spirit (as the Circle teaches), a loving Being Who literally has a plan for the world's salvation and helps us bring that plan to fruition by actively guiding our thoughts, words, and actions if we will let Him?
  • The Relationship Between the Circle's Teachings and the Teachings Of Ken Wapnick This is a response to frequent requests for a comparison of our views of the Course with Ken Wapnick's. Written primarily by Robert Perry, with a section by Greg Mackie, it expresses the views held by all the writers and teachers at the Circle of Atonement.

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  • Above the battleground: Applying the Course to the Iraq War Greg says, "Forgiveness entails looking upon all of the conflict in our world from a higher vantage point: a place above the battleground. With the Holy Spirit's help, we can look upon the Iraq war with Christ's vision." The article includes a lengthy visualization for rising above the battleground, written by Robert Perry.
  • Above the battleground: Our thoughts on the September 11 terrorist attack We at the Circle have, like everyone else, been deeply shocked and disturbed by the events of September 11. Just as others are, we are striving to see these events from the perspective of our particular spiritual tradition. As we reflect on how our path would ask us to respond, one thing keeps recurring to us: peace. We can have peace in our minds, even while our eyes look on tragedy in the world. It is possible to lift our minds above the battleground, into the peace of God, and look on the situation from that serene vantage point. The Course may provide its own philosophical justification for being at peace in the face of adversity, but it is part of our common religious heritage to believe in the peace of God which passeth understanding. Surely that peace is available to us now, even if our understanding may not see how that can be.

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