PathMap FAQ

Q: What is the PathMap?

A: The PathMap is a step-by-step map for walking the spiritual path of A Course in Miracles, a map which includes extensive resources to help you every step of the way. It is intended to be a guide on the journey, to help you walk the Course's path more effectively so you can more quickly become the joyous miracle worker the Course aims to produce.

Q: What are the benefits of doing the PathMap?

A: When you are on a journey, it is always helpful to have a map of the terrain, a guide to lead you through it, and ample provisions along the way. This is what the PathMap provides: a comprehensive, detailed map of the way the Course would have us travel; step-by-step guidance for each leg of the journey; and a large store of materials that will give you the support and spiritual nourishment you need to keep moving forward to your destination.

Q: Is the PathMap intended to be a replacement for the Course, or should I do both?

A: The PathMap is absolutely not intended to be a replacement for the Course. The Course is the territory; the PathMap is a guide through that territory. You couldn't do the PathMap without doing the Course, because the PathMap is designed to be an aid in doing the Course.

Q: Why do I need to do the PathMap? Can't I just use the resources on the Circle's website without it?

A: Of course, just using the resources on the Circle's website is very helpful. However, the PathMap provides a means to work through those resources in a systematic, focused way; you will have a well-marked trail to walk. The PathMap also enables you to measure your progress through checking off things you have completed. Signing up for the Circle Course Community and the PathMap enables you to join a community of like-minded people who are walking the same path, and also gives you more access to the guidance of the Circle's teachers. Finally, the PathMap includes materials that are not available on the regular Circle website.

Q: How can I find time to do the PathMap between my reading of the Text and my Workbook practice?

A: You can go through the PathMap at your own pace, so you can fit it into your busy schedule. People make time for things that give them real benefits. If you try out the PathMap and find that it really helps you walk the Course's path-even making your Text reading and Workbook practice more effective-you will naturally find more time to use it.

Q: How much time will it take me to go through the PathMap? Can I go through it in a year?

A: How much time the PathMap takes depends on how quickly you choose to do it. Again, you can go at your own pace. But given how comprehensive the PathMap is and how many resources are available, we think it is unrealistic to try to get through it in a year. It is better to slow down and really absorb the material than to try to rush through it.

Q: Why is the PathMap arranged in terms of "study," "practice," and "extension"?

A: We believe that study, practice, and extension are the three main aspects of the Course's path, the three main legs of the journey. When we study the teaching, the Course's thought system enters our minds for the first time. When we practice as the Course directs us to do (especially in the Workbook), the Course's thought system enters our minds more deeply. Finally, when we are extending healed perception to others as miracle workers, the Course's thought system gets its final reinforcement in our minds; extension is what makes our learning complete.

Q: The PathMap seems to be a lot of work. Why should I do it when I can just live the Course?

A: Walking the path as the Course's author has set it out is living the Course. The PathMap is a way to help you live the Course. It does take some time and effort, but everything worthwhile does. The Course itself says that we must "make the effort to learn" (T-7.IV.3:5). And the rewards the Course promises to those who really do it as instructed are worth it.

Q: The PathMap seems so intellectual. Why go on such an impractical head trip?

A: Intellectual study is a part of any course. If you wish to become a doctor, studying written works on medicine is the foundation for being able to practice medicine and really extend healing to others. It is the same with the Course. Intellectual study of the Course is the foundation for Course practice and the extension of healing miracles to others. Intellectual study of the Course is therefore highly practical, and the PathMap offers you resources to make that study more practical than ever.

Q: I have been doing the Course for years now. I am ready to "extend." Do I have to start with the "study"?

A: You may start anywhere on the PathMap you like, so if you'd like to start with the "extension" sections, go right ahead. However, we do recommend that wherever you start, you eventually cover every area in the PathMap, including the study area. We have found that even experienced Course students learn a lot that they didn't know before by going through our study materials.

Q: How do I know what parts of the PathMap to focus on and what resources to use?

A: You can start the PathMap anywhere you like and go through it in any order you choose. A questionnaire is provided to help you discern your needs. You may want to ask the Holy Spirit which specific areas to work on and which specific resources to use. You might also ask one of the Circle teachers or other members of the Circle Course Community for guidance. You can even (for an additional fee) schedule a half-hour consultation with Robert or Greg. Click here for details.

Q: What do I do if I have difficulties with the PathMap?

A: The PathMap is part of the Circle Course Community, so you will have plenty of support on your journey. You will be able to ask Circle teachers Robert Perry and Greg Mackie for help, and also be able to communicate with others in the community, including bloggers with experience on the path.

Q: Can I share the PathMap with others in my study group?

A: While certainly you may tell people in your study group about the PathMap and the benefits you are receiving from it, we ask that you don't copy the PathMap or associated materials to share with others. Instead, invite them to go to the Circle of Atonement's website and join the Circle Course Community themselves, so they will have access to the PathMap.

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This material is copyrighted by the Circle of Atonement, P.O. Box 4238, W. Sedona, AZ 86340. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed are the personal interpretation and understanding of the author(s).