Statement from Our Founder
Our conviction is that A Course in Miracles contains untold benefits for its students. The purpose of the Circle is to help students realize those benefits. We do this by drawing out the author's intent in the Course's words, helping students understand what the Course teaches and how it asks us to live it. We see the Course as a genuine spiritual program, designed to lead us step-by-step to the lofty heights of which it speaks. If we simply follow its instructions, we will become happier, more loving and forgiving people, well on our way to complete liberation. Our materials at the Circle are meant to help the student do just that: to follow the Course's guidance and thereby experience its promises.
We believe that the coming of A Course in Miracles was an event of great significance for our world. The Course came here for a purpose. Our aim is to help it achieve this purpose. Here in the Course's initial decades, it is crucial that the Course get started on the right foot. We are committed to doing everything we can to see that the Course's direction in the world will reflect the author's real intent. Our ultimate aim is to help a genuine spiritual tradition develop around the Course, one in which teachers, students, healers, and therapists all help each other follow this radical path in the way the Course has laid down. If this can happen, then one day this tradition could be a birthing place for masses of spiritually advanced people and therefore a source of upliftment for the world.
We believe we are contributing to this future by helping one Course student at a time. It is our sincere hope that we can help you along your way.
To discern the author's vision of A Course in Miracles and manifest that in our lives, in the lives of students, and in the world.
This mission has four aspects:
- To faithfully discern the author's vision of A Course in Miracles.
In interpreting the Course, we strive for total fidelity to its words and the meanings they express. We thereby seek to discover the Course as the author saw it.
- To be an instrument in Jesus' plan to manifest his vision of the Course in the lives of students and in the world.
We consider this to be Jesus' organization and therefore we attempt to follow his guidance in all we do. Our goal is to help students understand, as well as discern for themselves, the Course's thought system as he intended, and use it as he meant it to be used–as a literal program in spiritual awakening. Through doing so, we hope to help ground in the world the intended way of doing the Course, here at the beginning of its history.
- To help spark an enduring tradition based entirely on students joining together in doing the Course as the author envisioned.
We have a vision of local Course support systems composed of teachers, students, healers, and groups, all there to support one another in making full use of the Course. These support systems, as they continue and multiply, will together comprise an enduring spiritual tradition, dedicated solely to doing the Course as the author intended. Our goal is to help spark this tradition, and to assist others in doing the same.
- To become an embodiment, a birthplace of this enduring spiritual tradition.
To help spark this tradition, we must first become a model for it ourselves. This requires that we at the Circle follow the Course as our individual path; that we ourselves learn forgiveness through its program. It requires that we join with each other in a group holy relationship dedicated to the common goal of awakening through the Course. It also requires that we cultivate a local support system here in Sedona, and that we have a facility where others could join with us in learning this approach to the Course. Through all of this we hope to become a seed for an ongoing spiritual tradition based on A Course in Miracles.
A Complete Statement of Our Vision
For an expanded statement of our vision for the Circle and for the Course in the world, see the article How Can A Course in Miracles Accomplish Its Purpose?
History of the Circle
The Circle initially grew out of Robert Perry's teaching work with the Course. In the mid- to late-80's Robert taught at Miracle Distribution Center in Southern California. During this time, Robert felt he received guidance to start a Course center in Arizona, one that would help students with every aspect of the Course, with the teaching, with the practice, and with Course-based healing. As a step towards this eventuality, in 1991 Robert Perry Publishing was formed, with the help of Susan Perry, who was instrumental throughout the Circle's formative years. With it began the newsletter A Better Way and a series of booklets on Course themes. Then, in 1993, the Circle of Atonement was established as a nonprofit organization. Since then, we have slowly expanded our services and outreach, and have taken on a number of other teachers. Allen Watson joined us from New Jersey in 1993, Greg Mackie from Oregon in 1997 and Nicola Perry from England in 2001.