People ask sometimes, who actually wrote A Course in Miracles. Jesus? Helen Schucman? Jesus using Helen as a scribe? Helen using Jesus as a crutch?
The question is important, not because there is a single right answer - there is not - but because of what it reveals about the mind which cares to ask it.
When we ask who wrote A Course in Miracles, we bear witness to what we hope is true about Jesus and his so-called Course and what we fear is true.
The only useful answer to who is the author of A Course in Miracles is the answer you give. When you give it - when you become responsible for it, when you accept it - when you let it speak into your heart and mind - then it will teach you how to bring the Course into application in your life.
Application will teach you to work miracles, and the miracles will be the proof the Course works. Then the question of authorship will no longer be of interest. Who cares who made the aspirin that relieves you of the headache? You no longer have a headache.
On some level, it was always like this when it came to Jesus. The Jewish peasants whose villages he visited were not looking for a new religion. They did not want to debate the politics of imperialism. You can’t eat theology.
Then, as now, they needed results. Can you help my father who is blind? My brother who wanders among the tombstones wailing and gnashing his teeth? My sister has not stopped crying since her child died. What can you do?
I think we have to be clear about this. Whatever Jesus was doing back then, the reason we can even talk about it today is because it worked. He met people where they were, and he helped them solve the very real problems with which they struggled.
It wasn't just a message he carried. It was the works he did. The works made the message real, and the message made the works possible. When he said what I do, you can do, and greater things beside, he wasn't stunting. He meant it.
And the crucifixion proved it, right? Jesus died on a cross outside Jerusalem and his body was eaten by dogs. What those early followers learned was that Jesus's body wasn't the point. He was dead, but they were not. The work of love - healing the sick, sharing a table, refusing conflict - went on. Just like he said it would.
It was almost as if God had only one Child, and loved that Child unconditionally, and so that Child could only love and create as God loved and created.
I doubt anybody in those days put it exactly like this but they could have:
Nothing real can be thratened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God (T-in.2:2-4).
Our problems are not the problems of Jewish peasants living under the brutally stupid sword of Roman imperialism. Our context is so different as to make the analogy ridiculous.
We do need help, right?
We are confused about, say, gun violence - why does it happen? Is there not another way?
We know where our next meal will come from but we also know that food insecurity is real for many of our brothers and sisters, some of whom live in our city or town. Is there not a way for them to have their bread and know they will have it tomorrow as well?
We are sad and lonely and in pain and we can't always say why. We seem to have so much - hospitals, grocery stores, voting booths. Televisions and dogs and twelve-string guitars. Why does life seem empty sometimes? The world bled out of color?
I didn't pick up A Course in Miracles because I was intellectually curious about gnosticism or longed for a Christian nonduality or because I fantasized about becoming a rich and famous New Age Lightbringer.
I picked up ACIM because I was desperate.
I am holding it still because it works.
To ask the question who wrote A Course in Miracles is to take seriously - and become responsible for - our personal and collective longing for salvation.
Whatever answer we give is a light that makes the next step or two possible. It is always enough.
A Course in Miracles heals the misconception that you and I are bodies. It corrects the error that mind can be contained by a body, rather than the other way around. The body and the world are not denied; they are not simply no longer accepted as the site of identity. Cause and effect are reversed.
This is a lesson that we learn in bodies in the world.
The effect of the lesson - the proof that it works - is our shared happiness. We grow together in a natural and serious happiness that is sustainable and not contingent.
Given what we are in truth, it cannot be otherwise.
I think Jesus was trying - guided by the Law and the Prophets as he understood and experienced them - to "speak to the weary a word that will rouse them," where the word was basically "God is Love and Love holds everything."
And I think he is still doing that in many ways and forms, one of which happens to be A Course in Miracles, for which I am most grateful.
Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing with me. Truly, without you, it would not mean a thing.
I believe Helen was channeled. I also believe that Jesus is the author. I came home from my first CIM meeting and told my husband that I found the answer to all of our unanswered questions and I had many. I couldn't get enough of it. You know the truth when you hear it. So eloquently written I am still in awe of it.
Great post Sean. I don't think I even knew or cared who wrote it or where it came from when I first read it, I just felt for the first time I was reading the Truth. And you know what, I still feel the same all these years on. Only now it is not simply that it makes perfect sense to me on an intellectual level I have experienced the truth of it over and over again at a heart level.
This is the point though isn't it, we need to experiment with it, we have to do the work, as it is only in experiencing of it that the validation comes. Over and over I get to experience the truth of it for real, and with each experience the Love gets deeper, stronger and truly known. And of course as we get results we practice it more and more, then we are opened to more Love, more Truth.
It is such a gift, just as you are, so thank you for sharing this post with us all. Much Love as Always Suzy.