In 1965, Columbia University professor Helen Schucman received teachings from a mysterious inner voice which, once dictated and transcribed, would become the 1,200 page text known as A Course in Miracles (ACIM). This teaching has changed the lives of millions of people with its special emphasis on letting go of fear, loving, and practicing forgiveness. D. Patrick Miller is a widely published writer, independent publisher, and literary consultant. This paperback is a revised edition of a volume he published in 1997. Miller has spent 23 years as a student and researcher of ACIM. At the outset, he notes:
"The Course refers to itself as a 'mind training' rather than a religious teaching in the usual sense. This unique blend of perspectives and practicum helps explain why the Course appears to be different things to different observers, and also why it is difficult even for veteran teachers to explain exactly what the Course is."
The author describes the A Course in Miracles as a self-study curriculum that presents a spiritual way of life based on contact with the Holy Spirit or "internal teacher." It mixes Christian terminology with Eastern mysticism, perennial philosophy, and modern psychological insights. The popularity and public awareness of ACIM has been given a boost by the work on attitudinal healing by Jerry Jampolsky, the bestselling books of Marianne Williamson and Iyanla Vanzant (who provides the foreword to this book), and the writings of Gary Renard. It has also made inroads in Unity churches and prisons.
Miller discusses ACIM's curriculum of love and its emphasis on such key themes as personal responsibility, the transformation of consciousness through forgiveness, the illusory nature of the ego-self, the holy relationship, and living in an illusory world. He also includes evaluations of ACIM by various spiritual writers, assessments as to whether or not it is Christian, and critiques of it by secular writers. Miller closes with a personal essay on the uniqueness of the Course in his experience. This is a substantive and illuminating overview of A Course in Miracles.