I’ve been a 30-year “sometimes” student of A Course in Miracles.
I was led to it by a friend during a period of upheaval in my life when my first marriage crumbled.
For those who are not familiar, an introduction may be in order.
A Course in Miracles was “scribed” by Dr. Helen Schucman between 1965 and 1972 through a process of inner dictation. She experienced the process as one of a distinct and clear dictation from an inner voice, which earlier had identified itself to her as Jesus. Helen’s scribing of A Course in Miracles began with these words: “This is a course in miracles, please take notes.”
A Course in Miracles is a self-study spiritual thought system. The three-volume curriculum consists of a 622-page Text, a 478-page Workbook for Students with 365 lessons, and an 88-page Manual for Teachers.
The purpose of the three volumes?
To teach the way to universal love and peace, defined as remembering God.
How? By undoing guilt through forgiving others.
The Course focuses on healing relationships and making them holy. One of the things I liked best about A Course in Miracles is that it emphasizes in the very beginning of the Text that it is but one version of the universal curriculum, of which there are “many thousands.” And that appeals to my Quaker sensibilities. So, while the language of the Course uses Christian terms, it expresses a non-sectarian, non-denominational spirituality. Therefore, A Course in Miracles isn’t a religion. It’s a universal spiritual teaching.
I say I’ve been a “sometimes student” of the Course because my initial reading and work with lessons took me four years to complete. Okay, so I’m a rather slow but persistent learner.
When I completed it, I had begun a new life for myself, replete with new distractions. And while I was able to carry some of the concepts with me, the sad fact is that the most important lessons got forgotten. Like the ones about forgiveness … sigh!
And yet, there are certain quotes from the Text and Workbook that stayed with me even when I left the formal daily study. Probably, the most memorable words are the ones that make up the last three sentences of the Workbook for Students:
“You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.”
I love the idea of angels, beings whose sole purpose is nurturing souls. When I was a kid, for many years I had horrible night mares. But when I would wake up crying, I’d see the outline of an angel on the curtains of my bedroom window. Was it real? Or was it just light and shadow playing on the folds of material, interpreted by a terrified, very near-sighted little girl? Does it matter? Somehow, seeing the angel at it’s protective post, I was able to find comfort and go back to sleep. Whether the comfort was real or fabricated by an over-active mind doesn’t matter. Some part of me received it.
For the last 26 years, ever since completing the Course the first time, angels have been coming into my life.
Big ones, small ones. Some carved of wood. Some made of glass or metal. I even have one carved out of stone my mom bought for me on a trip after my graduation.
And some angels appear in flesh and blood. You folks know who you are. . . Thank you!
I didn’t set out to be an angel collector. Angels appear rather randomly in my life. Like when we bought the house in 2001. The previous owners left a tapestry of an angel hanging in one of the bedrooms. They also left a statue of an angel sitting on a bench in the back yard. The most recent addition? A tiny 2-inch angel anonymously appeared on the windowsill in my office.
In 2013, I picked up A Course in Miracles again during another period of total upheaval in my life. And worked my way through it. Again.
Make no mistake. The Course is hard!
It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
So I guess you could say I’m still a rather slow but persistent learner.
But reaching the end of the Workbook for Students and reading these words again has a much deeper meaning for me now. I’m able to recognize the blessings of the comfort of angels most days, and I’m much more open to their guidance.