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A Course in Miracles (the "Course") was first published in book form in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace ("FIP"). The Course consists of three main parts: the Text, the Workbook for Students and the Manual for Teachers, with a brief additional section titled Clarification of Terms.
A Course in Miracles is currently published by the Foundation For Inner Peace under license from the Foundation for A Course In Miracles ("FACIM"), the owner of the copyright for certain parts of the material. FACIM has also registered a federal trademark for the designation "A Course In Miracles." More than 1.3 million copies of A Course in Miracles have been printed and sold since 1976.
According to its own plain and unambiguous statements, the words of A Course in Miracles are the words of Jesus Christ communicated through the united efforts of Helen Schucman and William Thetford. The story of the scribing of A Course in Miracles is contained in abridged form in the Preface to the Second Edition and in greater detail in other publications.One such account is found in Journey Without Distance by Robert Skutch, one of the original Directors of FIP. Skutch describes how, in the midst of an academic environment of savage competition and negative attitudes, Dr. William Thetford decided he had had enough and declared to his colleague, Dr. Helen Schucman, "There must be another way, and I'm determined to find it." Schucman vowed to help him.
What ensued was a dramatic progression of waking dreams for Schucman, which culminated in her experiencing a voice which spoke clearly in her mind. With Thetford's support and assistance in transcribing her shorthand notes, Schucman took down, over a period of seven years, some 1,500 typewritten pages which became A Course in Miracles.
Schucman did not claim to be the author of the material herself. As she often explained, she heard what she called a kind of "inner dictation," and she felt compelled to write it down, even though at times she disagreed with the content and resisted the process. The voice which spoke through Helen clearly identified himself as Jesus. The Course itself states, however, that it is not necessary to accept Jesus as your teacher: "It is possible to read his words and benefit from them without accepting him into your life." (From the "Manual for Teachers").
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