A Course in Miracles and Kabbalah

A Course in Miracles teaches that healing of relationships and the world is a miraculous process. The goal of the Course, however, is a bit more ambitious than simply changing our beliefs and perceptions.

The Course calls itself an inspired scripture, and it assigns itself a higher authority than the Bible. It asks its students to follow it as the basis for their spiritual lives.

For those who have not been exposed to kabbalah, a course in miracles walking through the religion and spirituality section of any bookstore can be disquieting. So many popular books offer simplistic thought systems and few if any practices. Yet, A Course in Miracles seems to stand out from the rest. It offers a sophisticated version of perennial philosophy and perennial psychology, and also appears to have developed a comprehensive set of practices that are far from minimal.

A Course in Miracles (or ACIM) is a self-study curriculum that consists of a 669 page Text, 466 page Workbook with 365 daily lessons, and 92 page Teacher's Manual. It is a non-denominational spiritual teaching that was supposedly channeled by Helen Schucman, a psychologist at Columbia University, through a process of inner dictation during 1965 and 1972.

The Course describes itself as a "psychological teaching" and a "spiritual discipline." It does not claim to be the only way to God, but states that it will teach "the universal truth of love."

In its ecumenical nature, the Course incorporates elements of most major world religions, including Christianity. It teaches that the physical universe is an illusion created by the ego. However, unlike other religious traditions, the Course does not view the ego as an evil entity and instead calls it a "psychological mechanism."

Because of its ecumenical nature and the fact that it is presented as a psychology, some have confused the Course with New Age teachings. Others have mistakenly included it with what Aldous Huxley called the perennial philosophy, a catch-all term that encompasses most of the world's mystical traditions.

This does a serious disservice to the Course because it would blur the distinction between it and other spiritualities. Furthermore, it obscures what makes the Course unique: its profound and sophisticated psychological principle that is integrated with a pure non-dualistic metaphysics.

Because of its Christian vocabulary and attempts to sound Christian, the Course has been used to promote a variety of dangerous beliefs. This has included the false idea that Jesus was its author, that a literal resurrection will occur, and that a person's eternal destiny can be determined by their birth date.
Lessons 1 & 2

A cursory glance through the religion and spirituality section of any bookstore is enough to tell you that many books claim to offer a path to inner peace and personal transformation. The problem is that most of these authors offer simplistic thought systems and very little in the way of authentic practices. Superficiality sells.

Thankfully, A Course in Miracles does not fall into this category. This is because it is not a religious teaching and, unlike most religious teachings, does not attempt to change the beliefs, morals, or behavior of its students. Instead, the goal of ACIM is to change the ways in which our minds work.

This can be achieved through the daily practice of the lessons contained in the book. These lessons are designed to help us to accept psychic guidance and to change our perception of the world around us. By changing our perception of the world, we can begin to see the world as it truly is and experience peace and joy.

To this end, the lesson plans in A Course in Miracles encourage us to look at the world in a different way, through God’s eyes. They are not only designed to teach us how to do this, but they also provide a variety of tools we can use to help us in our daily lives.

Another tool that A Course in Miracles offers is a form of prayer that helps us to release our fear and pain. It is a non-judgmental form of prayer that allows us to release our fears and doubts and receive God’s love and forgiveness. In doing this, we can become one with the Universe.

In addition to its use of prayer, A Course in Miracles provides numerous meditation exercises that can be used to change our beliefs and perceptions. Its lessons also encourage us to view the world through a non-judgmental lens, which is an essential aspect of the spiritual path. The Course’s message is a restatement of the core wisdom found in all world religions, and it is ecumenical in nature.
Lesson 3

Kabbalah is a complex system of mystical teachings, with its own vocabulary and symbols. It has been referred to as an esoteric science of the universe, a spiritual discipline that seeks to help us understand the world around us. It provides an explanation of the relationship between the physical and spiritual dimensions of reality. It also offers guidance on the path to achieving spiritual transformation. Its major topics include the study of the Sefirot, mystical techniques, reincarnation and demonology.

In its most basic form, kabbalah is a systematic way of thinking about the nature of the universe and the human connection to it. It seeks to give a new meaning to life, beyond the humdrum routine of work and sleep. It is a method of self-discovery that can provide profound spiritual insights and change the way we live. It has many names, including moksha, nirvana, satori or liberation.

A Course in Miracles is a set of books that claim to offer a universal spiritual path that transcends religion. It contains a 669-page Text that describes the theoretical foundation of its thought system, and a 488-page Workbook for Students, which contains 365 daily lessons designed to train the mind along the lines established by the Text. It is also accompanied by a 92-page Manual for Teachers, which clarifies some of the terms used in the Workbook and answers questions frequently asked by students.

Its ecumenical character and its rejection of dogmatic beliefs make it quite distinct among the world's religious and spiritual paths. Nevertheless, some attempt to include the Course within the broad category of what Aldous Huxley called "the perennial philosophy," and this does the Course a serious disservice.

The primary goal of the Course is to correct the mistaken belief that humans are separate from God. It does this by teaching that love is the only proper response to fear, and that forgiveness is the only means of changing the world.

The author of A Course in Miracles was a psychologist named Helen Schucman. She was raised agnostic and taught psychology at Columbia University from 1958 through 1976. She claimed that the text of the Course was dictated to her by an inner voice that identified itself as Jesus. After her death, the Foundation for A Course in Miracles was founded and holds the copyright to the Course.
Lesson 4

If the idea of miracles is new to you, or you feel like your spiritual life needs a boost, the Course in Miracles might be just what you’re looking for. Thousands, if not millions, of people from all over the world are finding this unique set of books and practices to be a perfect match for their intellectual needs and their deepest spiritual longings.

The Course in Miracles is a non-denominational, universal spiritual teaching that teaches forgiveness as the path to peace. It consists of a 669-page Text, a 488-page Workbook for Students, and a 92-page Manual for Teachers. It is self-study material, although many study groups have been formed worldwide.

Its language is poetic and written in blank verse, which has led some to compare it with some of the world’s great literature. It combines spiritual inspiration with profound psychological understanding of such things as belief and defense systems, perception and identity.

One of its chief goals is to change the way a student’s mind works. It teaches that fear is the most significant obstacle to peace, and that releasing this fear is the key to miracles. It also encourages the student to accept psychic (spiritistic) guidance. It should be noted, however, that the Course does not try to change a student’s religious beliefs or morality in the manner of most religious teachings.

The founder of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, Kenneth Wapnick, is a clinical psychologist who helped Helen Schucman and William Tetford edit the Course. He also served on the board of directors of the Foundation for Inner Peace, which was founded to publish and distribute the ACIM text.

A Course in Miracles is often compared to a cult, although it makes no claims to be a religion and has no hierarchy of power or method of enforcement. It does not limit the student’s questions or access to other views, and it sees all people, whether they are Course practitioners or not, as equal children of God. It does, however, recommend that students read widely in other spiritual traditions to gain a more complete perspective on reality.