Helen Schucman and William Thetford are known for brining forth the work known as A Course in Miracles-Original Edition.
A Course in Miracles is a book that has been healing and changing people’s lives since the 1970′s. And although Helen and William are not the actual authors of this work – if it was not for their cooperation, dedication, patience and surrender – perhaps this work would not be around today.
The Journey of Helen Schucman and William Thetford
Although the names Helen Schucman or William Thetford may not sound too familiar to most of us – the work that these two brought together definitely will. It is through the cooperation, dedication and efforts of Helen and William, that today many in the world can be transformed and healed by the work they put together known as A Course in Miracles.
A Course in Miracles was not officially written by Helen Schucman or William Thetford, but transcribed and put together by them. The events that lead up to this work began when these two personalities were working together as Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City during the 1960′s.
Schucman and Thetford were regarded as highly intellectual people, who were anything but spiritual. Their relationship with each other was difficult and often strained, and they were concerned with personal and professional acceptance and status. The last thing on their minds was putting together any kind of spiritually transforming work.
Then in the 1960′s, Helen began having some vivid dreams and an internal voice had begun to speak to her. This spiritual personality introduced itself as Jesus Christ. Then for 7 years, from 1965 through 1972, during various sequences, Helen began to take down the notes in shorthand as the voice spoke to her and instructed.
During the process, Schucman claimed to have the mental equivalent of a tape recorder in her thoughts, which she described as being able to turn on and off at will, at her convenience, so that she might be able to transcribe into shorthand notes, what she was internally hearing. She felt she had a “special assignment” and as uncomfortable as it sometimes made her, she was motivated to fulfill it.
Helen began to share her experiences with her co-worker William and eventually each day she would read back her notes to him. William would then type out the notes, while Helen read them to him.
After all the ACIM material had been initially transcribed it was then edited for publication by Dr. Schucman and the other two primary editors, Dr. William Thetford and Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. To date almost 2 million copies of ACIM have been sold in various editions with the first one being published in 1975.
In September of 2008, a documentary entitled “A Course in Miracles Unleashed” was released. It interviews and highlights the stories of many people who have been healed by the teachings of ACIM, that would not have been possible if it was not for the joint efforts of Helen and William. See A Course in Miracles Unleashed Documentary for more information.
Learning From Helen Schucman and William Thetford
Thanks to the work of these two, we can walk away enlightened in many ways. From Helen we can learn that any of us can be messengers of God, we only have to be open and receptive to God’s call. Helen and her experience teach us, that often we do not understand the bigger picture of creation. Sometimes we face situations in our life that we would rather avoid or that do not make us feel comfortable. However, at the same time, these situations can bring great lessons and transformations on not just a personal level but also on a global scale. Hence, one should not necessarily shy away from a new opportunity, as one may not know the greatness or the impact of it on this world.
From William we can learn about the value of cooperation, compassion and non judgement. William could have refused to help Helen. In fact William could have ridiculed her and her experience all together, but even despite the fact that they had a strained relationship as colleagues, William saw Helen’s humanity above anything else and decided to support and help his colleague. I think this speaks volumes about compassion, as many people in this world would ridicule their friends, if they had an out-of-the-ordinary experience, such as claiming that Jesus was speaking to them, never mind people they do not particularly like or get along with.
Finally, both of them teach us the true value of humility and being humble. Although what Helen and William helped to bring out had the power to be perhaps some lucrative material where their finances were concerned – neither of them was doing it for fame or fortune. In fact both of them, but especially Helen, did not want any special recognition or fame for this material. They brought the material out through joint efforts and at all times Helen made it clear that she was simply the scribe. Hence to this date, ACIM has no official author accredited to it.
As for A Course in Miracles itself, there are so many life-changing and enlightening messages in it, that it is hard to know where to begin sharing the abundant wisdom it provides. The greatest lesson I have learned from ACIM is how to see Christianity or any religion for that matter in a new light. Once we go past the labels, the rules and the man-made traditions, there are great Universal truths that are common at any level of spirituality and this is what ACIM focuses on the most. ACIM strips away all superficiality and focuses on the core of human existence, our being and purpose for life.
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.
A Course In Miracles
ACIM has also allowed me to see the personality known as Jesus in a new light. Many religions out there today claim many things about Jesus, as to his true purpose for being here on Earth and his message. In ACIM, Jesus speaks to each of us again – in this new time and age and simply says “You got me all wrong*”.
Could it be true? Well to many extremists and fundamentalists, the answer is absolutely not. However, if one examines all the facts on a deeper level and sees human action in play for the past 2000 years it is very and I mean very easy to see how this could have happened. ACIM thus brings forth a deeper and greater message from Jesus for all of us and one that if applied allows one to live life rooted in love, compassion, unity and forgiveness for themselves, others and this world, with unconditional love and no judgement.
I particularly loved how the topic of forgiveness is described in ACIM. It is so empowering, loving, real and practical. I know a lot of people think out there today that by “forgiving” someone, they are doing it for that someone and thus it leaves a lot of people feeling resentful and dis-empowered. ACIM explains beautifully how true forgiveness, is done for oneself and looks beyond what is, because what is, is not the ultimate truth – it is not the ultimate reality – it is not that person at their truest essence. It is thus not only empowering but very loving in that no grudges are held and no such things as “sins” are counted as “strikes” against you.
ACIM also beautifully explains and has taught me the meaning of “true miracles”. So many of us go around today thinking miracles are some big events that no longer happen or that no current Earthly soul today is capable of. ACIM explains that nothing could be further from the truth – miracles are indeed happening all around us, everyday and in fact EACH ONE of US is capable of performing miracles. Also, there is no such thing as a bigger or smaller, more important or less important, harder or easier to do miracle. Miracles are all one and they all stem out of love.
Finally, throughout the entire text the message of love is iterated beautifully into every lesson. There truly is nothing else at the essence of our being but that. There is nothing more solid, more real or more encompassing and uniting, both in life and death as is love.
A Course in Miracles states that it is a required course, only the time at which you take it, is voluntary. Upon reading this book and digesting all of the material, one can quickly see why this book has changed and will continue to heal and change the lives of many.
A Course in Miracles-Original Edition (Hardcover) by Helen Schucman