A Course in Miracles
teaches people that for physical and spiritual health, they must
accept "Proper" attitudes toward themselves, life in
general, and the world. What are these proper attitudes? In essence,
they are 1) the rejection of biblical understandings about such
issues as sin, guilt, and atonement, and 2) the acceptance of New
Age occult teachings such as pantheism (All is God; God is AlI) and
psychic development. Specifically, the Course offers a form
of "Westernized" Hinduism with the distinct goal of
changing its readersí perceptions into conformity with the
non-dualistic (advaita) school of Vedanta Hinduism. This
school maintains that the world is ultimately a dream or illusion,
and that all men are inwardly God. Another chief goal of the Course
is to encourage the student to accept psychic (spiritistic)
Volume I is the "text" itself, which
presents spiritual, metaphysical, and theological teachings,
including heretical treatments of Jesus Christ, His death on the
cross as a vicarious atonement, the Holy Spirit, and the doctrine of
salvation, to name a few.
Volume 2 is a "Workbook for Students,"
which offers 365 spiritual lessons and exercises to help the
participant experientially assimilate the new worldview and
cultivate an openness to psychic and spiritistic guidance. Volume 2
has two specific goals: 1) learning New Age Hinduism, and 2)
unlearning biblical Christianity. Thus, "Part I of Volume
2" is an extensive indoctrination into the religious philosophy
of New Age Hinduism, although it is couched in Christian
"Part II of Volume 2" provides a
specific theological "reindoctrination" for unlearning the
"errors" taught by the Bible. Some 14 doctrines are
covered, including, "What is Forgiveness?" "What is
Salvation?" "What is the World?" "What is
Sin?" "What is the Body?" "What is the
Christ?" "What is the Holy Spirit?" and on through
"The Real World," "The Second Coming," "The
Last Judgment," "Creation," "Miracle," and
The Workbook for Students has specific goals in
mind. For example:
It is the purpose of this workbook to
train your mind to think along the lines the text sets forthÖ. The
training period is one year. The exercises are numbered from 1 to
The workbook is divided into two main
sections, the first dealing with the undoing of the way you see now,
and the second with acquisition of true perception....
The purpose of the workbook is to
train your mind in a systematic way to a different perception of
everyone and everything in the world....
... be sure that you do not decide
for yourself that there are some people, situations or things to
which the ideas are inapplicable....
The overall aim of the exercise is to
increase your ability to extend the ideas you will be practicing to
include everything. This will require no effort on your part. The
exercises themselves meet the conditions necessary for this kind of
Remember only this; you need not
believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even
welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist None of this will
matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to
make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and
whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more
than that is required.1
Below are some of the titles that describe the
mental exercises offered in the Course:
- God is in everything I see.
- I have invented the world I see.
- My mind is part of Godís. I am
- My holiness blesses the world.
- My holiness is my salvation.
- I am the light of the world.
- Forgiveness is my function as the
light of the world.
- My salvation comes from me.
- I am entitled to miracles.
- I am among the ministers of God.
- I walk with God in perfect
- There is no death. The Son of God
- Salvation of the world depends on
- I am the holy Son of God Himself.
- God has condemned me not. No more
- The glory of my Father is my own.
- Fear is not justified in any form.
- Let me not see myself as limited.
- The Son of God is my identity.
- My Self is ruler of the universe.
- Let me remember there is no sin.
- My holy vision sees all things as
- The Word of God is given me to
- The Holy Spirit speaks through me
- The holy Christ is born in me
- I came for the salvation of the
- My Father gives all power unto me.
- I choose to see my brotherís
- My sinlessness protects me from
- Peace be to me, the holy Son of
Volume 3 is a "Manual for Teachers" of
the Course, and it offers them a sense of "divine
destiny" for their spiritual "mission." Course
teachers are referred to as "teachers of God":
Except for Godís teachers there
would be little hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem
forever real. The self-deceiving must deceive, for they must teach
deception. And what else is hell? This is a manual for the teachers
A teacher of God is anyone who
chooses to be one....
They come from all over the world.
They come from all religions and from no religion....
There is a course for every teacher
of God. The form of the course varies greatly. So do the particular
teaching aids involved. But the content of the course never changes.
Its central theme is always, "Godís Son is guiltless, and in
his innocence is his salvation." It does not matter who the
teacher was before he heard the Call. He has become a savior by his
Certain pupils have been assigned to
each of Godís teachers, and they will begin to look for him as
soon as he has answered the Call. They were chosen for him because
the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for
them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been
waiting for him, for his coming is certain. Again, it is only a
matter of time. Once he has chosen to fulfill his role, they are
ready to fulfill theirs....
When pupil and teacher come together,
a teaching-learning situation begins.... The relationship is holy
because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit
into any holy relationship.3
In addition to the three volumes
described previously, an additional manual is suggested: Psychotherapy:
Purpose, Process and Practice, for integrating Course
concepts with modern psychotherapy. This is for the professional
therapist who wishes to use Course teachings in his counseling
encouragement toward psychic guidance is also obvious. Brian Van der
Horst, writing in New Realities, observes that: "Above
all, the Course instructs students in the discovery of their
own inner guidance, the revelation of a spiritual voice that
counsels one in all situations. The Voice or God or Holy Spirit, as
it is called... gives everything from direction for malting
decisions on business, career, and life purpose, to advice to the
1. A Course in Miracles, Volume 2: Workbook for
Students, Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace,
1977, pp. 1-2, emphasis added.
2. Ibid., pp. l-IX.
3. A Course in Miracles, Volume 3, Manual for
Teachers, Huntington Station, NY: Foundation for Inner Peace,
1977, pp. 2-5.
4. cf. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, The Facts
on Self-Esteem, Psychology, and the Recovery Movement, Eugene,
OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1995.
5. Brian Van Der Horst, "Update on A
Course in Miracles," New Realities, vol. 3, no. 1,
August 1979, p. 50, emphasis added).