Two thousand years ago, a man walked the earth who is now worshipped by two billion people. He called his followers to enter a carefree state in which they loved their enemies as children of an unconditionally loving God. Within mere decades, however, this teacher of radical wisdom was turned into a divine figure who died for our sins. The original message that could have uplifted the world was left buried in the gospels like veins of gold, to be occasionally rediscovered by great individuals such as St. Francis, Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today, many people believe he has, in a sense, come again, in the pages of a book called A Course in Miracles. On every level—spiritual, psychological, philosophical, literary—this book is a towering masterpiece. It is a rebirth of his ancient message that, because of an unconditionally loving God, we can meet life’s difficulties with forgiveness and defenselessness, and thereby live in carefree happiness. Yet the Course clothes this message in a groundbreaking psychology and metaphysics that is suited to a modern age. In our view, the world has never seen anything like it.
Has Jesus come again to repeat his message that largely fell on deaf ears? If so, imagine the promise that this book holds for our world. If the religion Jesus inspired two thousand years ago caused, as historian Bart Ehrman has said, “the single greatest cultural transformation our world has ever seen,” then what effect could this book have in the end? In thinking that A Course in Miracles is just another variation on the latest popular teachings, we do not recognize the colossus that is within our midst.
For nearly thirty years, the Circle of Atonement has been dedicated to a single principle: total faithfulness to what this book says. We do our utmost to set aside what our preconceptions and our egos would say, and tease out Jesus’ vision in pure form. On this basis, we then attempt to guide students into using the Course the way its author intended, as a hands-on manual for spiritual development. In the process, we have assembled what is arguably the largest body of written work on the Course, most of which is viewable here on our website. We have also published our own edition of the Course, the Complete and Annotated Edition, which goes back to the handwritten notes of scribe Helen Schucman in order to present a version of the Course that is closer to the original words of Jesus.
Yet faithfulness to what the book says is just the beginning. Our ultimate aim is to see A Course in Miracles accomplish its purpose in the world. To do this, it would need to be surrounded by a living tradition, a global community composed of masses of students helping each other walk its path of enlightenment. Under the roof of this tradition, there would need to be Course teachers who could faithfully expound its principles, Course mentors available to guide new students, and Course healers on hand for those with healing needs. Such a tradition would fulfill the dream that didn’t come true two thousand years ago, the dream of Jesus’ real vision releasing millions of miracle workers into a dark and hurting world.
To fulfill this purpose will require countless people willing to say yes and take their part in this emerging tradition. Yet how can we allow Jesus’ gift to fall on deaf ears again? Just before the Course was originally published, Jesus spoke to Helen Schucman about this very thing. He said that “this time” “nothing can be permitted to go wrong.” He said the Course “must develop without error” as it grows “from infancy into a helper of the world.” Just imagine A Course in Miracles growing from infancy into a helper of the world. What a beautiful promise! Please join us in ensuring that, this time, the promise is fulfilled.
Circle of Atonement