Two extraordinary discoveries about ACIM

 While working with the material last night, I discovered two extremely interesting and suggestive facts about the scribing of A Course in Miracles.

You will see miracles -

The publicity materials issuing forth from the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) over the years has consistently presented the story of the Course's scribing as beginning with the sentence, "This is a course in miracles, please take notes."

In fact, however, this is not true.

The Helen Schucman's steno notebook page for October 21, 1965 actually begins with the sentence, "You will see miracles through your hands, through mine."  This sentence , "You will see miracles . . . . ", was edited out of all subsequent versions of the Course past the urtext typescript.

The scribes and editors of the Course in the early years were personally disturbed by the entire concept of miracles, and there is plausible evidence that they each, in their own way, deprecated the concept as much as possible.  Miracles are living visible proof that everything you believe about yourself and the world is simply not true.

Miracles are very disturbing things to ponder.

Great comet of 1965 - Ikeya-Seki - Wikipedia

Comet Ikeya-Seki was unknown until it was first seen in the night sky on September 18, 1965.  The comet raced toward the sun in its elliptical orbit until reaching its closest point on October 21, 1965.  It proved to be one of the brightest comets seen in the last thousand years, and is sometimes known as the Great Comet of 1965.  It was so bright that it was clearly visible in the daytime sky next to the Sun. The comet was seen to break into three pieces just before its passage of the sun. The three pieces continued together in almost identical orbits.

October 21, 1965 was the day that Helen Schucman first begin scribing A Course in Miracles.


Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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Grieving the loss of paradise

Working toward an ACIM perspective on Milton and Kübler-Ross

Carmen came up with the idea of applying the Five Stages of Grieving to our emotional loss of Paradise. My mind went to John Milton's "Paradise Lost," as being representative of 17th Century Christian thinking. Very modern at the time (1667), but old, rusty, and falling apart today . . . regardless of how many people still believe that story without question.


Grieving the loss of paradise

John Milton and Genesis

Adam and Eve's expulsion from Eden, roughly based upon the Bible's Genesis story, forms one part of John Milton's 1667 epic poem "Paradise Lost". Another parallel story line in Milton's work is that of Lucifer's rebellion against God. Although the story of Lucifer is not based upon the Bible at all, it is a story that is deeply rooted in Western cultural beliefs.

The story of Lucifer in "Paradise Lost" follows the aftermath of Lucifer's war in heaven seeking to overthrow God. It begins after Satan and the other rebel angels have been defeated and cast into Hell.

Lucifer employs his skill to organize his followers. Lucifer nominates himself to subvert the newly-created Earth, and he braves the dangers of the Abyss alone in his journey to Eden.

The story of Adam and Eve's temptation and fall is a domestic saga. Adam and Eve are presented for the first time in Christian literature as having a functional relationship before the fall, while they were still without sin. They each have passions and distinct personalities in Milton's telling. The are presented as real people.

Lucifer successfully tempts Eve by preying on her vanity and tricking her with sly words. Adam, seeing Eve has sinned, knowingly commits the same sin. He declares to Eve that since she was made from his flesh, they are bound to one another so that if she dies, he must also die. In this manner Milton portrays Adam as a heroic figure but also as a deeper sinner than Eve since he knows that what he's doing is wrong, and he does it anyway.

After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve have lustful sex in Milton's poem. This preserved the popular, if not strictly doctrinal, position that sex itself is the original sin. At first, Adam is convinced that Eve was right in thinking that eating the fruit would be beneficial. However, they soon fall asleep, have terrible nightmares, and after they awake they experience guilt and shame for the first time. Realizing that they have committed a terrible act against God, they engage in mutual recrimination. Adam and Eve try to shift the blame onto the other.

"Those who think that they are sin must die for what they think they are." A Course in Miracles

Eve's pleas to Adam reconcile them somewhat. Her encouragement enables them to approach God, to "bow and sue for grace with suppliant knee," and to receive grace from God. Nevertheless, hey are cast out of Eden and the archangel Michael says that Adam may find "A paradise within thee, happier far." They now have a more distant relationship with God, and a flaming sword bars the way back to paradise.

Lucifer is the symbol for man and the ego

It is easy to see the similarity between Lucifer's expulsion from the paradise of Heaven and Adam & Eve's expulsion from the paradise of Eden. Each rebelled against God, and each were punished by God, as is commonly believed. A Course in Miracles recognizes this parallel. "After all, Lucifer fell, but he was still an angel. He is thus the symbol for man," the Course (urtext) states. Similarly, God's children rebelled and fell, but they were still God's children. Lucifer's story epitomizes the Course's description of the ego.

One can characterize the entire melodrama as a transaction among egos, useful from beginning to end to illustrate Course teachings. It is even possible to analyse Lucifer's behavior in terms of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross model for the five stages of grief.

Although originally developed from observation of terminally ill hospital patients in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, it has been applied to the greif associated with any loss. But the statement,"Lucifer literally projected himself from heaven," from the Course urtext is a reminder that Lucifer's exile from Heaven was self-imposed.

The first stage of grief is denial.

"Listening to the ego’s voice means that you believe it is possible to attack God." - A Course in Miracles

Lucifer's denial was the denial of truth, the denial of sanity, and the denial of his own identity. He forgot it is impossible or not adventageous to attack God, the source and sustainer of his own being. Satan's desire to rebel against his creator stems from his unwillingness to accept the fact he is a created being, and that he is not self-sufficient, which is rooted in his extreme pride.

"The ego believes that ALL functions belong to it, even though it has no idea what they ARE. This is more than mere confusion. It is a particularly dangerous combination of grandiosity AND confusion which makes it likely that the ego will attack anyone and anything for no reason at all. This is exactly what the ego DOES. It is TOTALLY unpredictable in its responses because it has no idea of WHAT it perceives." - A Course in Miracles

There is no war against God, and there never was.

"Do you not realize a war against yourself would BE a war on God? Is victory CONCEIVABLE? And if it were, is this a victory that you would WANT? The death of God,if it were possible, would be YOUR death. Is this a VICTORY? The ego ALWAYS marches to defeat, BECAUSE it thinks that triumph over you is possible. And God thinks otherwise. This is no war. Only the mad belief the Will of God can be attacked and overthrown. You may IDENTIFY with this belief, but never will it be more than madness. And fear will reign in madness, and will SEEM to have replaced love there. This is the conflict’s PURPOSE. And to those who think that it is possible, the means seem real." - A Course in Miracles

The second stage of grief is anger.

Clearly, this is the stage where we first find Lucifer in Milton's tale. He is angry at God for his imagined punishment. "It is the ego’s fundamental doctrine that, what you do to others, you have escaped." This is why he conspires to seduce Eve into disobedience and rebellion, so that she and Adam will also suffer the same fate of exile from paradise. Lucifer's survival depended on his belief that he was exempt from his own evil intentions. We also see Adam and Eve angry with each other after the forbidden fruit was eaten.

The third stage of grief is bargaining.

After eating the forbidden fruit and remembering the consequences for that disobedience, Adam and Eve both approach God, to "bow and sue for grace with suppliant knee," and to ask pardon from God, in Milton's version. It is a form of bargaining. In Genesis, Adam and Eve "knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons," is another form of bargaining.

The forth stage of grief is depression.

In Paradise Lost, Adam goes on a vision journey with an angel where he witnesses the errors of man and the Great Flood, and is saddened by the sin that they have released through consumption of the fruit.

The fifth stage of grief is acceptance.


Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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