To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
Read Preface “What It Is,” paragraphs 1-2. (pages viii and ix)
The statement in paragraph one that the order in which we use the three books depends on our particular preferences is very helpful. The core content is the same in all three parts (Text, Workbook for Students and Manual for Teachers) but the formats are different for each one. Different people may find one form easier to assimilate than another. The Course makes it clear, however, that eventually we must study all three parts, for they each play an important role in helping us achieve the full thought reversal that the Course is offering.
In paragraph two it emphasizes practicing what we are learning rather than debating about theological implications. This keeps it very simple. We are to practice it; do what it says; and we will see for ourselves that it works for us. The Holy Spirit is in everyone’s mind, waiting for a chance to help us turn our minds around.
The essence of the first two paragraphs tells us that A Course in Miracles is:
Read “What It Is,” paragraph 3. (page ix)
The Text gives us the foundation of the thought system of A Course in Miracles, which is the opposite of the way the world thinks. The ideas found in the Text contain the theoretical foundation for applying the Workbook’s lessons, making them easier to understand. Without applying the lessons, we will not achieve the goal of the Course, which is a complete reversal of what we think is true.
Read “What It Is,” paragraphs 4-6. (page ix)
We are told that while the fact that there are 365 lessons implies that we do one a day, we may find it helpful to spend more time on a particular lesson that appeals to us. But we are warned against trying to go at a faster pace than one lesson a day. This implies that the lessons are carefully constructed and need to be given time to to have their mind healing effect.
When we go through the lessons from beginning to end in sequence, we can began to feel the full impact of the Course’s thought system in our life. Ideas in the Course that are confusing at first begin making sense. We begin to see how these ideas help us release thoughts of fear and guilt as they came up in our mind, which enables us to experience more peace in our life. What was just a collection of good ideas becomes woven together into the fabric of our thought system, which gives us a whole new perspective on life. The consistent daily practice of the lessons take our understanding and application of Course principles to a whole new level.
Jesus communicates that we are simply to practice applying the ideas. We are not asked to judge them or even accept them in the beginning. These ideas are the opposite of the way we think now. Of course we will experience resistance to ideas that contradict what we have always thought was true. Advertisers know that we need at least seven repetitions of a concept before we will consider accepting it. Jesus knows us very well. He knows that we will resist his ideas and reject them the first few times we hear them. He also knows that as we practice these new ideas, they will gradually be assimilated into our thinking and we will begin to experience their benefit. What we resisted before will in time seem very natural to us.
Read “What It Is,” paragraph 7. (page ix)
Many students find the Manual for Teachers the easiest to understand at the beginning. Many have said that once they read the Manual for Teachers with the Clarification of Terms, the Text was easier to understand. It answers some of the questions that typically come up for new students of the Course. Its question and answer format seems to make it easier to digest and assimilate the seemingly complex thought system presented in the Text. The Manual for Teachers helps us understand the idea of non duality, which is the opposite of how we are used to thinking now.
Read “What It Is,” paragraph’s 8-9. (page ix-x)
Here again we are reminded that the purpose of A Course in Miracles is to get us in touch with our own internal Teacher. This thread of being open to the instruction of our internal Teacher is woven throughout the Course. As we learn to connect with and follow the guidance of this inner Teacher, we are led the rest of the way Home.
It is often said that this is a self study Course. This is because its intent is that we learn to follow our inner Teacher, not an external authority. The Holy Spirit, Who resides in our mind, knows our beliefs and experiences and works with us exactly where we are to lead us out of our mistaken ideas back to awareness of our Self as God created us.
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