Tag Archives: William Thetford

A Course in Miracles – How It Came

A Course in Miraclea began with the sudden decision of two people to join in a common goal. Their names were Helen Schucman and William Thetford, Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

1 – Sudden Decision with Far-Ranging Consequences

This sudden decision was to have far-ranging implications for the world of spirituality. The two individuals chosen were not eager for the assignment. They had much investment in their academic careers, and they were afraid that their work on what would become A Course in Miracles would jeopardize those careers. In addition, Helen’s husband objected, so much so that when she died a number of years later, absolutely nothing was said in her eulogy about her scribing of ACIM. There is controversy about such omissions in the ACIM community.

2 – Helen’s Personal Description of Herself

Helen describes herself:

“Psychologist, educator, conservative in theory and atheistic in belief, I was working in a prestigious and highly academic setting. And then something happened that triggered a chain of events I could never have predicted. The head of my department unexpectedly announced that he was tired of the angry and aggressive feelings our attitudes reflected, and concluded that ‘there must be another way.’ As if on cue, I agreed to help him find it. Apparently this Course is the other way.”

What Helen describes here is typical for academia, not all setting, but many. I have seen first hand such acrimony. But I have also worked in a setting that was very congenial. Be that as it may, the setting for Helen and Bill was very dysfunctional. Bill, as department chair, was in the thick of political battles. He would eventually seem to become an Awakened individual who gave up his academic career and talked about ACIM publically, though he tried to maintain some secrecy in the beginning, using only his first name and not telling Helen’s name.

3 – An Unlikely Choice?

Helen, as an atheist, would seem an unlikely choice by Jesus. But she recognized that somewhere she had signed on for this assignment. And, despite a few faltering steps, she remained true to the assignment. On some level she understood ACIM very, very well and could expound on it easily. But A Course in Miracles never gave her the peace that it gave so many others. She remained a tortured soul. Unlike Bill, who came into his own in his final years.

4 – This Is A Course in Miracles

Helen continues:

“Although I had grown more accustomed to the unexpected by that time, I was still very surprised when I wrote, This is a course in miracles.’ That was my introduction to the Voice. It made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid, inner dictation which I took down in a shorthand notebook.”

5 – Phone Call Interruptions

Helen said elsewhere that she could answer a phone call in mid-sentence and yet return to have the internal Voice pick up right where he left off. She used a homemade shorthand, and it is from that that Bill typed the message of the day, each morning, with the shade pulled down over his office door window.

“The writing was never automatic. It could be interrupted at any time and later picked up again. It made me very uncomfortable, but it never seriously occurred to me to stop. It seemed to be a special assignment I had somehow, somewhere agreed to complete It represented a truly collaborative venture between Bill and myself, and much of its significant, I am sure, lies in that. I would take down what the Voice ‘said’ and read it to him the next day, and he typed it from my dictation.”

6 – Helen’s Death

Helen was at peace at the time of death. She said that Jesus had promised her that he would come for her. And the expression of peace on her face said it all: Jesus had come.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for A Course in Miracles. I find the background to its scribing fascinating, but remain sorry that Helen did not enjoy the peace from her channeling that so many others who followed, have.

Thank You for this good day. May each of us find a contribution to You that will be personally meaningful.

Amen.