The course was written down in 1977 by a Dr. Helen Schucman who was in charge of an institution in New York city. In the course of her administering the institution, she became more and more aware that the more zealously she tried to apply precepts of modern psychology, the more chaotic the interpersonal relationships in the institution became. The Course amounted to a cathartic release of many of the "guilty unless proven innocent" precepts of Western psychology.
The Course is a collection of three books, the Text with 669 pages, a Workbook for Students with 488 pages, and a Manual for Teachers with 92 pages.
The content is Christian in statement, but it draws a deep distinction between a thought system based on knowledge and a thought system based on perception.
The thought system based on knowledge emphasizes a universal spiritual theme that knowledge is truth, under one law, the law of love or God. Truth is unalterable, eternal, and unambiguous. It can be unrecognized, but it cannot be changed. It applies to everything God created, and only what he created is real.
Conversely, the world of perception, is the world of time, of change, of beginnings and endings. It is based on relative social interpretations, not on facts. It is a world of birth and death, founded on beliefs of scarcity, loss, separation and death. It is a world of learned rather than given, selective rather than acceptive, perceptual emphasis. It is an unstable world with inaccurate perceptions that creates its own destructions.
In application, the Course recognizes only two emotions, Love and Fear. Where "Love" in this context is the Greek concept of agape, or "love of acceptance." Fear, often called "Sin," by our society, is regarded as "lack of love" or a misperception to be released or corrected, rather than an evil to be punished.
Reviewed by E. Stiltner
Copyright (©) 1998, 2002
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