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Complete Story of the Course: The History, the People, and the Controversies Behind "A Course in Miracles" Paperback – August, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


The author of The Book of Practical Faith and A Little Book of Forgiveness sets the record straight about the much-maligned yet ever-popular spiritual phenomenon, A Course in Miracles. Some may feel Miller - a Course devotee - is too biased to write objectively, but given the material's complexity, he feels that an outsider could not write about it intelligently. When Miller recounts the origins of the text, which was channeled and transcribed by an agnostic 56-year-old research psychologist who resisted it every step of the way, his book has the undeniable appeal of a good story written in plain English. He also succeeds in clearing up many of the misconceptions that result from ignorance of The Course by refuting criticisms with textual evidence. Interviews with Marianne Williamson, who popularized the Course, as well as its various founders, enliven and deepen Miller's perspective. Anyone intrigued by or skeptical of The Course will find this a valuable introduction, but Miller's bias can be off-putting, as when he writes, "Perhaps a common identifying factor among serious...students is their decision to follow a new course away from the typical shoals of human shipwreck, and toward peace." Also, the devotees' testimonials belong in an infomercial. -- From Independent Publisher

Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: FEARLESS BOOKS; 1st edition (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965680908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965680905
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Before founding Fearless Books in 1997 to continue the publication of his writing, D. PATRICK MILLER sold three solo projects to major publishers: Viking, Henry Holt, and Dell. He is now the author of nine titles, including his current books THE WAY OF FORGIVENESS (Fearless; 20th Year Edition), THE BOOK OF PRACTICAL FAITH (Fearless; 20th Year Edition), LIVING WITH MIRACLES: A Common Sense Guide to A Course in Miracles (Tarcher/Penguin), and UNDERSTANDING A COURSE IN MIRACLES (TenSpeed/Random House), among others. As a collaborator, ghostwriter, or principal editor, Miller has helped other authors prepare manuscripts for such publishers as Viking, Doubleday, Warner, Crown, Simon & Schuster, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Hay House, and John Wiley & Sons. His poetry has been published in a number of magazines and several anthologies. A top-ranked volunteer expert on publishing at AllExperts.com, Miller provides professional consultations to literary agents and publishers as well as published and unpublished authors working in fiction and nonfiction. He is a member of the Authors Guild and Editorial Freelancers Association, and served as president of the Northern California chapter of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) for six years.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
With this book Mr. Miller has done something for which Course students will be thankful for generations to come, detailed the unusual and complicated history of "A Course In Miracles." He has also interviewed and profiled the key players in Course commentary: Kenneth Wapnick PhD and Gloria Wapnick (founders of "Foundation for A Course In Miracles"), Marianne Williamson (author of "A Return to Love"), Gerald Jampolsky (author of "Love is Letting Go of Fear"), members and former members of Endeavor Academy are interviewed, and Tara Singh (author of "How to Learn From A Course In Miracles") is mentioned. Though not interviewed, the two Course co-scribes, Helen Schucman and William Thetford, are profiled as well (with a picture of them, the only picture in the book, included).
The Course is not easy to classify. It has Christian themes and terminology, but it's not Christianity. It has the compassion of Buddhism, but it's not Buddhist. It has Hindu-like non-duality, but is not Hindu. It has the Freudian analysis of the ego, yet it's not pure psychoanalysis. It was "channeled," but it's not Edgar Cayce. It is currently embraced mostly by those within the "New Age," but it contains no rituals or crystal gazing, no mention of UFOs or planetary alignment, no aura work, no meditations, no chants, no laying-on-of-hands, no directions for group work, no lessons on the development of psychic powers, and none of the "positive thinking" and prosperity consciousness that is the hallmark of most New Age paths.
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Format: Paperback
As a person approaching A Course in Miracles, I wanted to know more about what I was getting into. I had only read and heard positive things about ACIM from its students and reviewers. I looked for a more objective opinion and Miller delivered it.
This book explained in good detail how ACIM came about, the controversies behind it, and its effects on those who study it. There are full accounts of critics of ACIM and why they disagree with or what they despise about the course. I found their opinions helpful, yet was more taken in by the personal accounts of students from all walks of life kinds describing the effects the course has had on their lives.
Also, since Miller is a student of ACIM, I felt that he could accurately represent the ideas behind it. He also admits there are somewhat "Cult-like" divisions (like Endeavor Academy, which he takes accounts from those who lived there rather than experiencing it on his own, can't say I blame him).
The only qualm I have with this book is I would like to see some accounts of students who were into ACIM but shyed away from it for whatever reasons, or how they overcame the difficult terminology.
This book is ideal for those considering studying ACIM, and I believe it states things objectively enough to let you make up your own mind.
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Format: Paperback
My personal word of thanks for D. Patrick Miller's excellent work on the story of the Course. I first read it about three years ago and as a result I have been able to make contact with many Course students and organizations around the world. It also assisted me in dealing with my personal fears of criticism of the Course by allowing me to examine them head on. Mr. Miller is a very professional writer who has done a great job of stepping past his personal thoughts and sharing the thoughts of many (something that not all journalists are known for). I firmly recommend this book to all students of the Course as not only an excellent way to find out about various Course organizations but also as an excellent history book of the Course itself.
May I also mention that I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Miller at the "ACIM Into The New Millennium" conference in San Francisco this past February and I have to say that he is a very approachable, caring, down to earth, humorous man. I fully appreciated the time spent visiting with him personally and attending his workshop. I know that he has an ego just like the rest of us, however, he hides it very well:-).
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Format: Paperback
This book was extremely helpful in finding out exactly what the Course is all about.
When someone asked me last week what I thought of "A Course in Miracles", I realzied that although I had heard the name for years I knew *nothing* of what it was, where it came from, or what it taught.
Mr. Miller's book did a good job of explaining what the Course is, and the gist of it's message. In the course of this, he convinced me that Helen Schuckman had a genuine spiritual experience -- something I was prepared to doubt, before.
I am not a "seeker" -- I have an active & fulfilling spiritual life, that does not include the Course. And I have neither the time nor desire to read The Course as a primary text, simply to learn *about* it.
Because of this, I found Mr. Miller's book invaluable.
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