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1,395 of 1,447 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A way out of the Confusion
I am not one of those people who write book reviews just to get my picture on the about me page on amazon. In fact this is the only review that I have ever written. I was prompted to write it because, as I read the some of the more negative reviews of this book, it was quite obvious that most of these people, who wrote these reviews, had not read this book. I don't know...
Published on July 12, 2000 by Donald P Hoover

101 of 127 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a pre-copyright edition - no section or line numbers
A Course in Miracles is a great book, but when I ordered this particular edition, I was surprised to find that it was NOT published by The Foundation for Inner Peace and did not have Section or line numbers. It is a copy of the Course that circulated before Helen Schuchman and Ken Wapnick edited it and organized it. If you are interested in it for that reason, then buy...
Published on October 15, 2006 by Amazon Customer

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1,395 of 1,447 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A way out of the Confusion, July 12, 2000
I am not one of those people who write book reviews just to get my picture on the about me page on amazon. In fact this is the only review that I have ever written. I was prompted to write it because, as I read the some of the more negative reviews of this book, it was quite obvious that most of these people, who wrote these reviews, had not read this book. I don't know why they felt the need to write the derogatory things about this material that were written, but I'm certain that they did not read this book, before writing there review of it. I have read this material; I have studied it for over a year. At first glance the concepts it spoke of seemed at the very least, unlikely. They certainly did not match up with the formula consensus reality had given me to work out the problems that I encountered in my life. That really didn't matter to me by that time because the old formulas had not served me that well anyway. If you are happy with everything about your life this is not a book that you should be reading. If by chance, there are aspects of your life that seem to trouble you, then this is a book that you should be reading. If a year ago you had told me that one simple book held the key to every single problem that I was faced with in my life, I would have laughed in your face, and thought that you must be a fool to say such a thing. Yet after a year of working with the concepts that this book teaches, I feel more strongly about there ability set things right in my life than ever. I came into this encounter with this material a jaded skeptic, who believed in nothing. I had tried, and rejected nearly every path, seeing truth in none of them. Yes, each seemed at first to be truth, but the initial lift that they gave proved not to stand the test of time. This material is different, It seeks to correct the errors in thinking that are currently causing the conflicts, and disappointment in our lives before they can happen. It also shows the folly of approaching the idea of love from the conventionally acceptable way. That is, reserving love only for those we have judged worthy of it. It has taught me that this is not love at all, it is only judgment. This is not a book that you can sit down and read in a night, or even in a week. The concepts that it teaches are so fundamentally different from the ones that are currently causing all the problems in your life, that it will take some time for you to readjust them. Perhaps years, After all how long has it taken you to get to this point where you truly longed to find a better way. Did you really expect it would happen over night? I gave this book 5 stars only because I wasn't given the option of giving it 1,000 stars. If this book can help someone as lost as I was, it can most likely help you too. But only if you actually read it!
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506 of 530 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All my tears and whys..., February 25, 2006
Toom (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
With all the other well-stated reviews out there, it may not be important for me to add my two cents, but in case there's someone out there who stumbles on this... First of all, I'm not writing this to persuade anyone about the Course. Some people simply won't find this conducive to their beliefs, and that's okay. But for those who are willing to give it a try, let me divulge a little about my experience with it. I'm spiritual but also extremely skeptical, so I'd never been able to stick with any one religion or philosophical doctrine beyond Taoism in its ambiguous glory. The virtue of the Course is that it doesn't matter whether the contents are credible to you enough that you can invest in it your lifelong faith, because when you start reading it seriously and practicing the workbook, you will soon be faced with evidence that this path is real and one worth taking. It calls for your faith, but not because you'll be damned to hell otherwise. Your faith in the Course is required just as therapy would require you to have faith that you can be treated.

Having been schooled in a wretched fundamentalist Christian parochial, I try but fail time and again to fathom a loving God, and I recognize this fact more clearly and painfully now that I've been studying the Course. So I approach the Course from a secular and/ or psychotherapeutic perspective when I can't handle all the spiritual overtones, and it works. Take, for instance, Newton's third law, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." We also know (esp if you're familiar with magick and witchcraft) that by some fuzzy logic "what goes around comes around," but the Course defines this in exact terms; whether it's God or our fellow men, if we put up a defense against Him/ them, we're doing the same to ourselves. By judging others, we judge ourselves, and as a child, by learning to hate myself as a sinful creature, I also learnt to hate God, even though on the surface I thought I was a devout 'God-fearing' Christian. The bottom line is that the Course allows you to bring along your doubts and to let go of them gradually as you become ready to do so.

But most of all, A Course in Miracles is a source of healing for everyone. If you're depressed or otherwise mentally unstable, suffering in some way from your past, or just stuck in some 'unlucky' life predicament, this book is a way out. Like several reviewers mentioned above, I never believed that one book could change my life. But it did. And I want it to do the same for anyone else who still wants to believe that there has to be more to this broken-down world than eating and working and sleeping and breeding and dying and then just maybe a Big Mean Judge waiting at the end. It's not easy, it's not instant gratification, but it's a solution and a permanent one, and it doesn't involve a bullet or fast train.
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293 of 308 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirituality For the Non-Religious Thinking Person, March 19, 1998
By A Customer
This book is not for everyone; it is "A" Course, not "The" Course. It seems like a good path for someone who enjoys somewhat obscure abstract ideas and then applying them through a semi-mystical/meditative, yet Christian-framed approach. (If you are somewhat anti-Christian, don't be put off: I was at first but eventually was able to appreciate this book's completely different approach from traditional Christian religions at least as they are practiced in my limited corner of the world. However, a warning: the book uses male terminology exclusively--e.g., we are "the Son" of God rather than even "the Child" of God, but I got past this by recognizing it is a language issue not a spiritual one.) It is both theoretical and practical, a book I mine for insights nearly every day if not as constantly as I would like. When I do apply the ideas consistently I experience joy and well-being and discover new viewpoints about my life issues that help me re-frame things in ways that help me discover my own happiness and inner peace. For example, the Course has taught me to recognize more often when I project my own mistakes (not sins or even flaws) on others and to notice that when other people are behaving obnoxiously they are usually terrified of something which helps me take a more compassionate as opposed to defensive stance. It also reminds me how temporary everything is here so I don't get too caught up in anxieties and materialism.
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537 of 583 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives you a different way to view God, December 23, 2000
By A Customer
This book gives you a different way to view God, sin and sacrifice If you would like to feel some peace of mind and shedsome guilt I would recommed reading this book. I would also highly recommed the book An Encounter With A Prophet
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132 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My experience with the Course -- Michelle E. from Atlanta, June 29, 2001
By A Customer
My apologies for this long review. If you have any interest in the Course, I hope you'll find my review worthwhile.
I had a series of mystical experiences within a four-week span the summer of 1986. I went from a rigid agnostic to an surrendered estatic. Those experiences marked the BEFORE and AFTER of my life. They showed me that my pain was an illusion -- that there was a loving Reality far greater than my tiny personality and its concepts. And, no, I did not become an enlightened master. I was basically taken to the Summit several times ... and then promptly dropped back off at the boot camp called my life. However, after those experiences, I no longer desired to take my own life.
During that same four-week period, I "accidentally" stumbled into a weekend retreat given by Anthony DeMello, author of Awakening. His teachings validated my experiences -- or, did my experiences validate his teachings? Anyway, after encountering DeMello, I stumbled across heavy volumes called "A Course In Miracles." I immediately knew this book spoke the truth of my experiences, but I wasn't ready to receive it. It took me more years of mild pain before I rediscovered The Course. Why? I wasn't -- or my ego wasn't -- ready to surrender in 1986. I did go restlessly from one path to another -- Zen, the Bible, Twelve Step Program, and so forth. All are blessed paths, but nothing felt like home to me until I picked up the Course.
Now, I am no longer a "seeker." I'm a student of The Course of Miracles. My inner restlessness is gone. I cannot begin to tell you the peace that has come across my life in the past year of my studies of the Course. EVERYTHING in my life has changed. The changes haven't been dramatic burning-bush events, as were the 1986 mystical experiences. The changes have been gradual, gentle, but no less transforming. The 1986 experiences gave me the will to live. The Course is giving me the means to live a full life.
I used to think I had to be famous or rich or beautiful to have value. Those were my aspirations. These days, I am feeling more and more complete within myself and far less hooked into the world's collective insanity. My only aspiration today is serenity. All because of the Course.
Don't feel bad if you are drawn to the Course but can't bring yourself to study it just yet. It took me 2 years of listening to countless Marianne Williamson tapes and reading books by Hugh Prather, Gerald Jampolsky, Diane Gusic, and Chuck Spezzano before I felt compelled to study ACIM. Without these "Cliff Note" teachings on the Course, I doubt that I would have been curious or even brave enough to explore the Course on my own. But, as another reviewer has already pointed out,the Course is far richer and more penetrating than even those remarkable teachers.
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114 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, liberating., May 4, 2006
Roland Barker "just one" (Kapaa, HI United States) - See all my reviews
I was initially very resistant to the teachings in this book for two reasons: my disdain for Christianity and my reverence for life.

I have always bristled at the hypocrisy of Christian teachings characterized most poignantly by the various and many atrocities and injustices committed in Christ's name. Throughout history the the banner of the Prince of Peace has brought anything but. Yet this book helped me see the reasons behind that hypocrisy and the hatred and judgment I held for Christianity is being transformed into compassion. What was and is done out of fear and hatred is done in ways small and large by each of us. I realized that if I couldn't forgive the atrocities, I couldn't forgive myself. Through the words in this book my heart opened to the presence of Christ and that is a gift of inestimable value.

This book teaches that the world we perceive is not real. This to me was the most pernicious heresy because of my reverence for life and the Earth. To have that reverence belittled as mere spiritualization was galling, to say the least. Yet, I have slowly begun to see how we have created this world infused with fear and unwillingness to love. It is a prison to the God-beloved ones we truly are.

Yet this book does not offer an escape from the world; it is an instruction manual for changing the world, our bodies, our relationships and our personalities into messengers and teachers of love. In my understanding, that is reverence for life brought to its highest level. But to do that, I had to "take the red pill" and see the unreality of the world so I can begin to unravel it and take part in the liberation process.

That, I am certain, sounds like New Age blather to some, and so be it. If you choose the Bible as your teacher, there is little to agree with in A Course In Miracles, and much to fear. This book is a correction of the Bible in many ways and that is utterly heretical. Yet for those Christians who are willing to question what the church has taught and more deeply embrace what Christ has taught, this book could be a profound revelation.

There is no question this book is challenging and not for those want an easy, feel-good read. Many cherished notions will be gently questioned and laid aside, but it is so hard to hear the "gentle" part. Listen for that gentleness and you will be able to receive the gift of Grace a Course in Miracles offers. This book is really about healing all of us, not just those who walk this path. I invite you to read with an open mind. Thank you.
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109 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endeavor Academy's publication of A Course In Miracles, February 24, 2007
This review is from: A Course in Miracles: Text, Workbook, Manual for Teachers - The Advent of a Great Awakening (Paperback)
As I have already written numerous reviews of "A Course In Miracles," I will not reinvent the wheel here. I'll succinctly explain that "A Course In Miracles" is a book about spiritual psychotherapy that was scribed by Helen Schucman during the 1960s. The stated goal of the Course is to aid the student in learning that through forgiveness we experience the peace of God. The Course has become quite popular, referred to by at least one publisher (see the Wikipedia artice for source) as "the most obvious choice for the single volume book for the New Age movement." Some, however, believe the Course has little in common with most other New Age spiritualities; there is no crystal gazing, aura reading, etc., in the Course. The Course has now sold over one million copies and has been the basis of many books, such as Marianne Williamson's best selling "A Return to Love."

That aside, I think the buyer should be made aware that the version of the Course for sale on this page is published by the Endeavor Academy. I must state emphatically that I have nothing against the Endeavor Academy. I simply bring this to the attention of the buyer because someone new to the Course may not be aware that there are differences between the version of the Course for sale on this page and the version of the Course produced by the Foundation for Inner Peace. The version produced and published by the Foundation for Inner Peace was the only version available to the public up until very recently.

It's complicated and hard to explain to someone unfamiliar with the background. But, in brief, there was a court case between the Foundation for Inner Peace and Endeavor Academy. As a result of the court case, an early version of A Course In Miracles was declared to be in the public domain. It appears that Endeavor Academy has simply built upon that "public domain" version of the Course in production of this particular volume.

An important thing to note is that there are some differences between this Endeavor Academy version and the Foundation for Inner Peace version. For starters, the Foundation for Inner Peace version contains a sentence numbering system that was not overturned by the court case, as well as a book called "Clarification of Terms." The sentence numbering system comes in handy if you plan to use the Concordance. Without the sentence numbering, the Concordance (published by Foundation for A Course In Miracles) is basically useless.

So, my personal opinion is that if you are new to the Course it is preferable to start off with the Foundation for Inner Peace version of A Course In Miracles. I have nothing against the version for sale on this page, and I have nothing against Endeavor Academy. I just don't think the version for sale in this listing is best for those new to the Course.
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117 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a course in miracles, February 12, 2006
when i first picked up the course in miracles i read a small section of it and realised i had never encountered truth in this way. i immediately committed ten years of my life to the book. i refused to read anything else regarding spirituality for the first two years as i had become spiritually promiscuous like many westeners and believed that acim required absolute unpolluted focus. i have done the lesson six times and have run a group, of and on, for roughly 6 or 7 years. i am currently committed to reading the 31 chapters (roughly 20 pages each) in a month so that i can experience it over a shorter time frame that we did in the group study.

this book is like no other. there came a time in my life (after about three years of reading acim) where i felt i was standing on one of those red chinese bridges that have an upward curve and i knew that if i took one more step, in accepting the teachings of acim, i would never ever be able to experience the world in the old egoic way.

the grief i felt was enormous; after all there is some really cool things about the world and some really great addictions out there that i had used for over 3 decades - you know the stuff- great job (money power status travel), great looks, good clothes, sexual relationships, travel etc etc. there is nothing WRONG with these things - however, i used them to alleviate my suffering. which of course they did - for all of a nanosecond!

the grief came when i made a very conscious decision to leave behind the transitory nature of this world, and then came peace and i have never looked back. in many ways this allows me to also experience the world, my friends, job etc in a more authentic way - i am not "detached" but more an observer and more able to love and be present and honest in situations. i do not react and make endless judgements about people and events in the way i used to.

i never defend the teachings of acim - i do however share its message and instead of defending God (who needs no defense) i merely say that i am more patient, kinder, more forgiving, more generous, more compassionate now that i was before. this saves me from those ghastly debates i hear between people discussing whether God exists or not or whether acim is true or not.

i love the purity of the teachings of acim and it is jesus talking to us - never doubt it.
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86 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bible for the next millenium, February 25, 2000
I first found A Course in Miracles back when I was on the verge of suicide - all "spirit" had left and I wanted out. This book, though, is literally a "how to" book on finding, creating, and keeping Inner Peace. As a result of this book, everything in my life has gotten better. It's true what Jesus said - "The Kingdom of Heaven is within." Now I don't know about you, but I needed a step-by-step method of getting there. (After all, if I knew it was already there, and how to get there, I wouldn't have been lost out in the cold, all lonesome.) This book will most definitely open up your "inner sense" to hearing God's voice for yourself. Now you, too can take part in what Jesus promised in the Bible - "All these (miracles) will you do - and greater." If you're tired of sitting on the sidelines of traditional religion, feeling like roped sheep, then step out and use this book to get to your own inner enlightenment. No one will force you.
It's waiting. Will you come?
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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addressing some of the negative reviews, July 14, 2005
After reading some of the negative reviews, I decided to write another review to hopefully address some of the comments. Before doing so, it's important to keep in mind that this book/Course and every other set of religious/spiritual concepts and beliefs should not be ends in and of themselves. They are tools - things to be used to train the mind to an experience. When we feel a need to defend or attack the beliefs, this need should be looked at to see where we are coming from: are we supporting the idea of separation by becoming angry with others? Do we feel an identity from these beliefs? Is there fear when someone attacks the beliefs or path? If so, then it's a lesson - another lesson to stand back and chip away at the ego.

With that in mind, I hope to try and provide a feedback/correction-oriented foundation to the various posted items I address. If I come across as attacking or defensive, then ... chalk it up to someone who's still a work-in-progress :). I provide some snippets from various posts in double brackets and then attempt to respond directly afterward:

[[self-help clichés that made someone millions]]

The authors and the original editor (Ken Wapnick) never made millions. There are no self-help clichés in this book; it's a difficult path supported by a text that exposes the ego thought system and its dynamics. It's not an easy read. A friend was amazed at the level of understanding of ego dynamics I had; I told him that the Course and the mindfulness/cognitive-retraining in it were the foundation of it.

[[This book is so new-age and completely twists biblical facts around to cater to what we WANT to hear.]]

Some in the new-age community have made it into another ego-based spirituality, twisting its teachings to support a new-age concept of the self. When the book is read and studied, however, one sees that this book tries to counter the negative image of God and the universe that has been taught to us. It uses tools to get across a message that almost all of us don't want to hear: the message that the individual self is an illusion.

[[Yet, isn't the desire to remove desire already desire in itself?!]]

Yes - the classic paradox in all of these paths: one uses the ego and its tools to be free from it (which runs into inherent paradoxes when seen from a dualistic thought system - it's why Zen koans and teachings seem so intractable).

[[contradicitons ... If sin is just an illusion, why does it say "Sin proves that the Son of God was evil?]]

Actually, it's pointing out what the ego thought system believes - that the ego believes in sin and that it then sees that this `reality' of sin proves that the Son of God (us) is evil.

[[And, if one does not need to forgive anything that God created, why does it require one to forgive a brother?]]

This is the standard paradox, again, when we deal with spiritual teachings in the context of a dualistic thought system. Buddhism deals with this, also. The paradox is: on one level, we're perfect and forgiveness, bodies, selves, etc. are all unreal. However, we (whatever that is) are not aware of this; therefore, we need to use a dualistic tool - forgiveness - to become aware of it. For a good explanation of this in Zen, read The Parable of Enyadatta from the book, The 3 Pillars of Zen.

[[the course attacks and severely guilt-trips the very human experience of anger. Fear, also.]]

This is a misreading. Guilt itself is the complete opposite of the Course's teachings; therefore, perceiving that it's used as a tool for teaching about fear and anger is incorrect.

[[The text asks us to ... give up critical thinking]]

Actually, it doesn't. The entire Course uses the tool of rational logic to present its teachings. It emphasizes direct experience based upon a very deliberate look at every thought that pops up. It does not emphasize belief (as opposed to the tendency of some approaches to religion that emphasize belief versus questioning and direct experience).

[[There is never any reason to be angry." That -by definition- is spiritually crippling, destructive cult guilt]]

Firstly, when I read the poster's provided attributes of cult thinking, I didn't see the logical progression where the statement and the supporting definition of `cult guilt' were connected . Secondly, the Course - like other spiritualities - focuses on the things that cause suffering (anger, fear, etc.) with a metaphysical approach that gets rid of these `poisons' by the use of tools that get rid of the source of the problem: the fictional psychological self. When we see posters referring to the fact that Jesus was angry, we need to keep some things in mind. First, the story in the temple itself (or the elements of it) may be projections from people's minds. Secondly, and most importantly, the Course's concern with anger is when anger occupies our minds as a poison that causes suffering AND keeps the idea of separation going (because if one is angry, one needs to be angry at something OTHER). A spiritually-realized being like Jesus or Buddha may use anger as a tool for teaching and effect without their egos present; this latter is not what the Course is talking about.

[[Suppressed anger ... destructive to human health and well being]]

And the Course agrees with this and even goes one step further: anger prevents us from seeing our real nature. Instead of suppressing anger, the Course over and over again tells us to look at it with non-judgment -- but it MUST be looked at.

[[should pick up the Nag Hammadi Library - you will find the same ideas, in thier original terminology (rather than New Age lingo)]]

The Nag Hammadi texts have some of the same ideas but they don't focus on providing a western/psychological-based path to spiritual experience where forgiveness, mindfulness, and an extensive description of ego dynamics are presented. The Course is a spiritual path in a form that is very Western.

[[Why... would we be given the world, our bodies and everything we know just to be told that none of it matters and that the only thing that REALLY matters are things you can't see - that the only point of life as we know it is to escape it]]

Firstly, the world and bodies are problematic if that's our identity: because it speaks of a god and/or a universe that somehow thinks it's beneficial for us to come into being and experience a heck of a lot of pain and fear and then wind up losing our abilities and dying in the end. Secondly, the Course's point is NOT to escape this life: it's to reconsider everything that we currently perceive as separate from us under the tool of forgiveness and to experience this life as we really are. The `things we can't see' are things that aren't seen whenever we have a perceptual filter that defines the boundaries; change that and the results are overwhelming. I recommend reading `The 3 Pillars of Zen' for more information.

[[the course never truly explains the concept of evil in any meaningful way]]

It can't. And it can't explain the origin of the self in any real way - except to present it in a Course theology. Evil, sin, etc. - all products of this artificial self that's been constructed. Joseph Campbell, in the classic interviews by Bill Moyers on Campbell's work with Mythology, said that he learned religion by talking to Tibetan Buddhist monks who never said one bad thing about the Chinese who slaughtered their fellow monks. When one sees the ego and its dynamics and how it's conditioned by generations (e.g. my father's father was conditioned by his father and environment and then he treated my father accordingly and my father repeated the same pattern when raising me, etc.), one realizes that 'evil' is essentially ignorance - ignorance of one's real nature (and how the ego/self is just a construct formed from conditioning).

[[A Course Miracles makes the person of Jesus Christ nothing more than a way.]]

Actually, there is only one way. Each person that realizes his true nature, then, becomes a symbol of that one way. The person's background - including culture, beliefs, language, religion - are used as the context for the teachings. From the perspective of dualistic thinking, one may see each person - Buddha, Jesus, Rumi, etc. - as being THE ONLY ONE, THE ONLY WAY but ... the truth is that each is the ONE way, presented in a different form and with a different set of concepts (that all point to the same thing).

[[people looking for salvation, with an easy answer]]

Actually, this is very hard work and not the answer that people really want. Ken Wapnick once said that if people really knew what the Course was saying, that it wouldn't have sold so many books.

[[It contains a labyrinth of circular logic and gross contradictions making it all but impossible to construct a coherent teaching from this book, although many are attempting to.]]

I was lost in the book, as well, at one point. I studied it and attended classes on it - I'm a very skeptical person but I do have an open mind and yield to logic and empirical evidence. The Course emphasizes the same ideas over and over again in various forms. It speaks at different levels, based upon the reader's level of fear and background (it's like a one-room schoolhouse). The logic is coherent and sound; however, many in the Course community itself have taken things out of context and tried to make the Course say something it doesn't. Why? Because our egos don't want to hear the message.
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