Unlike most thought systems, A Course in Miracles does not proceed in a truly linear fashion with its theoretical structure built upon increasingly complex ideas. Rather, the Course's development is more circular with its themes treated symphonically: introduced, set aside, reintroduced, and developed. This results in an interlocking matrix in which every part is integral and essential to the whole, while implicitly containing that whole within itself.
This structure establishes a process of learning instead of merely setting forth a theoretical system. The process resembles the ascent up a spiral staircase. The reader is led in a circular pattern, each revolution leading higher until the top of the spiral is reached, which opens unto God. Thus, the same material consistently recurs, both within the Course as a thought system, as well as in learning opportunities in our personal lives. Each revolution, as it were, leads us closer to our spiritual goal. The last two paragraphs in the first chapter of the text particularly emphasize this cumulative impact of the Course's learning process.
Through careful study of the text, along with the daily practice that the workbook provides, the student is gradually prepared for the deeper experiences of God towards which A Course in Miracles points. Intellectual mastery of its thought system will not suffice to bring about the perceptual and experiential transformation that is the aim of the Course.
Our teaching materials include excerpts from our books and tapes, which discuss different aspects of the Course's thought system. We hope this will aid you with your study and understanding of the Course.
If you are not familiar with the Course and its terminology, we suggest that you read a brief introduction to the theory of the Course, which is excerpted from the Glossary-Index for A Course in Miracles, fourth edition. Terms that are germane to the Course or our teaching of the Course have been excerpted from the Glossary-Index and placed in an abbreviated glossary. Hyperlinks to these terms are also provided within the text itself. In addition, we have included an annotation page describing the two ways in which we cite references to A Course in Miracles, as well as a chart depicting the Course metaphysics.
These teaching materials have been prepared as a guide for students of A Course in Miracles. The materials referenced herein are not intended as a substitute for working through the Course itself. Rather, these materials are intended as an aid in studying and understanding the Course's thought system so that its principles may be more effectively applied to one's daily life.