A Historical Context…
By Gloria and Kenneth Wapnick:
Helen Schucman, scribe of the Course, had a clear awareness that A Course in Miracles as A Course in Miracles would not be understood or welcomed by the world at large. She knew, from the wisdom of Jesus within her, that the purity of its non-dualistic thought system and its radical implications for daily living under the principle of forgiveness would indeed be threatening to all the thought systems prevalent in the world, including those of most spiritualities. It was clear to her that this would lead-as the Course’s brief history has already demonstrated-to the Course’s being considered flagrantly heretical to many, and totally unacceptable to others. In conclusion, Helen accepted as fact that the teachings of A Course in Miracles would not be widely understood in the pure form with which they had been dictated to her, nor would its true message be embraced by millions of people.
However, Helen certainly did not mean by this that the Course should be diluted or changed to suit the presumed needs of others. Indeed, just the opposite was the case. She and William Thetford, her partner in the collaborative venture of taking down the Course, knew that Jesus had given them A Course in Miracles as a sacred trust precisely because they would uphold its purity and preserve the clarity of its teachings. This holy purpose can be seen, incidentally, in the clear instruction Helen received from Jesus that the three books of the Course should not be abridged or separated, nor its curriculum altered in any way.
This sacred trust was extended to the Foundation for Inner Peace by Helen in 1975 as the official organization that would represent A Course in Miracles in the world. When she was instructed by Jesus to assign the copyright of the Course and all publishing rights to the Foundation, there were two explicit components to this assignment, reflecting the dual function the Foundation was to have: 1) publishing and disseminating A Course in Miracles; and 2) teaching the Course through publications and classes held at a future teaching center: a building Helen “saw” near a body of water, which she symbolically conceived to be white with a gold cross atop it that clearly represented Jesus. As was described in Kenneth’s book, Absence from Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of A Course in Miracles, in the years prior to the Course’s publication there was serious discussion among Helen, Bill, and Kenneth (and later Judith Skutch Whitson and Robert Skutch) about establishing this teaching center where they would all live together and teach the Course, which was primarily to be Kenneth’s responsibility. For a variety of reasons, this specific form of a center did not come to pass during those early years, but the content of teaching always remained an integral part of the ongoing responsibility of the Foundation for Inner Peace.