ACIM by the numbers (Sheri Baker on ACIM: Article #7)

By Sheri Baker

Sheri Baker

Sheri Baker

As a kid, I remember creating artistic “masterpieces” simply by following the lead set by the paint-by-number artist. Likewise, by following the lead of our inner Guide, a.k.a. Holy Spirit, Jesus, or Unseen Therapist (as this force is lovingly referred to in Optimal EFT), we are guaranteed to awaken to the spiritual masterpiece within us all.

Before we delve into the principles of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) which guide this journey of awakening, let’s wrap up our introduction to ACIM by looking at a few of the significant numbers associated with the book: 1972 — 7 — 1,500 — 5,000 — 1976 — 1,249 — 483,621 — 3 — 365 — 2 — 25 — one.

In 1972, after 7 long years of dedicated work, Helen Schucman completed her scribing of A Course in Miracles. Unsure of what to do next, she locked away the 1,500-page typewritten manuscript in a filing cabinet in the office she shared with Bill Thetford, her colleague and collaborator.

Considering the magnitude of its message and the authority by which it was written, it became increasingly evident to Helen and Bill that the Course’s content was not meant for them alone. All they knew to do, however, was to sit and wait. Two months after the scribing was completed, another psychologist, Ken Wapnick, joined the pair and assisted with the meticulous task of editing. They added paragraph and section breaks, along with chapter headings, to facilitate reading, and ensured consistent capitalization and punctuation. The voice of the Course — Jesus — was concerned only with delivering its message (i.e. the content), and entrusted the minimal editing (the form) to the three PhDs. 

Next to join the group was Judy Skutch, who helped catapult the Course toward its inevitable worldwide distribution. Due in no small part to her efforts and enthusiasm, the first 5,000 copies of A Course in Miracles were published in hardback version on June 22, 1976.

The curriculum of the Course consists of 1,249 pages containing 483,621 words, divided into 3 books: Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual For Teachers. The Text provides the theoretical foundation which puts forth the concepts and principles upon which this spiritual thought system is based. The Workbook consists of 365 daily lessons, providing the practical training to help us shift our thinking from fear to love. The Manual answers frequently asked questions, and clarifies a number of terms used throughout the Course.

After the Course was scribed, 2 supplemental documents were received by Helen through the same inner dictation process. Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice describes how to apply the Course’s theoretical principles of healing to the field of psychotherapy, and The Song of Prayer: Prayer, Forgiveness, Healing helps us understand the nature of prayer in the context of healing.

Our foray into ACIM numbers concludes with a mention of those which tell us where to find specific quotes within the book. Because the Course is printed in several editions, not to mention about 25 translations, in future articles I will utilize a self-explanatory reference system instead of page numbers to identify each quote’s location.

Where does all of this lead? Ultimately, to the recognition of who we are — perhaps the most significant number of all — one.