WILLIAM THETFORD/A COURSE IN MIRACLES
The following is taken from my friend David Hoffmeister’s AwakeningInChrist [at] yahoogroups [dot] com
It is about Bill Thetford, one of the first two A Course In Miracles students in the world! He helped to usher ACIM into the world for people to use as a means to remember God. I excerpt from an interview with Bill published in New Realities Magazine in Sept/Oct 1984.
William Thetford was one of the two personalities behind the manifestation of one of the Century's most enigmatic and profound spiritual thought systems - A Course In Miracles.
Once a professed agnostic, Dr. Thetford talks about his secret role in scribing the Course and how it personally affected him and his work in psychology, as well as the prestigious positions he held as Professor of Medical Psychology at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, and as Director of the Psychology Department at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Dr. Thetford brings out several points that God repeatedly emphasizes in Heavenletters:
Q: As one of the two persons responsible for scribing A Course In Miracles, what has been the impact of it on your life?
It has changed my life totally. I recall typing the first
fifty principles on miracles that came through Helen Schucman
in the fall of 1965, and realized that if this material was true,
then absolutely everything I believed would have to be
challenged--I would have to reconstruct my whole belief system.
At the time, however, I thought that would be impossible; I didn't
know how I could do it. Yet I felt that was a requirement,
since the material that came through Helen in the beginning phase
seemed so authentic and genuine.
I went into shock for a brief period, wondering how it would be possible to make such an abrupt change in my perception of life and the world. Later I realized that God is merciful, and does not ask us to make changes so abruptly, that there would be adequate time to gradually begin to shift my
perception. I think what was important was my willingness to change, not mastery of the material.
I wonder if Heavenreaders pick up the same main points from this I do?
1. The messages challenged everything he believed in.
2. The knowledge changed his perception of life and the world.
3. What was important was his willingness to change, not mastery of the material.
I personally think the last point is the most important of all. The willingness. Not the knowledge gained, but the willingness. ]
Back to the interview:
Q: What exactly was your role in the scribing process of the
Course? Did you hear a voice too?
Both Helen and I knew from the beginning that this was a
collaborative assignment, although I did not hear a voice. While
Helen heard the inner dictation, she was incapable of transcribing
the material directly herself, since she found the content of the
Course too threatening. My role was to offer the considerable
support and reassurance needed each day for Helen to continue her
shorthand notebook recording. She would then read the material to
me, and I would type it directly from her dictation.
Q: What specifically about it made it obvious to you that this was
WT: Perhaps the fact that it was so totally different from the way
I had been operating throughout my life. But the authenticity of
the material more than anything else struck me. I knew that Helen
had not made this up, even with her very fertile imagination.
Q The authenticity. . ?
WT: Well, the material was something that transcended anything that
either of us could possibly conceive of. And since the content was
quite alien to our backgrounds, interests and training, it was
obvious to me that it came from an inspired source. The quality of
the material was very compelling, and its poetic beauty added to its
The expression inner dictation says it very well. I also relate to the messages of Heavenletters being far beyond my personal range. I too value the poetic beauty.
In other ways our experiences were quite different.
At first, Helen resisted these messages coming to her! Can you imagine! She didn’t want them, didn’t like them, didn’t believe in them! I, on the other hand, whooped for joy when God’s messages started coming!
Helen’s need for William Thetford’s support confirmed for me how nice human support is no matter how much the Divine plays a part.
At first when I read about all the support William gave, I thought: “My road is lonelier than Helen’s.” Then I recognized I am buoyed by the support of Heavenreaders and members of the Yahoo Group and now this message board who share in the joy of God’s unbounded words in Heavenletters. Add to that the many angel volunteers who give tirelessly of themselves to bring Heavenletters out into the world, I am very grateful.
David Hoffmeister will continue sharing this interview 5-part interview, and maybe I will too!