The Voice: A Historical Moment with Helen
Helen Schucman talks about “The Voice”
That Conveyed A Course in Miracles to Her
In a rare recording featured here, Dr. Helen Schucman describes how she scribed A Course in Miracles and “The Voice” that conveyed it to her. The audio selection below was excerpted from a private interview she gave in 1976, the only one in existence today.
...There’s nothing that I would call ordinary audition about this at all. It doesn’t really…It’s a curious thing that will be very difficult to explain. Somebody asked me, “Was it as though your hand was moving?” No. I wrote perfectly voluntarily in response to…I call it a voice, but “a voice” has sounds...or sounds as though it has something to do with hearing. And I didn’t hear anything. I think it’s the sort of hearing that you can’t really describe. It doesn’t have anything to do with ears, or waves hitting a drum or anything on that order. I don’t really know, I think maybe I’m using the wrong word when I say “hear.” I sort of recognized it, it was very rapid, I could even....if I didn’t catch a phrase, I could sort of say, “Would you mind doing that again?”
...this was strictly mental. Otherwise I would consider it hallucinatory activity. I don’t feel it was that. ...It wasn’t my voice. It couldn’t have been because it talked about a whole area with which I am entirely unfamiliar.
s...I think “knew” may be a better word than “heard.” I did not know consciously at the beginning of the sentence how it was going to end. And that puts me under a further handicap in terms of ordinary language. Because ordinarily, I think, if you’re going to say a sentence you know what it’s going to be, you sort of get the Gestalt immediately. But I didn’t. And it came very easily, very rapidly, very smoothly. I guess even painlessly, except that it annoyed me to death, but that’s irrelevant. I guess “hear” isn’t the right word. I could stop anytime or pick it up anytime, and I did it in cabs and subways and anywhere, or sort of between telephone calls.
...The only curious thing that I do know, and this is curious, I am used to doing pretty much what I want to. And I do make my own decisions. But for some reason or other it never occurred to me not to do this. I thought that this should be done. I made every effort to keep it without me. I did not want to intrude on it. And I felt that it was a matter of personal integrity not to. I really did not interfere with it. I think the thing that I found upsetting about it was that it went against everything I believe, which is very hard to do. But...I felt it was much more important. I know what I believe, but I didn’t know what this was going to do next. And I was very pleased with its coherence, and with its being very consistent, which is something I would regard as a mandatory criterion. It read very well. And I know the pain with which I manage to get something to read halfway as well as that, which is very agonizing. And this came out very quickly. It talked about a system I don’t know anything about, and confused me no end. I’m still cross-eyed.
The audio excerpts on this site with verbatim transcripts of Helen Schucman are copyrighted, all rights reserved, and are exclusively used here with permission.