from the Autobiography of
Dr. Helen Cohn Schucman
In 1975, at the request of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, Helen’s trusted friend and colleague, she expanded and updated a life story that she had originally composed many years before. In the expanded version provided here, she writes about her memories of important public, private and professional aspects of her life. She relates how she came to scribe A Course in Miracles and the conflicting emotions she experienced during the process.
Curiously, as Helen’s extraordinary story of her life unfolds,
we gain such insights about her strong and sometimes conflicted
personality that she initially seems to be a very unlikely choice
to scribe A Course in Miracles.
Dissatisfied with this relatively superficial version of her story, a few years later Dr. Wapnick wrote a more detailed and scholarly biography: Absence From Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of A Course in Miracles. In the Preface, he states,
“It was mutually understood by (Helen and by me) that her unpublished autobiography was hardly a true and accurate account of her life, being rather an overly stylized, literary rendering – her public stance – that did not truly reflect the deeper level of Helen’s feelings and experiences. Our one attempt to correct the inaccuracies and edit out the distortions, while an improvement in some places, proved in many others to be even worse than the original. Recounting how certain events in her life – especially those of a religious nature, and even more specifically, those events surrounding A Course in Miracles – aroused tremendous anxiety in Helen, and her discomfort directly led to an almost fierce over-editing that affected the faithfulness of her life’s retelling. It was out of this context, therefore, that I said to Helen that I would write her story, as well as the related events – inner and outer – that preceded, accompanied, and followed her taking down the Course. Helen agreed that this was a good idea....”
Obviously, for those with extended interest in the scribe of A Course in Miracles, reference to Absence from Felicity for a more detailed and informational account of her life is essential. It provides a comprehensive and more precise account of Helen’s life. It chronicles her childhood and adult years from family to career including details of what happened preceding, during, and following the scribing of the Course. A scholarly work, it clarifies and supplements her original autobiography which is presented here.