Helen Schucman, Ph.D.
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Interview with Helen | Helen's
Poetry | Helen's Early Years
A Note from Ken Wapnick about Helen's Poetry:
During the transmission of A Course in Miracles and continuing after
its completion, Helen wrote the poems in this volume. Readers
familiar with the Course will be aware of the stylistic similarities
between the two, as well as their shared spiritual content. Despite
these similarities, Helen felt that there was a difference between
them. She considered herself the "scribe" of the Course but the
"inspired author" of the poems.
The poems were written over a ten-year period. They have been divided into four sections: Early Poems, Personal Poems, Later Poems and The Gifts of God. The actual dates of the poems may be found in the appendix.
The poetry included in the first section dates from March to November of 1971. (There was one earlier poem, "The Gifts of Christmas," which is included with the other Christmas poems in the third section.) These poems were written while Helen was still taking down the Course and deal with spiritual themes found in it.
The personal poems in the second section were written between December, 1973 and February, 1977. They clearly express the ambivalence of Helen's relationship with Jesus: both her love and longing for him, and her fears and wavering faith.
The third section covers a wider span of time- from "The Gifts of Christmas" to Helen's final poem, "The Second Easter," completed in March, 1978. The last poem in this section, "Requiem," was written for a friend whose mother was near death.
The fourth section consists of a long blank verse poem in five sections which is printed here in prose form. It bears a marked similarity to the material in the Course, both in form and content.
Helen chose to conceal her spiritual journey from all but a few of her closest friends and family members. Others would have been incredulous if they had known of her spiritual writings. While generally ill at ease with the Course, Helen was more uncomfortable and even embarrassed by the poetry, which at times reflects a closer and more personal relationship with Jesus. Because the poems gave Helen's secret away, she did not wish them to be published during her lifetime. In addition, she wanted to preserve her anonymity as "scribe" of A Course in Miracles, firmly maintaining that it should stand on its own, with the true author, Jesus, remaining its sole inspirational figure. She knew that any public recognition of her role would distract from this focus. It was only after her death on February 9, 1981, that the Foundation for Inner Peace decided to publish these poems as its tribute to Helen who gave so much to the world.
Poetry Sampling from
The Gifts of God
by Helen Schucman
Following are selected samplings from The Gifts of God containing 114 of Helen's poems.
My soul is still. It does not know the thoughts
My mind imagines. It does not perceive
My meaningless endeavors, nor the goals
Of sin and madness in which I believe.
Immovable my soul remains, and sure
Of immortality, in peace so deep
That all the shocks I feel can not come near
Its limitless tranquility. I sleep,
And dream of evil and decay and death,
Of which my soul knows nothing, Perfectly
It rests in its Creator and in me.
SONG TO MY SELF
I cannot be replaced. I am unique
In God's creation. I am held so dear
By Him that it is madness to believe
That I could suffer pain or loss or fear.
Holy am I; in sinlessness complete,
In wisdom infinite, in love secure,
In patience perfect, and in faithfulness
Beyond all thought of sin, and wholly pure.
Who could conceive of suffering for me?
Surely the mind that thought it is insane.
I never left my Father's house. What need
Have I to journey back to Him again?
THE HOLY RELATIONSHIP
I am God's Son, His mother, father, friend,
His brother and His love. For all of this
Is He to me, and thus am I to Him.
The world is His. And being His is mine.
My holiness extends from Him, to be
His holiness, by love complete in me.
To heal it is not needful to allow
The thought of bodies to' engulf your mind
In darkness and illusions. Healing is
Escape from all such thoughts. You hold instead
Only a single thought, which teaches You
Your brother is united with your mind,
So bodily intrusions on his peace
Cannot arise to jeopardize the Son
Whom God created sinless as Himself.
Think never of the body, Healing is
The thought of unity. Forget all things
That seem to separate. Your brother's pain
Has but one remedy; the same as yours.
He must be whole, because he joins with you,
And you are healed, because you join with him.
MOTHER OF THE WORLD
Peace is a woman, mother to the world,
Whom God has sent to lay a gentle hand
Across a thousand children's fevered brows.
In its cool certainty there is no fear,
And from her breasts there comes a quietness
For them to lean against and to be still.
She brings a message to their frightened hearts
From Him Who sent her. Listen now to her
Who is your mother in your Father's Name:
"Do not attend the voices of the world.
Do not attempt to crucify again
My first-born Son, and brother still to you."
Heaven is in her eyes, because she looked
Upon this Son who was the first. And now
She looks to you to find him once again.
Do not deny the mother of the world
The only thing she ever wants to see,
For it is all you ever want to find.
THE CIRCULAR WAY
The transient things are not of God.
For He Creates like to Himself. How can it be
That what the One Eternal calls His Own
Has but a little life, with breath on loan
And mortgaged unto death? We seem to go
From birth to certain death, and do not know
What goes before or after. Yet we tread
A golden circle, and are surely led
Back to the Source of our infinity,
To which we will return as certainty.
The world knows not of quiet. Restlessness
Is its abiding law. From there it goes
To pain and joylessness, and back again
To the unceasing restlessness on which
It stands, uncertain, insecure and frail,
Prey to illusions, victimized by guilt.
Yet quietness comes over it at last.
For when forgiveness comes, its certain gift
Is stillness, in which all the world is hushed;
A silence where the littleness of sin
Shrinks into nothingness before the Love
Forgiveness represents. And in His Name
Is everyone acknowledged as the same.
Say but "I love you" to all living things,
And they will lay their blessing over you
To keep you ever safe and ever sure
That you belong to God and He to you.
What but "I love you" could the greeting be
Of Christ to Christ, Who welcomes but Himself?
And what are you except the Son of God,
The Christ Whom He would welcome to Himself?
I did not know Your Voice. And what I heard
I did not understand. There was a Word
In which was everything. Yet all I found
In its immensity was but the sound
Of meaningless contention. I passed by
A thousand waiting angels, And as I
Rushed along vain detours I did not see
The hosts of holiness surrounding me.
Yet I will certainly return. For You
Have promised that whatever I may do,
Angels arid holy hosts will wait; the Word
Will hover over me till it is heard.
Strange was my Love to me. For when He came
I did not know Him. And He seemed to me
To be but an intruder on my peace.
I did not see the gifts He brought, nor heard
His soft appeal. I tried to shut Him out
With locks and keys that merely fell away
Before His coming. I could not escape
The gentleness with which He looked at me.
I asked Him in unwillingly, and turned
Away from Him. But He held out His hand
And asked me to remember Him. In me
An ancient Name began to stir and break
Across my mind in gold. The light embraced
Me deep in silence till He spoke the Word,
And then at last I recognized my Lord.
You are not asked to sacrifice the good
Or the desirable in any way.
You are asked only to renounce all things
That would destroy your peace. For God is Love.
Center your thoughts on Him, and you will see
He gives you everything, with neither more
Nor less conceivable from this time forth,
And on to the eternal. Sorrow is
Inaccurate perception; pain is but
A sad mistake. Renounce but this, and you
Call unto Christ to pardon and renew.
THE HOLY PURPOSE
There is no death. What God creates must be
Eternal, changeless, incorruptible
And safe forever. Can the holy die?
And can the Son of God be made as he
Was not created? Heed the body not.
It serves its purpose and is given up.
It cannot suffer if the mind invests
It with a holy purpose. Miracles
Are always ready to restore and heal
The mind's intent, if it forget its goal.
Communication, then restored, will be
The Holy Spirit's single remedy.
There is a singing underneath the world
That holds it up, and enters in behind
All twisted thoughts, and comes to set them straight.
There is an ancient melody that still
Abides in every mind and sings of peace,
Eternity, and all the quiet things
That God created. Angels sing with joy,
And offer you their song, for it is yours.
You sing as ceaselessly. The Son of God
Can never sing alone. His voice is shared
By all the universe. It is the call
To God, and answered by His Voice Itself.
Angels are Thoughts that come from God to you.
Secure in their protection may you rest;
Quiet in certainty that comes from them,
At peace in mind and heart and holiness;
Unmindful of the world, and sure that they
Are with you, watching over you, and fixed
In their determination to maintain.