Never Forget To Laugh

In a few short years all who knew Bill Thetford personally will have exited the world stage.  It would be unconscionable for this first generation of A Course In Miracles students, those who were Bill's friends, to leave without recording our collective witnessing of his transformation.¹  Humanity expends much time and treasure seeking any scrap of information about the teachers, philosophers, and avatars who have gone before, lighting the path for us throughout all cultures and ages.  Bill was such a light. 

Drs. William Thetford and Helen Schucman were professors of medical psychology at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, eminent in their field and known for their research into personality theory.  The preface to A Course In Miracles states that the scribes’ names do not matter and, therefore, are not listed on the cover.  True though that may be, as the Course continues to become more widely recognized for the life-changing curriculum it proposes, more people are interested in knowing about these two who considered themselves most unlikely candidates for the job. 


In beginning this project, I originally intended to simply write about my own personal memories and recollections of Bill, perhaps with input from my family and some friends in Denver who also knew and loved him.  The writing project took on a life of its own, however, and grew to include recollections from a number of his close friends, as well as input from archival records.  In time, even though we are never objective about anyone and see them through our own individual filters, a common view of Bill emerged—and what a picture!

In some extant publications on ACIM and from information on the Internet—some incomplete or actually incorrect—Bill’s role often seems marginalized as the typist or as Helen’s helper.  In most of these accounts, one does not begin to fathom Bill’s presence, his greatest contribution.  As for A Course In Miracles, his gifts were twofold: as Helen’s unwavering partner and co-scribe and as its most dedicated and accomplished practitioner. 

The Course lays out a specific plan to liberate our happiness and peace of mind, and Bill’s commitment to it personified the process of forgiveness.  For more than ten years, a number of people had the good fortune of watching a master teacher in the making, as Bill’s ego steadily dissolved and his gracious presence—the same presence that exists in all of us—became ever more radiant and unencumbered.  My intention is to pay homage to Bill for the gifts he gave us, to provide a more complete portrayal of his life, and to show how his awakening process can illuminate our own.

Bill Thetford co-scribe of ACIM