This book is based on Williamson's discovery of A Course in Miracles , a self-help guide whose provenance she doesn't explain. Age 26 at the time and feeling lost and desperate after indulging in the excesses of the 1960s, the Jewish author had no real hope for inspiration from the course . But, she writes in this guide to the guide, the program works "miracles" for herself and for others who adopt its principles. Her extrapolations may appeal to readers in need of spiritual sustenance, but one questions Williamson's advice to the gravely ill. When she encourages them, for example, to "write a letter to AIDS or cancer or whatever illness they might have, and tell it everything they feel"--even to fabricate "replies" from the disease--readers are likely to consider that a serious situation is trivialized. Williamson is founder and president of the Los Angeles and Manhattan Center for Living, a support service. BOMC alternate; author tour.