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Why are there different versions of A Course in Miracles?
What are the differences, and which edition do you use?
Many students and teachers of A Course in Miracles don't know or didn't know until the early years of the 21st century that there is more than one version of ACIM, and that the editing process of A Course in Miracles is considered controversial by some.
In fact, many around the world still don't.
For example, it is said that 45,000-50,000 words were omitted from the original handwritten notes that were dictated to Helen by Jesus (version 1 below) compared to the famous blue book, the FIP version (version 5 below). Most of the removed content was omitted from the first 7 chapters of "The Text" section of the book.
It is also considered by some that while the editors intended to remove only personal materials relevant only to Helen and Bill, more than that was removed during the editing process - even if unintentionally.
For example, in the 1st chapter of the text, we find 53 principles of miracles in versions 1-4 of the course, compared to the 50 principles found in the famous FIP version (the fifth version below); With all honesty and respect to the editors' truly amazing and unimaginable work, the missing 3 miracles do not seem to be personal material that relates to Helen and Bill alone. Having said that, this is just an example. While some of the removed material doesn't seem personal or otherwise needs to be removed, some of it indeed is personal, and it makes total sense that it was removed.
In short, the different versions of A Course in Miracles correlate to the different phases of scribing and editing the course:
Version 1: The original handwritten notes, written by Helen as they were dictated to her by the voice of Jesus during 1965-1972.
Version 2: The Thetford Transcript. This is a typed copy of the original, handwritten notes. Therefore, some do not consider it as a version of its own, while some do.
Version 3: The 'Urtext.' This is probably Helen's first typing of the original notes. Some say that some material was removed in this version. It is claimed that the removed material was personal (relating to Helen and Bill), yet some say that it is not so personal, and they are unhappy about that material being removed. Other parts were removed as they were discussions related to the field of psychology. And some say that other parts that were not in the original notes were added.
Version 4: The Hugh Lynn Cayce (HLC) version. This is the version used in this website. This is a version that Helen and Bill gave as a gift to Hugh Lynn Cayce in 1972, before the publication of the book in 1976. It is considered less edited than the 5th version (the FIP version), with about 10,000 more words, and was declared as copyright-free by a court of law in the Southern District Court of New York, USA, on October 24th, 2003. (This is not legal advice or representation of any sorts to anyone at all, and all responsibility for usage of this information in any way is, and always will be, yours and only yours.)
In this website, I have added to the HLC version the very few sentences that are found in both the Urtext version and the FIP version but are missing in the HLC version. I've done that since a sentence that exists in the versions that come both before and after the HLC version is probably missing from the HLC version only by mistake. Given the magnitude and length of A Course in Miracles, it is only natural that such unintentional human mistakes will happen.
Version 5: The FIP (Foundation for Inner Peace) edition(s). Published in 1976, this is the blue book that is commonly used around the world. It is actually The 2nd edition published by the FIP. An earlier one was published in 1975 (commonly related to as 'the Nun's Version,' as a Nun typed it). A 3rd edition, officially called the 2nd edition, was published in 1992. The 2nd and 3rd editions have some small minor corrections compared to the Nun's Version edition.
It is generally considered that the course's essence, its main messages and practices, are the same in all versions. Having said that, some still prefer to know the less edited versions of the course and consider them to shed further light on the teachings and practices.
Personally, I studied and practices the FIP edition for many years before I ever came across the other versions, and I still use it whenever I use a printed book. But I love many parts of the HLC version, the version that is offered to you on this website, and I find it to be at least as beautiful, insightful, transformational, and practical as the FIP version - if not more.
Some of the edited and removed materials do not seem personal or irrelevant to me, and I enjoy reading them. Additionally, the first 5 chapters of the Text are quite different in the first 4 versions than the FIP version. Whether it is because the material was re-arranged by the editors of the FIP version or because some of it was also omitted, I love the first 5 chapters of the text better the way they are in the HLC version.
Unlike some others who are angry about the omission of some materials in the FIP version, I have neither anger nor complaint, but rather gratitude towards the FIP version's scribes and editors. While free thinking is such that it has the freedom to question any decision that anyone makes, I also remember that it is thanks to their efforts that we can study and enjoy this beautiful course to begin with. For that (and more), I am forever grateful to them.
In bringing forth this online version of the HLC version of the course, I tried my best to keep it as close as possible to the chapters order, titles, and divisions of the Text as it is in the FIP version because it is by far the most commonly used around the world (largely because it was the only one available until recent years).
Thus, it is less confusing for those who want to practice and study the different versions of A Course in Miracles, and for people who use different versions but want to study together. In a way, I kept the structure of the FIP version, but infused it with the content of the HLC vesrion.
But as the first 5 chapters of the text are so different between the HLC version and the FIP version, it was impossible to follow the FIP chapters with the HLC version for those chapters.
This will help anyone who studies both versions, or uses this website to study with those who use the FIP version, to study together, as the references to the locations of passages in the course will be similar in both versions, except for parts in which the text is too different in these 2 versions.
This also means that when using this website, you're getting more of A Course in Miracles' original content, in a way that is easy to compare and work with the common FIP version.
You're getting the best of both worlds.
- Exact phrase
- Any part of the phrase
- All parts of the phrase
- Entire Course
- Manual For Teachers
- Section Number
- Number of Results (Ascending)
- Number of Results (Descending)