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on August 9, 2011
This original edition of the Course in Miracles is worth buying if you are a Course student or contemplating investigating Course material. Though all the versions of the Course are merely a reorganization of symbols "twice removed from reality," this original version contains, in the first five chapters, one-fifth more very direct, intimate words from Christ than the edited version which is the version commonly read. For example, there are 107 Principles of Miracles in the original edition, only 50 in the edited version of the Course in Miracles. After reading the original version of the Course in Miracles, I had to order A Course in Miracles: Original Edition.
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on November 28, 2008
Which course version is best to use?

"What the mind is trying to figure out, the heart already knows."

After reading Robert Rosenthal's thoughts on my last course comments, I have revised them. I hope whoever you are that is reading this, that these thoughts will be of value to you. I have included my email at the end.

There is a lingering question for some, which is: which "Course In Miracles" version is best to read, the HLC (Hugh Lynn Casey) version, also called the original version, or the Foundation version?

Let me start by saying, I have both the foundation and HLC versions.

But I won't advise which version of the course is best for someone to read, because who can say with certainty what another should read? Or what another needs . . . other than love, which is the "only message of the course," no matter the version, and we would all agree, no matter one's spiritual path, or we could say, even if there is no spiritual path.

A fellow named John Dryden said it this way: "Love is its own reward." And reduced to 5 words, that is what the course teaches, no matter the version.

And the course teaches that it is just as important to our spiritual learning, to our psychological and spiritual well being, to learn that fear, guilt, doubt, worry, anger, stress, revenge, and so on, also birth their own rewards.

It is our practicing to see the love in our "everyday life events and in others," in as gentle a way as possible, without sacrificing our dignity or integrity, it is finding a way to do that, to see the love behind all events, no matter how we may judge them, it is that "finding" which is important, rather than what version of the course, or of any spiritual path we choose to use.

In learning to find and see this way, I would mention the word "Namaste," the Spirit in me, sees the Sprit in everything."The course teaches this. And importantly adds - and asks us to notice that - the ego in me (the non-spiritual side) teaches and sees the ego in everything, and that we can learn, we can practice learning, to let go of that ego way of seeing.

And we can because the "Namaste" way of seeing is already present in our minds, we have just learned to forget that . . . and so we can learn to remember. You could say this is another way of saying what the course teaches. And the course text and manuel, present the theory behind this type of thinking.

The lessons make the "everyday practical application of course theory possible" - if we take to it - in our everyday practical lives, not on a mountain top somewhere. And if we don't take to it, we should look for something else. The course does not say it is the only way, it says there are many others, as many as their are people. It says some of us just need to read the text, others, the manuel, some the course tells us, just need a (more below) smile. It took me 10 years from the time I first heard about the course, to buy the book.

Thinking along this line, again, the course itself does not even tell us we must use it because there is no other way. It does not even tell us how to begin using it, or really how to use it, it leaves it up to us to choose.

For example from the introduction: "The order in which students choose to use the books, and the ways in which they study them, depend on their particular needs and preferences.'

And from the manuel section: "In some cases, it may be helpful for the pupil to read the manual first. Others might do better to begin with the workbook. Still others may need to start at the more abstract level of the text. Which is for which? Who would profit more from prayers alone? Who needs but a smile, being as yet unready for more?

It even emphasizes that it is "but one version of the universal curriculum. There are many others, this one differing from them only in form. They all lead to God in the end." And then from the preface: "It (the course) emphasizes that it is but one version of the universal curriculum. There are many others, this one differing from them only in form. They all lead to God in the end."

And not many books, or people, say that about their spiritual path.

Course Info On LIne

To see what you think about the course (no matter the version) for yourself before buying it, it is now possible to read the complete foundation version on line, n/c, with the exception of the Psychotherapy and Prayer sections. The P and P sections are included in the most current foundation version, the one with the gold seal on the front cover. And I would suggest that it is not necessary to read those to make a decision, to get a feeling for the content, unless perhaps, you are a therapist. And if so, you can purchase either at: acim.org at $5.50 each, or check Amazon. I do not make any $ if you buy anything (:--).

More on the HLC and some of its differences from the foundation course book, a little later.

- If you would like to review the official course web site you can go to acim.org. It has great course information, how the course came, what it is, what it says, as well as the "Workbook or Lessons" section available to read and/or download, n/c.

Then there is miraclecenter.org. This site also has the "Workbook or the Lessons," as well as the text, and the manuel for teachers, n/c. Significantly, it also has an extensive listing of study groups, general course events, and a newsletter you can sign up for.

For insights on the HLC version and the book itself: jcim.net.

For all of the above it goes without saying you can go to books, at Amazon.

- And even though Ken Wapnick, who heads up the "Foundation For A Course In Miracles," and was someone who worked on the course editing, recommends the foundation version, he said in a paper about the course, that we should not have any guilt about which version we use. And that people should do whatever they want, as long as it it not hurtful.

It might be helpful for you to see Mr. Wapnick speak about the course on "You Tube" or by going to facim.org. This site is also a gold mine of information, with many, many answers to often asked questions about the course. Some love this site, others do not take to it.

Changes In First Hundred Pages

Most changes in the HLC version, vs. the official or foundation course book, are in the first 100 pages of the HLC version, as Mr. Rosenthal pointed out. As I said, I have both books. Also you can read about additional changes that someone said were made in chapters 17 - 22, (below) I have not reviewed this myself.

And it should be said that we can carry this "which version thing" much to far. We can wait in the spiritual train station to get the right train for our journey, for a long time, Or as it was much better stated: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao-tzu. Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC) We have to begin somewhere.

What Mr. Rosenthal did not point out were the depth of some of the changes in the first 100 pages, the sentences, the paragraphs, the thoughts that were moved, changed, re-worded, and moved to other places within in the text, which is why I have both.

I want to also "highlight" that the first 100 pages, as many others have written about in these comments, are much, much more conversational and less formal than the foundation version, and seem easier to read and understand. "To me" and others who have written about this, the first 100 pages can be very helpful.

For example: there are 53 miracle principles in the HLC, not 50 as in the foundation version. And for me, you can decide for yourself, the in depth explanations that go with many of the miracle principle's are not in the foundation version with the principles, they along with many other sentences, have been moved to other places.

I found those explanations very helpful where they were in the HLC version and worth buying, now we can get them, download them, on line. The additional miracles principle explanations were the primary reason I bought the HLC version.

And again, you can find out more about the HLC version: jcim.net. You can check it out, without buying it, and see what you think

Another example regarding the editing during the first 100 pages is the use of the word `obedience."

First here is the foundation version: "An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom."

And here is the HLC version: An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience and - a reasonable amount of - obedience for his greater wisdom."

There is a world of difference between "obedience" in the foundation version, and "a reasonable amount of obedience" in the HLC version. What do you think?

Again, I found it very helpful buying the HLC version for the first 100 pages, to better understand the foundation version, now we can find the HLC on line.

Plus you can read this Amazon review here (mentioned above) I have cut and pasted: By Karen Wright, I have not checked it out. Karen wrote:

I've read all the edits of A Course in Miracles and find this Original Edition easier to read and understand, especially the first five chapters. In the Foundation's version of ACIM, 1/5 of the material dictated to Helen S. was edited out, which makes these early chapters very choppy because large sections of material are missing. I spent years trying to make sense of them, until I finally got a copy of the Original Edition of ACIM.

Also, this original edition preserves the original language of the dictation of Chapters 17-22 on the Holy Relationship, which were addressed to both Helen and Bill T. as they collaborated to produce the manuscript. Later editing changed the focus to a solitary reader, removing the mutuality that is explicit in the original dictation and I believe an important element of the Course's teachings about Holy Relationships.

How The Course Came To Be

If you have interest on the course origins, I suggest, "Journey Without Distance" by Robert Skutch, someone who was there, Some sections may appeal more than others, but all and all it is a heartfelt, and informative remembrance. And as time has passed, I find it more and more interesting. Go to acim.org ($12) or try Amazon.

Again, I do not make any $ no matter what you buy (:--) .

Course Teachings And Which Version

The course, no matter the version, helps us train, or re-train our mind to see; that no matter what our life choices and their results, we can only see or experience life, or choose to see or experience life, in one of two ways . . . in only one of two ways . . . we can `choose' to see with peace of mind, or with non-peace of mind, with love or with non-love, with forgiveness, or with non-forgiveness, with our Inner Teacher, or Guide, or without.

The course teaches that learning to see with peace of mind or love, rather than fear, stress, doubt, worry, anger, or guilt, and so on, is partnering with or "remembering" our True Self, our Christ Self. The same self that the Hindu's call Krishna, that Jewish people call Elohim, that others call the Buddha.

You could say the course teaches us, or better yet, helps us remember how to "love our neighbor as our self . . . but . . . not less than our self, or more than our self, or less than our self . . . but as our self, because: our neighbor is our Self. And so as we love or forgive our neighbor, we are loving and forgiving ourselves at the same time.

The course in practical, it is helpful in helping us live an everyday life, "if," if you take to it. It helps you (myself included, I am not writing this from the mountain top) to remember as I suggested at the start of my comments . . . what the mind is trying to understand, to figure out, what the mind is trying to make sense of, the heart already knows.

So "happy dreams" to each of us as egos, and to all of us, as "Us," on our mutual "journey without distance," no matter the version of the course, or the spiritual path we choose. foundrobert@mac.com
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on February 4, 2013
Consider the audible version available at Amazon and Audible.com. Read beautifully, it is much more easier to comprehend. Especially if your a little attention deficit. The course is like the Bible, at first it seems like a foreign language, or poem like. But please keep reading, reap the little that you can from what you understand. And before you know it, it will speak volumes to you. A true Goldmine, giving you more peace than you could ever imagine.

I've been a dedicated spiritual seeker for many years, yet I still saw my husband and his family adversely and there was much distrust and disharmony in our marriage. This book taught me to look with eyes of love instead of it's opposite, fear. Regardless of what they are thinking, I have no more "enemies" and more peace than I could ever imagine for myself.

I love it so much I read it daily and created a meetup group for it. Some of my favorite lessons are:

*Any attack from another is simply their FEAR projected outwards. Once you know this is coming from their own vulnerabilities, you have more compassion and respond with either love or non attack.

*All anger is nothing more than wanting the other person to feel quilt. With forgiveness, you have given up these battles even if they just exist in your own thoughts. You have no enemies and you are light on your feet with bliss and peace.

*Ego has you constantly defending it by attack or collecting things, deceiving you into thinking they will give you the peace and fulfillment you seek. Both attack and idols cause stress and disharmony. You think idols will make you happy but in reality they create stress in a endless seeking, wanting and looking. They will never satisfy as you seek thing after thing. Try putting your wants on an alter to God and see the peace of letting go of these perceived needs. You are then off the hook of yearning and seeking. The reward of letting go is the peace you were seeking. Isn't it worth it? I'm glad you found this book.
(A good meditation for this)
[...]
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on August 5, 2007
For students of a Course in Miracles the closer we get to the original text the better. All edition process demands selection and therefore at times ommision, at times slidings of meaning which occassionally improve and often deteriorate the original message.
In a book that claims to have been revealed by Jesus Christ the closer we get to work with the original text the better. Thanks for the effort of bringing to print this edition.
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on April 17, 2009
It is not very often we come across a book that says so much about who we are and why we are here. The error in perception, the illusion of separation, and why there is no such thing as guilt and sin are all central to its theme, and yet there is so much more. The wording of the text is almost biblical in tone, but such is the strength of its message it cannot fail to inspire those who open its pages. If you are genuine in your desire to understand the true meaning of your existence, including the cause of all your pain and suffering, then this really is the beginning of a journey that will change your life forever.

`Truth is restored to you through your desire, as it was lost to you through your desire for something else. Open the holy place that you closed off by valuing the "something else," and what was never lost will quietly return.'

It is a truly inspirational book without comparison. My only advice is that you take your time and understand the true depth of its message.
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on September 29, 2011
I've been studying the Course since 1994. I have read the Text multiple times. In all 3 versions. This version - Bill Thetford's edit - is BY FAR the clearest and easiest to read and, therefore, to understand. Everyone I know who's read both versions - and that's a lot of people - quickly see the clarity in the Original Edition that is demonstrably missing in the FIP version, as a direct result of the latter's arbitrary and extensive editing, especially in (but not confined to) the crucial, foundational chapters.

In addition, this version retains ALL of the originally emphasized words. It's almost like you can hear his voice as you read along. Almost like he's there in the room. Reading it to you. And my personal belief happens to be that he is.
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on January 26, 2012
I am only a few pages into this amazing book, but I feel compelled to write to those who are looking at different editions: I noticed something very important here. The term used here for the vehicle of seeing/perceiving God's Truth is called the Spiritual Eye. In the notes to this edition, I read that the term is later changed to "Holy Spirit." I feel that this is a significant detail that has the potential to completely change the meaning of the text as a whole, and if you relate to this distinction, I would definitely urge you to choose this original edition.
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on July 7, 2008
I already owned this book from the late 80's, but in paperback, and I've always wanted a hardback copy - so my admiration of the book is exposed. I was intrigued to found out that apparently there are differant versions of this book, with more material, and upon reading this copy all is revealed as there is an essay included which gives a detailed exposition of the versioning process. This version is middle ground between the more commonplace version (my first version), and the typewritten text of the initial scribe.

I found the book to more Christian in character, which is I confess not entirely desirable as so many of the concepts are so laden with meaning, but the extra content did give further insight into some of the more esoteric areas of the Course. The essentially mystical or spiritual nature of this work however is undeniable in any version you can lay your hands on. Interestingly enough the book's cover also announces that the work is now in the public domain so you as the owner are free to do with it what you will.

For those who may need a little more help with the whole philosophy of the Course this may be the preferable version - along with the versioning essay alluded to before there is also a glossary of terms, and much more material in explanation of the course itself. All in all I was very happy with my purchase.
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on March 3, 2015
This review is not intended to encourage one to study A Course In Miracles (ACIM), there are better reviews that can do that. My purpose in this review is to encourage looking at the available versions before committing. I started into ACIM several years ago with the edition published by The Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) which helped me tremendously in my spiritual journey, I grew in leaps and bounds. If there were nothing else available I highly recommend the ACIM FIP version. I will also recommend the ACIM FIP version for those attending work groups that mostly use the FIP version, because it makes it simpler to follow along. If one can afford, I feel it is worth owning both versions: FIP version for classes; and the Original Edition for a greater understanding of the first eight or so chapters which are the bedrock for an in depth understanding of ACIM.

It seems note worthy to point out that I've seen claims that ACIM Original Edition contains personal information that was never intended to be published. This is not accurate. It is the ACIM URTEXT Manuscripts (also available on Amazon) that contains personal information, not the ACIM Original Edition. The ACIM URTEXT Manuscripts are very difficult to follow and possibly made more difficult because of the personal information. I've read very little of the URTEXT, BUT, the URTEXT states that it was Bill Thetford that was to do the editing, not Helen Schucman. From what I could find, without too much time invested, the ACIM Original Edition is closest to, if not exactly what, Bill Thetford was involved in editing. The ACIM FIP version was significantly edited by I believe Ken Wapnick and possibly with Helen Schucman's help. It appears to me that Bill Thetford was not at all involved with the ACIM FIP version.

I believe anyone that reads both the ACIM Original Edition and the ACIM FIP version will come to the same conclusion that I have, that being the ACIM Original Version is superior. I've been studying with the ACIM Original Edition for well over a year now and have just in the past few days purchased another copy of ACIM Original Edition for my wife who is now desiring a better understanding than her ACIM FIP version offers.

As said before, if nothing else is available get the ACIM FIP version. If you are only going to purchase a single version and planning on attending classes, find out which version the class is using. Also noteworthy: ACIM is intended for self study. In my mind ACIM Original Edition is the absolute best version for self study, the additional material in the first eight or so chapters is worth having available.

Hope this helps?
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on December 15, 2010
On my search to develop a deeper relationship with God, My Father, Jesus, My Savior and my best friend, The Holy Spirit...I was lead to The Course in Miracles...I was so moved by the inspired writing, I thought I'd write this review to encourage other committed Christians that their forgiveness through Christ is surely real and the Course will awaken a deep love & appreciation for our God and His perfect system of Forgiveness...I'm a bit of a tough guy but forgiveness has made me a better, nicer, happier man...I hope this book communicates with you as it has with me...God Bless
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