1. The Thetford Edition of ACIM (Sparkly)
2. Complete & Annotated Edition of ACIM
3. Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP)
4. A Course in Miracles (CIMS) with pearls
5. UR Text (Original Edition)
**Hugh-Lynn Cayce (HLC)
The content of A Course in Miracles is the same for all, its the form that changes within them. If you want to truly learn its lessons, you can through any version of ACIM.
A little background of how ACIM began
Thetford made his now famous and impassioned statement to Schucman: “There must be another way!” Bill was specifically addressing the ongoing conflicts that he and Helen experienced between themselves, as well as with other colleagues and professional associates, at the prestigious Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. Helen began, shortly after they agreed together to find "the other way" to have dreams and hear an inner voice communicate to her. This inner voice presented himself as Jesus and said to her "This is A Course in Miracles. Please take notes". And so she did, every day for 7 years. In the mornings Helen would join Bill where they both worked together, and he would type up what she received the night before. Helen often doubted the voice, but wrote exactly what she heard. It was with Bill's assistance and encouragement, that they were both able to fulfill their promise to each other, and a new way for Peace was given them to give.
Bill was Director of the Psychology Department while at the same time holding a faculty appointment as Professor of Medical Psychology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Helen began her professional career at the Medical Center as Bill's research associate, later also to become a tenured Professor of Psychology at Columbia University. 1
The Thetford Edition is published through Diamond Clear Vision Publishing in California. This version is the Text from the HLC* version that was found in the ARE (Association of Research and Enlightenment) Library in 1999, combined with the nearly untouched Workbook and Manual from the URText to make the "Sparkly/Sparkle/ Thetford Edition" of A Course in Miracles in 2002.
This is the version I currently use and love. It has Soul reinstated, proper and easy type setting, the numbers are taken out that FIP added. It has more depth to the principals of miracles as well as the first 8 chapters from the Text are reinstated with deeper content as its intended to be. The whole feel of the Sparkle is contemporary and formatted in a way to speak to the heart of all of us. The Workbook and Manual were taken straight from the UR Text with little to no editing needed to be done with them. The text is merely put back to how it was in the HLC version* with close attention to grammar and spelling being perfected.
Ted Poppe is the publisher of this version and has shared his personal stories with me about his revelatory experience, whereby he was taught who he is and what his life is for in a very intimate and direct way inside his mind. This happened before he was given the physical A Course in Miracles to study. He said he was told by Jesus at this time that he would receive directions as to what to do with his life. A few weeks later some one gave him the A Course in Miracles for the first time and he knew that it came as the answer to what Jesus had promised him. After working with ACIM very very closely for three months and after learning how to HEAR Jesus teach him, he found out there were other words and content NOT included in the book. When he asked Jesus about that, Jesus said, "Don't worry, all the material will be made available to you." After which, Ted was one day sitting on his deck in Australia and a box arrived with all the notes Helen had received from Jesus over those 7 years in dictating ACIM, along with the UR text and the HLC version. Ted was given the WHOLE picture of the process Helen and Bill went through, and he knew at that point that part of his function was to bring forward this new version of A Course in Miracles and make it Open Source and available to all people. Five other people were given guidance completely independent from each other, on the same day, to put the SPARKLY together. And so they did in 2002. It just so happened that Ken Wapnick heard about this, and him along with the Foundation for Inner Peace and Penguin Publishing brought a lawsuit against Ted for copyright violation of ACIM. Ted wanted to have the version of ACIM that Jesus intended, free of copyright and available to those who truly and deeply would benefit from it. The law suit ended up being long and drawn out, but Ted was willing to negotiate. The judge ended up siding wit Ted and his group as he recognized their intent, reason and spirit for being there. It was eventually shown that Ken and Judy Skutch and others had given away free copies of the FIP version of ACIM before it was copyrighted. This threw out the copy-right claims. Ken spent millions of dollars (that he got from selling ACIM) on this court case and lost. Since Ted won this court case it enabled them to both print and give A Course in Miracles freely to the people of the world.
I would recommend this Open-Source version of ACIM to any one looking for the "most authentic and accurate" version of ACIM at this time.
This edition is compiled from the handwritten Notes of Helen Schucman. It has taken a commitment of over 10 year by Robert Perry and the Circle of Atonement to complete. Currently Robert Perry, Emily Bennington and others are bringing this version of ACIM to new students. It includes the Text, Workbook and Teachers Manual.... along with Helen's notes and Robert's words, insights and references throughout in citations. Those who are currently using it, seem to be benefiting from it. They have an ACIM group called "Course Companions" and an up and coming Podcast to help gather students to learn this CA version of ACIM together. You can learn more about this version or order your own copy through their CA Website.
This is the edition most widely know at this time. Its the blue book published by the Foundation for Inner Peace. Ken Wapnick is the editor of this version. Ken showed up on the scene after ACIM was complete, for he, like many people, were given a copy of ACIM to check for editing/grammar errors that Bill may have missed. The difference with Ken, was that he said he wanted to help them edit it beyond just grammar. So in 1973 after Helen and Bill had nearly completed their scribing and editing process together of 7 years, Ken began his extensive editing process along side Helen, often while she slept. (Ken made mention of this in his book "Absence of Felicity".) 1
Ken never took the Course or applied the lessons to himself before the editing process began. Thus he never actually had an experience like Helen and Bill did, that would have given him the conviction and understanding of what ACIM truly is and what it is for. Ken looked at ACIM, edited ACIM and taught ACIM purely intellectually. He was correct in that it needed editing, and so he proceeded to do that in his own way. I would presume both Helen and Bill were exhausted after 7 plus years of working on this project and so it was helpful to have new eyes.
According to Doug Thompson, the "problems" found in ACIM was anything Ken did not yet understand. So instead of choosing through prayer and asking what he/they should do, he just took it out all together. This spawned many more "problems" in the flow of reading the text, and so even more was edited out to compensate. This resulted in a very limited ACIM compared to its original dictation. In fact the FIP version is 60,000 words shorter then the UR Text.
This FIP version was printed in 1976 and the only one available to the world until the HLC version was discovered in the ARE Library in 1999 and the UR Text was not found until 2000. All was kept hidden, by Ken and the Foundation for Inner Peace, and continued to be hidden through the process of him suing everyone who tried to use the Course or the name "A Course in Miracles" with out "his" FIP copyright. There was alot of effort in this edition to keep things "hidden."
So in my opinion, it was a blessing that ACIM was even able to be printed in 1976 through the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) and made widely available, so for that reason it was perfect and something to be grateful for. The difficulty I have with this text is that there was alot taken out that IS helpful for newand old student's alike. Some of the changes that were made were: taking out any reference to us as Souls, the improper use of extension/projection, the exaggeration of the singular pronoun, heavy editing of the principle of miracles, some key sections of the Text changed that affected the flow and meaning of the section, emphasis on their is no world, heavy type setting, placing the 'clarification of terms' at the back of the book.....and so much more. Recognizing this allows each of us to ask what book is the right one for our own learning. This FIP version has helped thousands of students, and anyone can and learn from this version if they so choose. But since there are other options now, it is good to explore them all.
This edition was published by the Course in Miracles Society in 2000, and was edited from the HLC* version. It is often listed as the "original edition" or "Jesus' edition" or the "one with the pearls", yet it is still a highly edited version of ACIM. This version is still, to this day, under going constant changes and revisions. Here is some information, taken from the CIMS website:
"An organization formed named Course In Miracles Society (CIMS)*3 and CIMS published the HLC and titled it Jesus’ Course In Miracles (JCIM) in 2000. The words “A Course In Miracles” were controlled as a legal service mark at that time, so they couldn’t be used. Tom Whitmore is the president of CIMS, and one of its founders. CIMS was legally blocked from distributing the book shortly after it was released, but they eventually were able to legally distribute after FIP lost the primary copyright by a decision of the United States District Court in 2003 by Judge Sweet. The official court order, declaring the original copyright null and void, happened in 2004 and CIMS started redistributing JCIM shortly after in 2004. When CIMS published again in 2006, it added a Workbook and a Manual it took from the Urtext version to it’s JCIM and titled the new edition, A Course In Miracles Original Edition. (CIMS could now use the name “A Course In Miracles” because in 2004 the service marks held by FIP were declared null and void.) CIMS continues to edit and refine its book with subsequent printings. CIMS corrects for grammar and sometimes it adds passages back from the Urtext CIMS feels were taken out in error". 2
The URtext is the earliest version of ACIM available, yet has not been edited for easy reading/study. It lacks any editing that could make a book like this helpful to the reader.... so for that reason I have placed it "last" on the list. It consists of the text, workbook and teachers manual, but it also has added material that came later and is not included in other editions such as the Psychotherapy Pamphlet, the Gifts of God and the Song of Prayer. The UR Text is complete and perfect in the lessons and Teachers Manual, and this is where the content came from for the Sparkly and CA versions. The text and type setting is what needs the most work with this version.
Urtext (original text) was written by Dr. Helen Schucman as the Scribe of Jesus, and typed up by Dr. Bill Thetford the appointed editor, in June 1965 until 1972. The UR Text was hidden and completely unknown to the world until it was discovered in June of 2000 and made it onto the internet by August of 2000. It includes dialog between Helen and Jesus and Jesus answering her questions and curiosities. It discusses sex, politics, psychology, the world, it includes Soul, and the proper use of extension/projection; as well as includes many detailed miracles that occurred in the lives and relationship of both Helen & Bill. Its content is generally the same as the other texts, but with more information that adds immensely to the understanding of ACIM as a whole. UrText IS still in need of further editing to have a version published in a way that is easy to read by all students and teachers. Its still in a format that is difficult to read.
The UR Text and the Authentic Original Manuscripts are currently in Doug Thompson's care as he has been working with it since 2000 through the Miracles in Action Press. UR Text can be ordered online at the link below, if one would like to receive it "as is".
** Hugh Lynn Cayce Version (HLC)
Both Helen and Bill went through the UR(Original) Text and took out EVERYTHING that was personal, referenced them or mentioned literal experiential miracles in any way. They did this in order to protect their own "privacy". Thus, many edits later, with over 200,000 parts taken out, there was the Hugh Lynn Cayce (HLC) version. (Hugh Lynn Cayce is Edgar Cayce's son and apparently this version was edited for His eyes and examination.)
This version was kept hidden in the ARE (Association of Research and Enlightenment library) until the year 1999 when many people around the world were being sued by Ken Wapnick for using A Course in Miracles in any form with out his(Ken's) copy right. People began to investigate where the "original" ACIM ended up and found it at the ARE Library. Once it was found, it was clear and shocking how much was actually edited out in the FIP. From this awareness, many people, such as stated above, took this version of the HLC and began to edit it for print and publication.
"The Urtext Text contains 337,372 words. The Hugh Lynn Cayce (HLC) Text contains 299,189 words or 38,184 words fewer than the Urtext. The Foundation for Inner Peace ACIM Text version contains 288,968 words or 48,405 fewer words than the Urtext (10,221 words less that the HLC). This means that over 14% of the words dictated to Helen Schucman by “the Voice” never made it into the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) version. Seventy-nine percent of the words removed were removed when the Urtext was edited to create the Hugh Lynn Cayce. This lends weight to the idea that it was Helen Schucman herself, or Helen Schucman and William Thetford, that eliminated the vast majority of the words from the final 1976 version of A Course In Miracles published by FIP." 3.
*** The Notes
Quick side note on the notes. Jesus first opened his relationship with Helen by saying "This is a Course in Miracles, please take notes". She proceeded to do that, and yet very reluctantly. She was not sure at first if she could trust this voice, so she decided to just write everything down regardless. Every morning she brought those notes to Bill and he typed them on a type writer, correcting any grammar and taking out the personal references or conversations with Jesus as they went along. He was her rock in sanity and commitment to this shared purpose. With out his role as appointed error, I do believe in my heart of hearts this course would not have been complete. It took their shared and dedicated commitment to complete the scribing and editing and they needed each other to do it. ACIM is not meant to be "Helens Journal/ notes" its meant to be the A Course in Miracles. This is why the editing of Bill Thetford was so important. His job was to take out everything that was not the whole of ACIM: the text/workbook/teachers manual. If you would like to get a hold of Helen's Notes separately, as I have, you can contact me and I can connect you with the person who can get you one of the these versions. There is limited availability as there is only so many copies.
Videos and Recordings of Foundation for Inner Peace &
Sparkly Versions of ACIM
Ted Poppe, publisher of the Sparkly Thetford Edition shares an extended story of why there is a Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) version and Thetford Edition (Sparkly) version of ACIM.
Absence from Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of A Course in Miracles, by Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D., © 1991, 1999, Foundation for A Course in Miracles, Temecula, CA, 92590
What are the different versions of ACIM people study: The four major versions, by Pontinacello, Tony, © 2012, 2016, Miracles in Action Press, San Fransisco, CA, 94114
A Course In Miracles The Hugh Lynn Cayce Manuscript, editted by Thompson, Doug. © 2000 Miracles In Action Press, Canada.