The Original Edition is the edition that was produced by Bill Thetford and Helen Schucman after they went through the original typing (called the UrText) that Bill had produced from Helen's reading of her notes. Bill Thetford believed this edit of the Urtext, the now named Original Edition, to be the final edition. He also believed that his work with A Course In Miracles (ACIM) was now done. This copy was sent to several people and to Hugh Lynn Cayce at the Association For Research and Enlightenment (ARE) in Virginia. It was put into the ARE Library.
Some time later, Ken Wapnick was given a copy of this first edition. After Ken Wapnick read it, he convinced Bill and Helen that more editing was necessary. Bill did not take part in this subsequent editing. It was done solely by Helen and Ken. After this second editing, a commercially available version of ACIM was produced and began being sold in 1976 by the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP). This is the version that early students were exposed to, and for many years it was the only version most students knew of. In 1999 the FIP transfered ownership of the ACIM copyright to the Foundation for ACIM (FACIM) Ken Wapnick's organization.
In 1996, a copyright law suit ensued. During this time the earlier "original edition" was discovered at the ARE library. Contrary to a popular belief, this version proved to be quite different from the version most people knew of. This original edition was first published in 1999 as Jesus' Course In Miracles. However, shortly after it was published the FIP/FACIM started legal action to block its distribution. After the copyright lawsuit was settled in 2003 the Jesus' Course In Miracles was again distributed. A couple of years later the book was republished and this time named A Course In Miracles Original Edition.
The ACIM Original Edition contains much material that is not in the FIP/FACIM edition and it is longer. There is extensive material relating to Freud. There are 53 Miracles Principles instead of 50. Its teaching on the world seems different. The distinction between "make" and "create" is not so pronounced and consistent. There is more mention of "the soul." However, it is true, this version is not as well edited as the FIP/FACIM version. Many students like the more consistently defined and better edited FIP/FACIM edition. Many student like the more open, more psychological, and not so strictly defined ACIM Original Edition. The choice of which version any student should study remains between the student and the Holy Spirit. Perhaps both should be studied at different times. Perhaps we should only study the first typing, the UrText. Students must answer these questions themselves.
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