REVIEW by Rev Reja Joy Green
A Course in Miracles is a self-study course. In the beginning it tells us, “This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you may elect what you want to take at a given time.”
Many have described the Course as the greatest document given to man EVER. To learn more about what the COURSE is and how it came about, you may want to go to our Blog and take a look at some of the VIDEO links on the right side. https://cimsmiracles.wordpress.com/
From the FOREWORD:
A Course in Miracles (often called just “the Course”) is a self-study course for retraining the mind that is spiritual, rather than religious, in its perspective. Although it uses Christian terminology, it is ecumenical in its approach, and its underlying ontology is reminiscent of ancient refrains, echoing the world’s most hallowed traditions.
The Course is pragmatic in its method, and its aim is a peaceful mind: “Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. Peace is. Nevertheless, the Course frequently emphasizes its simplicity.
The story of the Course began when, in the midst of an environment of intense competition and negative attitudes, Columbia University clinical psychologist Dr. William T. Thetford decided he had had enough and declared to his colleague, Dr. Helen Schucman, “There must be another way, and I’m determined to find it.” Dr. Schucman vowed to help him.
What ensued was a dramatic progression of waking dreams for Schucman, which culminated in October 1965 with her experience of a voice which spoke clearly in her mind, saying “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”
With Thetford’s support and assistance in transcribing her shorthand notes, Schucman took down some fifteen hundred typewritten pages of A Course in Miracles over a period of seven years.
Schucman did not claim to be the author of the material herself. As she often explained, she heard a kind of inner dictation and she felt compelled to write it down, even though at times she disagreed with the content and resisted the process. The voice which spoke through Helen clearly identifies himself as Jesus. Nonetheless, one need not be Christian nor accept Christianity’s traditional doctrines to benefit from the teachings of the Course. Indeed, traditional Christians will at first find many of the pronouncements contained in this work to be startling and perhaps unbelievable. Persistence and open-mindedness will nevertheless be rewarded.
The dictation of A Course in Miracles was completed in September 1972 and resulted in three volumes—the Text, the Workbook for Students, and the Manual for Teachers. As the development of the material progressed, Schucman and Thetford faced the formidable task or organizing the original typescript (often called the “Urtext”) into what would become A Course in Miracles. They divided the Text into chapters and sections and gave titles to each, and they removed a great deal of material from the early chapters, material they believed was meant for them personally, not for the Course. The edition that resulted from those efforts is the book you hold in your hands.
Course in Miracles Society (CIMS) is a non-profit organization and the publisher of this book. CIMS was formed by an international group of Course students and teachers and was organized to discover, authenticate and propagate the divine teachings of A Course in Miracles.
In 1992 the Foundation for Inner Peace [FIP] current copyright holders and publishers along with the sister organization Foundation for A Course in Miracles [FACIM], had the thought that the copyright on the A Course in Miracles on ACIM were being infringed on and started to make changes on what could be quoted, etc.
In 1993 “A Course in Miracles” and “ACIM” were registered as trademarks by FIP. Subsequently, a CompuServe forum, in which two current CIMS members were a part of, was closed down for a short period and re-opened under another name due to trademark infringement. Marianne Williamson was asked to pay royalties. Robert Perry of the Circle of Atonement was denied permission to publish his book on the Course.
Over the next several years there were the beginnings of a push back by the Course community. Eventually, in 1996, a spiritual community found itself being sued by FIP for copyright infringement.
During that time an old 1972 version of the Course was discovered in the library of the Association for Research and Enlightenment [A.R.E.], transcribed into electronic form and placed on the internet by anonymous parties. This was the copy given to Hugh Lynn Cayce [son of the ‘Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce] by Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford once they had re-typed the original manuscript several times, removing the personal material.
Bill and Helen wanted to know if the A.R.E. might publish it. Hugh Lynn DECLINED to publish it but wished them success in their endeavors. He said the material was very much in line with what his father brought through.
This copy is now referred to as the Hugh Lynn Version of the Course or “HLC”, later to be known as JCIM and finally CIMS: Original Edition.
Shortly after giving the copy to the A.R.E., Helen and Bill met Ken Wapnick. Not too much longer, Ken and Helen began to ‘revise’ the Course. Ken believed that certain punctuation was incorrect, some terms needed clarification, section headings needed revision, etc.
“As a result of that editing, about a quarter of the Hugh Lynn Cayce version was deleted from the first five chapters of the Text, and the remaining material was rearranged and rewritten.The resulting derivation was then copyrighted by FIP.” <-quoted from “Jesus Course in Miracles [JCIM]”, published Feb 2000 before a temporary restraining order halted distribution until the copyright was overturned in 2003.
“A copy of the public domain Hugh Lynn Cayce version of the TEXT portion of A Course in Miracles was obtained, carefully transcribed into a digital format and widely distributed on the Internet…” <-quoted from JCIM.
In 2000, a few individuals from around the country, decided to publish the JCIM. The non-profit organization called “Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]” was formed.
With an anonymous donation, CIMS was able to produce the first set of copies and were also able to distribute 500 copies before receiving a temporary restraining order. The Judge wanted CIMS to cease until the copyright case was decided. Marianne Williamson, who was in Omaha giving a presentation at that time, was handed the first copy of this edition. Doreen Virtue, Rev Sky St John and Rev Jack Groveland also received copies from the first 500 printed.
[The JCIM is still available here although quantities are limited: JCIMS Book ]
CIMS eventually resumed publication once the copyright was ruled invalid due to pre-copyright distribution in 2003.
The following link is to a document which distinguishes the two versions.
There is also an informational timeline of the activities leading up to the court decision:
There are people who prefer the Ken Wapnick version and others who prefer the CIMS original edition.
Most importantly, the COURSE is available, in all ITS glory, and now we have ITS Guidance for our way HOME.
Please join us in our projects. We would love to share your friendship.
~ Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]