Other "Versions" of the Course

The urtext of the Course is the original, unedited text of the Course. There is also another version, called the “Hugh Cayce” version (because they sent it to him) that was only slightly edited, that came after the urtext and before publication. Some Course students have taken issue with the editing of the Course by Helen Schucman, Bill Thetford and Ken Wapnick. They feel that Helen scribed some things that are very important to them that they wish she had been included in the published version of the Course.

The excerpts I have seen from the urtext all contain ideas that are included elsewhere in the published version. Ken Wapnick has described the Course as a spiral reaching upward, addressing the same ideas again and again each time from a slightly different view. In this way, the Course is self-correcting. Helen had a hard time hearing in the beginning, and has said the first five chapters are harder to read because of this. Yet each idea contained in those early chapters is also addressed elsewhere in the Course.

Some complain about what they experience as a lofty, distant Voice in the Course and its lack of specific examples. They say the passages in the urtext not included in the published version are more personal and specific as they often address specific questions or issues that Helen and Bill had. I wrote about the Course’s tone and abstractness in my blog on January 23 and 24 (see the archive at www.acimmentor.blogspot.com). The tone of the Course is your own projection. As you accept its message the Course’s tone grows more warm and loving. And specific examples given to others have limitations and are subject to distortion. Any specific examples you need your Holy Spirit will provide.

There is much that can be said about these versions and about Helen Shucman’s scribing. But this is a distraction. What is important is the content of the Course, not its form. Be careful not to make the Course an idol. It is a means, not an end in itself. It is as complete for you as you want it to be. If you wish to keep searching, that can be your choice, too.

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