A Course in Miracles
by Robert Perry
Life for students of A Course in Miracles used to be simpler than it is today. We had one version of our revered book, and we knew that this version was almost exactly as its scribe, Helen Schucman, heard it, straight from Jesus. She herself gave this impression in the Course’s preface:
Only a few minor changes have been made. Chapter titles and subheadings have been inserted in the Text, and some of the more personal references that occurred at the beginning have been omitted. Otherwise the material is substantially unchanged.
Then everything changed. In January of 2000, an earlier version of the Course, called the Hugh Lynn Cayce Version, was disseminated on the Internet. Later in that same year, an even earlier version, called the Urtext, also became available on the Internet. Both versions showed that the Course as we knew it had gone through a far more extensive editing process than anyone had suspected.
While before we felt the comfort of knowing that our scripture, unlike so many others, was free of human influence, we now began to wonder how much of the Course was altered by human editors. We also wondered which was the “true” version. Indeed, the Hugh Lynn Cayce Version was quickly published under the rather in-your-face title Jesus’ Course in Miracles (and just as quickly became unavailable due to a court injunction).
This article attempts to answer, to the best of available knowledge, the following questions: What are the earlier versions? How do they differ from the standard Course? What was the editing process by which they became the standard Course? Finally, I will draw conclusions about the quality of the editing and offer recommendations about where to go from here.