A Course in Miracles has become a contemporary spiritual classic. Since it was originally published in 1976, readers have recognized in its words truths that they had never heard before, yet somewhere inside seemed to have always known. However, in the process of editing for publication, roughly forty-five thousand words were edited out, mostly from the first seven chapters of the Text, and the wording of the first four chapters was edited to the point where only about a fifth of their sentences retained their original wording.
The Complete and Annotated Edition aims to restore the material that was lost. It was created by going back to Helen's shorthand Notes and editing afresh, retaining the original words to the maximum degree possible. By going back to the words that Helen Schucman heard in her mind and wrote down in her notebooks, it attempts to bring the reader into a more direct encounter with the power of those words. It includes, either in its main body or in appendices, those approximately forty-five thousand words that had been removed in the original published edition.
The teaching in this edition does not contradict the teaching found in other editions of A Course in Miracles. However, we believe that this edition will allow the Course's true meaning and character to shine through a little more clearly. And we hope that this will enable students to better see the Course for what it is, relate to it as it is, and apply its profound truths to their lives.
Features of the Complete and Annotated Edition
- The first four chapters of the Text are roughly twice as long as they are in the familiar Foundation for Inner Peace edition.
- Material whose meaning had been changed by editing is now presented in its original form. For instance, we have restored the original statement "Prepare you not for the undoing of what never was," which had been changed in the FIP edition to "Prepare you now for the undoing of what never was."
- Material that had been rearranged and placed in a different order by editing has, in almost all cases, been restored to its original order.
- Extensive footnotes have been included to clarify difficult passages, identify unclear pronouns, define psychological terms, point out allusions to things in the general culture, and list Course references and Bible references.
- Thirty-three cameo essays have been written. These essays comment on personal guidance given by the source of the material to the scribes (Helen Schucman and William Thetford). This guidance, while too personal for the Course proper, clarifies the application of Course principles to the lives of the scribes, and by extension, to the lives of all students.
- Material that never made it out of Helen's notebooks is included, such as this passage: "Love him steadily, whatever he does, whatever he says, and he will see the miracle of God and you will learn of salvation. If this seems hard to do, remember it is what you want of me."
- Dictation that is too personal for the Course proper but too short to be the subject of a cameo essay is commented on in the Editing Notes (available online).
- All original emphasis of words is retained (either as italics or as gray underlines), as this helps illuminate the meaning.
- Most of the Text section titles and many of the Text section divisions are new.
- Documentation (and often explanation) of editing changes is included (available online).
Unfortunately, Amazon.com will not ship to Canada, so we are working on getting the book up on Amazon.ca, though it will be a few weeks before it’s available there. In the meantime (and afterwards), Canadians can order the book from Course Oasis, a Circle satellite in Ottawa: firstname.lastname@example.org
I just received my copy from Amazon. As someone who had always maintained the "FIP" is the version Jesus intended for us to have, I must say that I have modified my view after reading how and why this current version came into being. I had believed that the only edits in the FIP were the removal of personal information meant for Helen and Bill, along with some grammatical cleanups, I've now come to understand that all the subsequent edits from the notes to the Urtext, to the HLC version, and on through the various incarnations of the FIP versions, didn't reference back to the original notes, but instead relied on the version preceding it. While I fully believe it was unintentional, the result was the omission of a lot of original dictation which I believe Jesus dictated for a reason. I think any version of the Course, when dutifully studied and practiced, will lead the learner back "Home". I'm further convinced that the FIP, being the most widely used, had, and still has a distinct purpose. I am now convinced, however, that COA version is the truest to the original dictation given to Helen, with the added benefit of editing and light commentary making it easier to read and understand. I wouldn't have guessed, years ago, that I would come to this, but I believe this is the most authentic, complete and understandable version to date. Thank you Helen, Bill, and Ken for giving us the FIP version to bring us to this point, and thank you COA for bringing it full circle, back to Helen's original notes, but with the clarity the new editing process additionally brings to this newest edition.
This Complete and Annotated Edition of the Course has already changed my life in a real way.
With the help of the footnotes, I had a major breakthrough with an important section; the "Rules for Decision", that I hadn't realized I had misunderstood previously. Finally understanding this passage has lead me to better grasp the process of asking for guidance and improved my experience with it.
There is no doubt this long-awaited edition will enhance both the enjoyment and understanding of the Course for absolutely every reader.
I imagine Jesus breathing a deep sigh of relief and gratitude as the Complete Edition makes its way into the world at last.
This such a rich edition. To begin with, the 50 Miracle Principles make a lot more sense with the original explanatory material included. The footnotes clarify some puzzling passages and point out relevant Bible verses. And the Cameo Essays give some great examples of Course teachings as applied to the lives of the scribes, Helen and Bill. As I read this edition, it feels like my understanding of the Course is reaching a whole new level.
I am just ordering the new Complete edition so I haven't read it, but I have heard about it from people who have, and I can't wait to get a copy in my hands to read! I will send another review after having read some of it, though.
In this Complete Edition there is so much more information that is provided by the extra material and also by the cameos and footnotes. They are a great support.
My experience is that this new edition has given me more insight and understanding about the loving message of Jesus.
It also provides correction for the Bible. The many Bible references makes things more clear.
It has deepened my contact with Jesus immensely and I feel that he is speaking to me very personally. I feel lovingly uplifted when the words of Jesus fill my mind.
The CE has been quite different than the FIP for me. The first time through it, 2 years ago, I felt like I was sitting at Jesus' feet, listening to every word. It felt like I was hearing them for the first time and.I was understanding in a way I hadn't before. Last year I read the FIP and I understood it better but it did not have the richness or the personal feel I had experienced with the CE.
Now, this year, reading the CE, I again feel I am there, with Helen and Bill, listening to Jesus and knowing he is talking to me about my experience. The CE has been very powerful to me in bringing the Course directly into my life in a much deeper and more meaningful way that I find hard to explain or understand.
I believe the power of the CE has a lot to do with the cameos and the footnotes but I really believe it is more than that. I believe this is what Jesus intended. I think It also has to do with your absolute commitment to doing this as he intended, the care nurturing and love with which you have approached it and the commitment and dedication of everyone else involved.
I love the footnotes because they deepen my understanding of the material.
I love the cameos because I find the story behind the material so interesting.
I love the extra material included in the CE. To me it is like finding the Dead Sea Scrolls after thinking that the Bible was the only record we had of the original material.
Through my reading and study of the new Complete edition, I've been able to gain a more transparent understanding--not only of what Jesus was teaching Helen and Bill, but unmistakably about the way he was teaching them. As a result, my learning has both expanded and deepened immensely. I feel as though I'm becoming a better teacher for it and couldn't be more grateful!