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
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 edition of A Course in Miracles that is reproduced in this volume is sometimes referred to as the Hugh Lynn Cayce version because, upon completion, it had been delivered to Hugh Lynn Cayce, son of the renowned psychic Edgar Cayce, in 1972, before the manuscript was subjected to the substantial editing process that is described below.
This Original Edition faithfully reproduces the original transcript of the book that was produced as a result of the collaboration between Schucman and Thetford, whom many believe were involved with each other in the “holy relationship” described in Chapters 17 through 22 of the Text. This edition preserves the original language of the dictation of those chapters, which were addressed to the two collaborators as they worked together to produce the manuscript. Later editing of the manuscript changed the focus of these important chapters and addresses them to a solitary reader, removing the mutuality that is explicit in the original dictation.
After 1972, Thetford withdrew from further detailed editing work, and the editing process resumed. Along with changes in paragraphing, punctuation, capitalization, and section titles of the 1972 manuscript, in the absence of Thetford's steadying influence, there was a great deal of line-by-line editing. In addition, about one-fifth of the material in the first five chapters was removed. Finally, a new section, the Clarification of Terms, was added. The resulting edition, was published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
While we honor that edition of the Course, we believe that the additional editing resulted both in shifts of meaning and a change in the over-all tone of the work. When encountering Schucman and Thetford’s Original Edition, students often find fresh clarity as they read its wording or new understanding as they encounter passages that were not included in the later 1975 FIP edition. In the case of editing, it seems to us that the “less-is-best” rule applies—the less tampering with the eloquent and carefully worded dictation that Schucman received, the better.
In this Original Edition, we have taken great care in dealing with the editorial issues presented by the original typed manuscript. Our focus has been upon reproducing as nearly as possible the content as it was originally given to Schucman and Thetford.
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