The war of the ACIM editions

Thursday, Sep 29, 2022 1161 words 5 mins 9 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

Every now and then the same old debate of "which edition of ACIM is right" comes up. The trouble is, this question has a request for separation in it, and is looking to take sides. But it's the taking of sides that increases the separation from God.

For decades now there's been a war raging, with various groups taking sides for/against certain versions of the course for various reasons. None of them are justified, when you consider "There are no accidents in salvation". It doesn't even matter what does or does not happen to the course, salvation already has a plan in place, and Jesus doesn't make mistakes.

Originally a few specific people edited the course. They didn't do a perfect job of it but they did their best at the time. Nor did they strictly follow Jesus's orders at all times. Jesus didn't need or want to have to micro-manage every single word, because it didn't matter. He wasn't striving for some kind of sacred perfection. And the editors didn't even think that the form had to be strictly controlled, so long as the content/meaning was maintained.

Then this "insider team" created kind of a wall around the course, which later solidified into a fortress. As the copyright issue took hold and as Ken and others tried to anchor the ownership of it, an increasing rift was created between the inside and the outside, which inevitably supported and induced reactions from others outside the circle who wanted to be included. There was then a tug of war by egos. Some sided with FIP in trying to maintain that their internal efforts were the only legitimate ones, and others sided against them in trying to maintain that they should've had access to the course without FIP's influence.

This also included a process of painting a picture that the editor's version was holy, perfect, flawless, ordained and exactly as intended, while any other version was the opposite. This was part of the attempt to build up a defense and reinforce the wall to keep the others out. The urtext and notes were framed as evil and wrong and blasphemous and an attack on Jesus himself. As if.

At the same time, there developed a rift based on interpretation or philosophy. Some people editing the course had their own personal beliefs and worldviews about what is true and real, and projected that onto the material. This in turn influenced their editing choices, steering the course towards a certain interpretation and trying to downplay its opposite.

Meanwhile, as the urtext and notes found their way into the public, be it by theft or not, others were developing a different view. And so now different groups interpretations were becoming "attached" to certain course versions. Particularly in protest against Ken W's interpretation and teachings as to what he thought it was saying. So now we had a rebellion all over again.

This seemed to form a deep divide for many decades where certain individuals took sides against Ken and FIP while others strongly sided with them against the less-edited versions. It wasn't then just about whether or not certain versions were accurate or correct/intended, but whether the versions seems to best support and reflect certain people's philosophies and interpretations of it.

Now even to this day we still have a lot of people quite skewed either for or against certain versions. For and against certain teachers or interpretations. Strangely, in the extreme, some who are against Ken and his models went so far the other way that they even think the Earth is God's creation. And they think that the urtext is confirming this.

But what you'll find if you go and look yourself, putting interpretations aside, is that Jesus in ACIM itself is surprisingly un-phased by this tug of war. There is plenty of material in the FIP 3rd edition in support of a viewpoint totally opposite to Ken W's on some topics. Even if he had a hand in editing it away from such an interpretation, there's just a ton of stuff still there to confirm that his teaching was out of line with it. So the argument that FIP = Ken's Version is not true.

What I realized eventually is that the baggage of the war between sides, the FIP vs urtext gangs, the Ken bashing, the pro-Earthers, the various ways people adopted different interpretations and tried to claim that certain versions reflected it, was all a matter of ego false perceptions.

People are projecting onto the course what they WANT it to be saying. What they have decided it means. What they see as its message. They have a certain USE of it to suit their belief systems, like only being willing to look at it from a certain angle. And this is true of people who support the urtext/notes/CoA CE, just as much as anyone in support of FIP.

I found that when you take away the common interpretations from ANY version, you'll find that the versions are actually much more alike and consistent. Ken did NOT succeed, for example, in converting the FIP edition into a non-duality teaching. When you go look at the material you can find a ton of statements still proving this to be the case. Tons of examples where it says stuff opposite to what he said.

Similarly we have to be willing to give up the anti-Ken, anti-FIP bashing, the taking of sides, the idol worship of Helen and Bill and Ken, the belief that everything they did was the Word of God, the projections of perfectionism, the defensiveness that tries to protect the course from attack by "the opposition", or even the sense that there even is an opposition.

What version works for you is fine, depending on the way you USE it, how open you are to letting it speak to you and tell you what is true. Depending on how much you're willing to stop projecting false perceptions onto it, and accept the truth in it, just like the atonement. You have to actually forgive the course in the same way as anything else, not dwelling on its form or its words but on its true meaning. And the meaning in it is really the same in pretty much all editions.

We also should be careful not to make the course into an idol. It's not supposed to be worshipped like a sacred text that has to be locked up behind closed doors. If you defend it it is attacked. It doesn't need your protection. What you're supposed to do is look past the symbols of the words to the mindset from which they expressed, recognizing them as just one example or possible form of that expression. The specifics of it is not the content or the meaning.

Can we stop trying to pit one version against another? Find out for yourself what it says without all the noise from the balcony.

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