A Course in Miracles Original is not the one commonly claimed to be the one. There is quite a debate about this nowadays as the original short-hand notes from Helen Schucman of all SEVEN volumes have been declared as public domain in a court sentence in 2003.
This 2nd edition of A Course in Miracles is called the FIP version in ACIM circles. The Foundation for Inner Peace or FIP have the copyright on this edition and on all the 24 translations into foreign languages in the various corresponding countries.
Most of us ACIM students begin with this version, as we are introduced to it as the official version. The book is handy and includes the three most important volumes: TEXT, WORKBOOK, MANUAL FOR TEACHERS and CLARIFICATION OF TERMS.
I started my study with this book and I would recommend you do, too. When I go travelling I usually take this book along, since it does not occupy too much space.
But, a ton of material is missing in this version, especially in the beginning chapters of the course. Helen Shucman and William Thetford edited out all material which they deemed to be personal instructions for their eyes only.
It was probably the right thing to do at the time, as the material was already very controversial when first published in the mid-seventies.
It is said that about 40.000 words are missing from the TEXT alone. Just think that about 400 words fit on one page - so there are about 100 pages of important text missing. If you become really serious in your study I would definitely recommend to also get the ACIM URTEXT.
A Course in Miracles Original URTEXT MANUSCRIPTS is a collection of the very first dictations of the course as received by Helen Schucman.
Doug Thompsom devotedly compiled the seven volumes, which are in PUBLIC DOMAIN since 2003, and made them available online and in print through Miracles in Action Press, LLL - short MIAP.
Above you can see the 2008 version of the ACIM URTEXT with two different covers. This version contains all SEVEN volumes of the course. It is currently out of print but you can still get it on Amazon.com.
This version is thick and heavy and contains a lot of very important text which is not included anywhere else. In Doug Thompson's own words:
A new version called A Course in Miracles THE ORIGINAL DICTATION EDITION is being prepared, which will include an eighth volume called Special Messages and the "Pre-canonical Notes" for the first time in print! You can see the first two chapters ONLINE of the new version.
The many personal instructions for Helen, the scribe, show how she was advised to deal with her doubts and misconceptions. These instruction helped me tremendously with my own doubts and misconceptions.
I would have never understood ACIM's explanation of human consciousness had I not closely studied the URTEXT version.
Here you can DOWNLOAD a good pdf-version of the URTEXT of A COURSE IN MIRACLES - the link will open in a new window. Save it to your PC and print it if you like. This includes the special messages, but does not contain the WORKBOOK with the 365 lessons.
I often use this pdf version on my computer when searching for specific words or sections in the TEXT, as it returns the search results rather fast. Also can be used on IPAD.
The urtext: TEXT, WORKBOOK and MANUAL FOR TEACHERS is also available online for free. When surfing the net from a PC, I often use this website www.courseinmiracles.com for browsing through the different lessons. It has a good overview and you can easily find your way around. I understand this web site to be related to the Endeavour Academy.
Another really good free download for mobile devices is offered by Miracle Vision (put together by Scott Perry). When you arrive at this site, scroll down to the section where you can choose what you would like to download. I use this mobile version on my iPad. Includes the complete TEXT, WORKBOOK and MANUAL FOR TEACHERS.