IT DOESN'T MATTER WHICH VERSION OF THE COURSE YOU USE
THEY ARE ALL THE SAME! THE COURSE IS NOT A BOOK.
A Course in Miracles is a metaphysical course. It is also holographic.
If you were to "get" a single sentence Jesus has spoken in its fullest meaning and accept it, you could wake up. It does not require you to study specific words or versions. It does not require you to do the entire workbook.
I know this may sound controversial. At some point you are supposed to even leave the course behind and go to God with empty hands. The course is a stepping stone, a guide. It is not an experience of the truth.
The course is holographic in that the whole truth can be found in each part. Holograms make no sense to the ego because it has attempted to demonstrate through physical objects, that what is true of one thing is not true of another. It sees only separate problems defined by their FORM, the solution to which fixes on isolated problem and not any others - a learning which cannot be generalized.
Physical objects are the mind's way of projecting an image in which it seems like God does not exist anywhere, by making it appear that there is nothing the same anywhere. God is the same everywhere, he is the All in All. And he is fully present in all parts. The ego does not understand this because it will ask, how can All of God be in one part, and All of God be in another part? But God can, because God is omnipresent.
Similarly with the Course book(s), Jesus has expressed WHOLE TRUTH, using various words, many times over. The reason the Course repeats so much is because the SAME CONTENT is expressed in many different ways. So as you read it, it builds upon itself, because really, what you are learning is a "core truth" which is very, very simple and deep and profound yet which is expressed over and over again.
It is almost like a fishing net, which has been cast outward in many seemingly different "forms", talking on what seem to be many separate topics, in great detail, so that the MANY VARIED EGOS in various states and conditions can start with where they are AT, taking the course to be a specific form, and then WORKING THEIR WAY TO THE SOURCE, by realizing that each part IS NOT SEPARATE from the rest, and that there is a common thread, a very abstract yet wholly simple truth, hiding behind every single word. One Truth. One Answer.
Jesus in fact expressed the entire Course from a single state of mind, from love. In ego terms, that should mean that He only needs one expression, one WORD, which would be sufficient for you to awaken. As Jesus explained, even the term "God is" is sufficient. It contains the WHOLE TRUTH. The Complete truth. There is nothing missing in that.
Similarly for example, "nothing real can be threatened", contains the whole truth. Every aspect of that truth is reflected in it. If you could just GET that one thing, and get it really deeply and fully and really grasp the totality of it, the absoluteness of it, then you would be done waking up. So do you really need thousands of pages of text? Do you really need 365 workbook lessons?
Jesus didn't write a linear book. He didn't take the route that most authors take where they write things in a sequence along a timeline, with separated out content, and where each piece of content is tied to a particular form, and therefore to digest the "full story" you have to read the entire book, every word. Jesus's book is totally different to that.
Even though it seems to speak on many many different ILLUSIONS of topics, such as ego, mind, death, sickness, healing, miracles, heaven, worlds, separation, holy instants, brothers, etc... He is expressing ALL of it from ONE truth, one perspective (sitting in Heaven sipping tea), and that ENTIRE truth is contained in each part. You could get by with a single page of the text and wake up from it.
This is why the course is so DEEP. It has nothing to do with the HORIZONTAL digestion of the Course, how many words there are, how many words you read or practice, how much you memorize, which parts you quote in isolation, or which version seems more or less original. The course does not proceed in the horizontal. It is NOT attempting to get you to make "horizontal progress"!
It does not care how much time it takes or how many lessons you've done or which version's material was left in or out. That is not the DIRECTION in which your mind needs to progress in order for you to wake up! Your mind does not need to take on board 10,000 words. Your mind needs to TRANSCEND THE WORDS. To generalize the learning.
To transform what APPEARS to be thousands of words and to consolidate and reduce them down, boil them down, to a VERY, VERY SIMPLE core truth. You do that by going INTO the course, not moving through the material sideways or in a linear fashion!
The metaphysics of the course is DEEPER than the words, the meaning of the words is DEEPER than the words. There is an ABSTRACT TRUTH being presented here, a truth which *SPANS* the entire book, and is THE SAME EVERYWHERE. Page 1. Page 100. Page 1000. It's all the SAME CONTENT!
You are supposed to be GENERALIZING the learning. What that means is, you see SIMILARITIES in many different seeming parts of the book. Over here in chapter 1 Jesus talks about a miracle in this way, over there in chapter 12 Jesus talks about a miracle in that way. They correlate and are BOTH fragments of the same truth expressing. A piece of the hologram.
BOTH of them point to the same thing. If you are understanding the meaning of what's being said, your mind will develop a CONNECTION between the parts, and will therefore move towards a MORE ABSTRACT TRUTH than either of the parts suggest in their form. Your mind will start to build a "picture" or an overall concept or piece of the metaphysics, based not on a single quote or piece of form in isolation or certain versions, but based on the UNITY between them which transcends the forms of the words.
Just as the Course says you could gain vision from looking at a table in the correct way, so too you can gain vision from looking at a single sentence in the course in the right way. This is why a statement like "there is no sin" gives you a sigh of relief. It is HEALING, not because of what the words say or which words are used. It is healing because it is ABSOLUTE TRUTH expressed in one of many forms, reminding you that something FAR DEEPER than the form is real.
It does not matter which version of the form of the course you use or work with. It does not matter who edited in or out anything it says. It does not matter who influenced it or which forms are more original or less edited or which predate others. It is irrelevant. The course is RESILIANT and RESISTANT TO EDITING, because you cannot EDIT OUT the holographic truth.
A feature of holograms is that THE WHOLE TRUTH is present in every part. If you remove some of the parts, it DOES NOT DIMINISH the whole truth. Every OTHER part that remains, still has the WHOLE TRUTH in it. If you know anything about holograms such as those little 2D ones used on credit cards - when you move your vantage point you see a DIFFERENT SIDE of a 3D OBJECT... because every little particle of the holographic image CONTAINS THE ENTIRE OBJECT, making it possible to see multiple different perspectives at the same time. Try it yourself. To the ego, this should be impossible.
The course is the same way. If you take out AN ENTIRE CHUNK of it, just chop out 90% of the chapters in the text, YOU WILL NOT be removing even 1% of the CONTENT of the course that remains. The WHOLE TRUTH can still be found in the remaining content. You could even pare it down to just 2 words, like God Is, and THAT STILL contains the ENTIRE COURSE. So to think that someone's editing, even aggressive editing, has POWER OVER THE TRUTH, to strip out and steal away and leave out ANYTHING MEANINGFUL, is absolute bullshit ego drama. The truth is INVULNERABLE!
Taking out or changing some words WILL NOT, and SHOULD NOT (for anyone discerning) confuse or distract anyone from the truth. Believing otherwise means you are obsessed WITH FORM and are TOTALLY MISSING the content, which means you're NOT EVEN GETTING THE COURSE from the parts that you DO have access to! The Course contains such a STRENGTH and CLARITY of truth, do you really think that changing a bunch of words can corrupt it beyond all recognition, beyond all usefulness? You cannot remove the ALL from every part without changing EVERY SINGLE WORD. And then you might as well read the phone book. And even the phone book can be used to wake up.
The truth is not a form. It is not a version of some words. The metaphysics is essentially THE SAME in every single version ever released. If you think the differences are important, then you are not transcending the form and are not seeing the metaphysical foundation. WHOLE TRUTH cannot be edited out!
The metaphysics are based on extremely absolute logical progression, which is absolutely black and white with absolutely no wiggle room or room for confusion or misunderstanding.
The metaphysics explains the entire separation and every facet of the ego's working, as a logical progression, because all thought systems are logically consistent throughout. Once you can see the logical CLARITY, which is why Jesus uses extremely black and white terms as much as possible, you will GET the metaphysics and be able to see it and USE it, to clarify the MEANING of the words. The words do not provide meaning! The meaning provides the words! Content over form.
It is not necessary for anyone to read the entire text. It is not necessary for anyone to do the entire workbook. It is not necessary to read the manual for teachers, or absorb every word of every pamphlet, or listen to every single publication by well-known teachers. All you need is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit IS THE ANSWER TO THE SEPARATION.
The Course is only meant to put you in touch with Him and to recognize Him as your teacher and healer and helper, and to learn to allow Him to HELP YOU WAKE UP. Being in touch with Him and relying on and developing TRUST in Him, is MORE IMPORTANT than any words in any version of the Course anywhere. He is the ONE who Jesus appointed to help us. He is the ONE who will awaken us. He is the ONE who heals us. He is the ONE who KNOWS EVERYTHING and who can tell us anything we need to know, and direct us very specifically.
"I don't need to know what to say or what to do knowing He goes there with me. I will heal as I let Him teach me to heal" etc...
It is THE EGO that wants to hang onto every word and quotation of the course, to take parts of it in ISOLATION and dwell on the FORM, in order to SEPARATE the course out into multiple separate problems, to confuse and obscure the message and the meaning.
It does not matter WHAT WORDS Jesus wrote. It does not matter what they mean in English language. It does not matter that you try to "let the words" tell you the truth without you interpreting. That STILL won't get you to be awake. You have to go beyond the words. They are just symbols, pointing you to the truth.
For some people, reading the entire text is helpful. Maybe many times. For some people, doing every single workbook lesson is helpful, maybe even many times. But NOT EVERYONE needs that. What is NEEDED, what is required, is to learn your personal curriculum which you will experience in your regular daily life, learn your lessons, apply the course principles and demonstrate the truth. Be a living example of the teaching, not someone who bashes others over the head with a book. There are already enough bible bashers in the world.
Sometimes people "get" the meaning of the course much quicker than others. It totally depends on the person. Sometimes there has been enough gained from the course writing itself that you no longer "need" to go do lessons or read the words. The core truth is generalized and the abstract nature opened up to. You get in touch with the Holy Spirit who is God's APPOINTED TEACHER, and you listen to Him and allow Him to TEACH YOU DIRECTLY. To help you to forgive and heal. To help you to APPLY it, and to RECEIVE HEALING.
What's right for one person may not be right for you. You have no idea. One person may need years and years of pouring over the urtext. Another may need just one reading of a FIP version. Someone else might need constant references to a sparkly or original or whatever edition. It doesn't matter. OUR CURRICULUMS ARE DIFFERENT, so there is NO ONE RIGHT BOOK to recommend for everyone to use, or which everyone should be using. And NONE of the books contain the experience of the truth.
All who are to meet will meet. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. There are no accidents in salvation. We are all on seemingly different paths, all leading to God. And no-one will be left behind. But don't fall into the trap of turning the course into FORM or having IDOL WORSHIP of it, or hero-worship of the people who we've made SPECIAL for having worked on certain versions. Much appreciation to them for their SERVICE, but they are NOT IMPORTANT. All that's important is that YOU become WILLING to accept the atonement yourself.