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Do you recommend using the Urtext version of ACIM? Also, how do you explain some of the passages in the Urtext about sex?
It's really two questions.
1) Do you read or use the "Urtext" version of ACIM? Is it useful in any way or would you recommend sticking to the standard text?
2) There is an Urtext quote from Jesus to Helen and Bill that is troubling to us. It reads: As was said before, homosexuality is INHERENTLY more risky (or error-prone) than heterosexuality, but both can be undertaken on an equally false basis. The falseness of the basis is clear in the accompanying fantasies. Homosexuality ALWAYS involves misperception of the self OR the partner, and generally both. Jesus also mentions that sex is for procreation only and there are times when it is appropriate to use sex to allow room for more souls to come into the world. This feels like an unusual remark to make about a world that is illusory. I understand the idea of sexuality being body-focused and I can see how people evolve out of desiring sex. And, of course, sex between bodies is no more real than the bodies themselves. But I'm still a little troubled by the distinction made with homosexuality. I mean, aren't all preferences in this area different forms of the same mistake? We are troubled by the distinction/judgment Jesus seems to be making here.
I have read the "Urtext" version of ACIM, and yet I still feel that most people should stick to the standard text. The ideas you mention from the Urtext are stepping stone ideas, and you are completely on track when you say: "I can see how people evolve out of desiring sex. And, of course, sex between bodies is no more real than the bodies themselves." The Course is all about allowing Holy Spirit to undo all preferences, which simply reflect the belief in a hierarchy of illusions and deny the miracle, which has no order of difficulty.
The body image is the self-concept that was made to take the place of Spirit, and that is why it is magic to engage in any form of body image activity at all. Healed perception or the forgiven world shows the sameness of all perception, reflecting the wholeness of the Christ Idea. What is the same cannot be different, and what is one cannot have separate parts.
All sexuality was made by the ego and based on preferences and a hierarchy of needs, yet this misperception of the body and relationships and levels of consciousness is corrected by the miracle. All real pleasure comes from doing God's Will. Christ Calls everyone to their function as miracle workers.
Much of the Urtext was edited out of the standard, published edition by Ken Wapnick and Helen under Jesus' instructions, and with good reason. I could write a whole book on that topic though. Ken Wapnick wrote the following in "Editing History" on http://acim-archives.org: "As is widely known, there was a court case involving infringement of the copyright by the Endeavor Academy in Wisconsin, an action brought about by the Foundation for Inner Peace, the publisher of the Course, and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, its sister organization and copyright holder of the Course. This is not the place to discuss the details, except to say that they were doing inappropriate things with the Course and we were trying to stop them. As part of the proceedings, I was deposed by Endeavor's attorney, who asked me, among other things, about the manuscripts. I mentioned that the Hugh Lynn Version, the one that Helen and I edited, was in the A.R.E. Library.
Armed with that information, some people subsequently and unlawfully removed the manuscript from the A.R.E., copied it, and then returned it to the library. It was later published under the name "Jesus' Course in Miracles." The contention was that I Was the one who had changed Jesus' Course, and that the authentic Course was the Hugh Lynn Version that Bill Thetford edited. I was thus viewed as an upstart who came along with his own ideas about what the Course said and convinced Helen to make changes; a belief hard to understand because nothing was changed in terms of meaning and, as I have indicated, almost all changes occurred at the beginning of the text.
At any rate, the claim was that the Course published by the Foundation for Inner Peace was not the true Course. Then something happened I never would have thought possible: Under false pretenses, the notebooks and Urtext were taken from the Library of Congress and copied, a violation of federal law. We talked to legal authorities at the Library, who were outraged. However, it was clear that this case was very small potatoes for them. The Library of Congress is under the Department of Justice, which has other things on its mind besides someone taking a manuscript that is of no importance to anyone outside of a very small group. So nothing was ever done about it. We were assured by Library officials that this would never happen again, but of course, that was of no help in our situation. The people who were now in possession of the illegally obtained material—the notebooks, Urtext and Hugh Lynn Version—had it scanned or retyped, and have made it available on the Internet and elsewhere for purchase.
That, then, is how all this material got out. The court case was concluded in 2003 and the copyright was declared invalid. This, however, did not apply to the Course's Preface, the additional material added to the Second Edition, the Clarification of Terms, and the two pamphlets, Psychotherapy and The Song of Prayer. Moreover, the Foundation still owns the copyright to the notebooks, Urtext, and the Hugh Lynn Version.
As a result, when you go now to amazon.com and call up "A Course in Miracles," the chances are, if you are not aware of this background, that you may be selecting the Endeavor or some other version, which is being marketed as the original Course. The Endeavor group has also included Matthew's gospel in the Course, because they have always held that the Course and the Bible are the same. Thus, in that version you are not going to get the true Course at all, not even the Urtext or Hugh Lynn version.
Ken also wrote this about the Urtext: "Finally, there was, among other subjects, material on sexuality, statistics, and mental retardation; the last two being major interests of Helen's. For a number of reasons, none of this material belonged in the published version. First, much of it was personal to Helen and Bill, and had nothing to do with the teachings of "A Course in Miracles." Perhaps even more importantly, Helen was notoriously inaccurate when her own ego was involved. A great deal of this early material was colored by Helen. She was incredibly accurate when her ego was not in the way, however, and that is why the pure teaching of the Course is what it is. One could never imagine Jesus saying, for example, what is in the Urtext on sex—not that it was anything horrific, but it obviously reflected Helen's own values and biases."
Showers of Forever Love,