Estonian Translator: Jüri Pärl
I was born in Estonia in 1940. Until 1958, I lived in a little village in Western Estonia. After graduating from the Estonian Academy of Agriculture as a mechanical engineer, I worked mostly in Tartu City District Heating System. I have been retired since 2005.
My parents were ardent followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, so I was acquainted with the Bible since childhood and studied it from cover to cover. After that, I started to read other spiritual writings. The population of Estonia was only a little over one million and there were very few spiritual books in translation. In order to understand those spiritual writings, I began to translate them for myself from different languages. For example, I translated the Bhagavad Gita from Russian; Tibetan Yoga, Raja Yoga and others from English; and books about psychology and philosophy from German.
When my cousin, Leida Sutt Cheng, visited Estonia from the United States in search of her roots during the early nineties, my mother, whom she located in Tartu city, Estonia, insisted on her meeting with me to experience my serene riverside country home. As we had never met before, Leida was hesitant. We connected readily, however. It turned out that she was also a spiritual seeker and immediately sent me spiritual books upon her return. ACIM was one of them. As usual, I translated it for just myself and followed all the workbook lessons. Although the book impressed me, I did not find the expected results after one year of practice. So I decided to follow the lessons a second time, to be sure. After another half a year, my experiences confirmed the value of the book and I decided to work with my translation more seriously in order to offer it for publication. Thereupon, Leida also sent me the official German and Russian translations of ACIM so that I could compare my translation with them and the Kenneth Wapnick book Absence From Felicity. The Estonian publisher, Pegasus, agreed to publish ACIM in Estonian.
During summer 2009, Tiiu Kraut (a Pegasus Publisher editor) and I visited Temecula in California where we met with Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. Dr. Wapnick found my translation too literary and wanted a more literal translation. I received more materials from Dr. Wapnick and spent another 6 years translating ACIM.
We began editing work with Violetta Riidas, a new editor, beginning in 2016. We could only meet via Skype as she lived in Tallinn, 200 Km north of Tartu. During our first meeting, she assured me that she would make the translation as good as possible. And she certainly did! She even compared my translation, line by line, to a Finnish translation. Discussing a chapter for a second, third or more times, was never a problem.
For me, working with editor Violetta during the translation of ACIM was like solving a crossword puzzle. Sometimes it took weeks to find a better word because I needed to re-read parts of the Bible, re-study psychology and philosophy, or consult the materials received from Dr. Wapnick and the German translation, which I admire. As a retiree, I could delve into this project wholeheartedly and am gratified to have lived long enough to see this translation published in 2016.
My special thanks to Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, Dr. William Whitson, Editor Violetta Riidas, Designer Ivi Piibeleht, and Tiiu Kraut who organized the translation and its publication. Also my gratitude to my dear wife who took tender loving care of me during these years and to Leida for all her supporting activities.