A Course in Miracles Blog

What does it mean that the script is written, and when are we done with our lessons?

  • By Paul West
  • In Mind, Teaching, Time
  • 5453 Words
  • 27 minutes 15 seconds
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What does it mean that the script is written, and when are we done with our lessons?

Chris asked:

"I was interested in your explanation of the script and no longer needing scripts to learn our lessons. Maybe you could expand on that at some point?"

In ACIM lesson 158 it mentions how "the script is written." To begin, here is a quote of a couple of paragraphs surrounding this to give some context:

"The time is set already. It appears to be quite arbitrary. Yet there is no step along the road that anyone takes but by chance. It has already been taken by him, although he has not yet embarked on it. For time but seems to go in one direction. We but undertake a journey that is over. Yet it seems to have a future still unknown to us.

Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. When experience will come to end your doubting has been set. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by."

Here Jesus is speaking about a couple of different perspectives. One is a very high perspective which is outside of time and space, beyond linear time, where the entire collection of historical events are seen simultaneously. From a perspective of the Christ Mind, Christ has always been and always will be the same, and so-called "time" or the "separation" was just a tiny moment of temporary insanity in the midst of Eternity. Christ can see all of time and everything in it all at once.

From that perspective, time is recognized as being over, not so much in the sense that Jesus is at the "end of time", but that He has transcended all of time. He is as much at the beginning as at the end. A movement away from time itself is a transcendence, vertically, out of the linear horizontal illusion of time passing, into a higher realm where all of time is merged into a single presence.

When you believe in time, which the Course says is a teaching device, you have quite a different experience. You become located "inside" of time and space, in a body, as though you only exist at one tiny instant of time. You seem to move through time and are always believing that whatever you are currently experiencing is "now". But a few seconds from now, you will still be believing that you are in the "now", and yet prior to this you were in the "now". The experience of "now" is confined or sandwiched between the past and future, and the past and future are vast.

When you time-travel, which is possible with your mind even if not via current technologies, if you show up in a time in the so-called "past", you will experience it as though it is happening now. If you are in 1950, it seems as though "now" it is 1950. The fact is that all moments of time are occuring simultaneously and have been implemented in a lateral kind of way.

An analogy is that every moment in the "film" of time, the movie that it plays, has been recorded onto the film in one go, all at once. I didn't "take time" to "make time". All of the past and all of the future came into expression simultaneously in one massive single event. But then an illusion of linear-time is made, sort of like a focusing device, which puts conscious attention and awareness onto single blips in time, one at a time, seemingly in a forwards progression, so that time seems to unfold and things transform over a duration. You don't get to see all of the movie all at once, only the current scene.

Within the current scene, it always seems like "now". The thing is, you can focus on "being in the now", but this really means being fully and maximally present within one slice of time. Whatever the current scene in the movie is, you experience it fully. That's great, but it's by no means the same thing as being in Eternity, or in the perspective of being outside of time, where all of time is immediately accessible.

Time is sort of like a vhs video tape which has been drawn out into a long thread, and if you want stuff to look like it's happening, time has to be "played", one scene at a time. And it seems to take a very long time to see all of the scenes. And when you move on from one scene, you do not see it anymore. It goes into the unconscious mind and becomes the past.

Whereas, time for Jesus is more like a random-access video recorded on a computer where you can move the scroll bar to any position you want to to instantly access any moment in the video. You can jump around all over the place. But even going beyond that, you can be aware of the entire video all at once.

So when you put these two perspectives together, Jesus is in this vantage point where He already knows and experiences that He is not bound by or limited by time. And due to forgiveness and truth, He knows that not one single moment of time is really happening at all. He sees the entire movie reel instead of seeing the movie "playing", and so just recognizes it as a lifeless potential script waiting to be turned into an illusion of motion.

So he can look at this apparent script, this "recorded film", as though all of it is already known, and can say that the way in which it seems to proceed is already recognized as being the only way it could proceed.

This ties in for example with the Course's teaching that nothing happens without you asking for it, you always get what you ask for, and you never get what you do not ask for. Which means, that absolutely everything that happens in the dream movie is a decision someone somewhere made. Nothing exists in the movie without someone deliberately "writing it" into the movie, ie adding it to the script. Someone had to think it and put it in place. The movie did not exist by itself at all. We had to make it.

That correlates to the fact that we're not victims at all, and that in fact, in awareness of the truth, absolutely everything that happens in the script is chosen and asked for and given and received exactly perfectly. There is, in truth, nothing outside of this perspective. There is no time where something just happens by itself, or some scene shows up unexpectedly, or something gets onto the movie reel that wasn't intended. It is a very deliberate script, in effect, because nothing can occur without everyone's say-so.

After all, we are dreaming this dream world and it is up to the dreamer to decide what the dream is going to contain. The illusion of things happening against your will is just an arranged illusion that you chose and put into place. Even the illusion of death happening against your will is an illusion which you chose and put into place. Absolutely every single part of this movie has been written by the Son of God, or collective Sonship, on purpose and deliberately.

After all, it was our idea to see what separation might be like and it was our choice to do so. Before making that attempt, it simply did not exist at all, there being no other causes or justifications or rationalizations or explanations for how the movie could happen.

Even events leading up to death, the happening of death, and what follows on after death, were all orchestrated by the mind that dreamed the movie and made it all up. That mind is behind all of the roles, all of the events and circumstances, and that is why it cannot in any way be a real victim of what it made.

It can only, at best, be animating puppets in a pantomime and pretending that they are attacking each other. Someone even has to be responsible for having dreamed up the decay of the body after death. It doesn't just happen by itself, which shows you that the dreamer cannot have died along with the body and was not the body at all. This is also why death can be undone and resurrection is possible.

When we're lost in the illusion it very much seems as though there are accidents, or things happening we did not ask for, or events which transpire on their own, or acts of nature, or a sense of chaos and randomness (see the ego's laws of chaos). In truth, there is a script-writer (or collectively so) who writes every single scene and everything that will happen and every outcome and every path. That scriptwriter has written a script, in time, where everyone eventually wakes up and goes home to God.

From Jesus's perspective, which is also our perspective, outside of time and space and illusions, outside the dream, He's kind of saying that all decisions have already been made throughout time. Even ones which seem to be in our future. There was a mass separation from God, God provided the Answer as the Holy Spirit, and it was instantly undone. But in "time", it seems to play out at very elaborate length as a way for the mind to gradually come back to awareness and undo the idea of separation.

Now, when you're not in a perspective or a mind which is able to be entirely outside of time and space, ie awake and not inside a dream, you're going to seem to experience it as though there is "time" passing and that time is linear and that it takes time to go through this whole procession of events which leads up to a moment "in time" where you awaken from time.

The time when you will awaken from time is, according to Jesus, already set. It was written into the script, ie decided upon, from the vantage point of the timeless mind (the dreamer) which wrote all of time at once. It wrote the beginning and all of the events and all of the wars and struggles and stuff in-between and also the way in which you would awaken and when that would happen. It wrote all of the scenarios and relationships which would seem to unfold leading up to the final moment of ascension, also the moment of mass-awakening, and the moment of the disappearance of the universe - when the Son of God hits the Eject button.

The experience that you have within time, when you're not in that larger awareness, is that time is linear and there are things which have not happened yet, or decisions which have not been made yet. And so there is this illusion that you exist in a state where you actually still are choosing what will be in the future.

This makes you think that every thought you have, every move you make, every decision, every action, is all spontaneously occurring. Like, you really are deciding what flavor ice-cream you want this time around. Effectively this is an illusion because, in the script, seen from above, the not having the ice-cream, the choosing of the ice-cream, the waiting for the ice-cream, the paying for the ice-cream and the eating of the ice-cream are all seen as simultaneous and sort of pre-existing, ie pre-written. To you, you think that this means you have "free will". But what if even your choosing and deciding is just the script playing out, and absolutely everything that occurs was meant to happen?

Now, one thing I want to throw in here is that there is a state in which you seem to be in-between lifetimes. It seems like a state where there is some time, but the sense of time is different to how it is in the physical world. In this higher dimension, things are more flexible, and it is possible to look up or seem to decide what lifetimes you want to experience. It doesn't necessarily matter what the order seems to be, or whether you jump around, and apparently it also doesn't matter if you experienced a lifetime before - you can potentially go back and do the exact same one over again. And even more strangely, you are effectively experiencing all of those lifetimes simultaneously, even if some of them seem to be in the past.

From that vantage point, and with assistance from spiritual helpers, you choose (or seem to choose) which experiences you agree to have. You choose exactly what body you will go into and how that body will grow and progress and take shape. You choose the family you will be immersed in (or not). You choose the events that will happen. You choose who you will meet and what they will do for or to you. You choose even to meet up with people who seem to be your enemies, people who hurt or abuse you, people who steal from you or attack you, people who you do not like and do not want to be around, etc. Absolutely all of it you choose on purpose.

You choose whether you will have sickness and whether you will have disabilities. You choose how and when these things will transpire. You choose the circumstances which seem to play a part in deluding you into believing that you did not choose any of this. You choose your scapegoats and how they will show up to try to help you to learn. You choose every scenario and what it is that you might learn from that scenario, regardless of whether the scenario seems in your favor or not.

Ultimately, you have your eye on this long-term-seeming goal, of awakening, and time is being used by you as a tool which allows you to sort of work-through your mental distortions and come to clarity about the truth. It's kind of like there is this big plan that Holy Spirit has laid out for how everyone will most effectively and gently awaken, based on their own unique curriculum. And since you know that the goal is reunion with God, and you know the value of that goal, you also are therefore WILLING to put yourself through ANYTHING that is necessary to accomplish that goal. Or in other words, absolutely all possible lessons and challenges are fair game and within the scope of what may be needed to help you to awaken.

You choose the themes in your life, the patterns, the arrangement and order of things. You choose what you'll look like and what music you'll like and how your body will interact with the environment. You choose the people you would meet and what they will do and how they will do it. You ask for all of this. You are not forced into it or coerced. In your state of not being quite aware of the whole truth yet, and seemingly still in time, you are assisted by guides and angels etc to "plan" your lifetime, sort of like planning a vacation, so that you can get the most out of it.

Sometimes you plan lifetimes where not a whole lot happens and things seem to go well and there aren't any major challenges. Sort of like a "rest". And there are other lifetimes where there is just a frenzy of shit happening one after the after and nothing seems to work out. But, you are still learning as you go along. None of it is by accident, and all of it is chosen on purpose as part of your spiritual path towards God.

From that vantage point, up there, prior to incarnation, there is a certain amount of seeming flexibility in seeming to choose what's going to go down in the level "below", ie at the physical level. There is still time in that dimension (the astral plane etc) but it's not as fixed or paced the same. It seems like you have more choice at that level because you're closer to the Source. It's a step closer to the level of the script-writer ie the original dreamer of the entire thing.

Then you come down into the world and into the script and its playing out and all kinds of stuff is happening. And it really depends on your mind and awareness and what's scripted etc, but people will come along and do stuff and, if its a lesson, you'll see what they do as unwelcome and wrong, and have to go through some kind of learning or transformation in order to transcend the need for the lesson.

Lessons are learned by the unlearning of the ego. So if you set up a challenge and shit happens, you're going to need to unlearn the ego's interpretation of events. Initially it will react with misperceptions and judgements, but if you start to practice forgiveness then the lesson will be learned.

When you learn spiritual lessons and there is "growth", Holy Spirit is correcting your mind and you're becoming more atuned with Him. His corrections are permanent and lasting and far-reaching. His idea of a cure or a fix for something is different to the ego's idea. The ego sees multiple separate problems, all lined up side by side, and each one seeming very specific and different.

Therefore, based on appearances and the "forms" involved, it teaches that to solve this problem requires a unique solution, which will solve this instance of this problem, but it will not solve future instances and it will not solve any other problems. It's also possible for the ego's solution to be undone, reproducing the problem. The ego has thus endless problems and would allow one small problem to seem to be solved in order to keep all the rest. And it will make more.

Holy Spirit's problem solving looks at all of the dream and all of the problems as the same problem. He sees progress in healing and resolving the problem only in terms of a permanent change, a step closer towards God, a transcendence of appearances and illusions, an undoing of all problems simultaneously, and its miraculous effects are maximal.

So the ego presents lessons as linear and separate and littered with illusions of form and specific appearances, and to really learn the lesson you have to learn what Holy Spirit would have you know, which is an act of forgiving and transcending the lesson. This transcends the lesson permanently and removes the "need" for the lesson. Once learned, ie once that piece of ego deceit is undone, it does not need to be revisited.

This can change what seems to be the content of the script. If a lesson is learned, there can be a "collapsing of time". ie, there is no further need for future "problems" ie lessons to show up, which were in the "future" of the script because they no longer serve a purpose of awakening. Thus they are collapsed ie disappeared from the script. The result is that your flow or journey through the script, as a result of your willingness to forgive and learn your lesson, may seem to result in a "different future" from the one that you would've experienced if you had chosen not to learn the lesson.

As the Course says, lessons are revisited once again, ie they come around once again, if you do not learn them the first time. But if you do learn them, there is no need for them and they are removed from the "script" entirely. ie that portion of the movie is erased. What this seems to suggest, then, is that either there are multiple versions of the script, as in like multiple parallel timelines, where it's possible to jump to a different timeline, or there is some small amount of "choice" that still remains with you, even when you are incarnate, which can change the course of the script.

This also opens up the idea that there is a certain amount of "flexibility" within the confines of the script, whereby the future and what you'll experience isn't quite fully set. As the Course says early on, you cannot choose the curriculum (what is needed to be learned in order to awaken, one way or another), but the time that you "choose to take it" is within the realm of your choosing.

This means you can effectively seem to "delay" awakening, by delaying or being slow at learning. But we cannot necessarily choose "what" needs to be learned, and at some time or another it has to come back around again to be learned. It is not optional. Your mind HAS to realize certain things in order to awaken and either you will avoid that or embrace it.

Some people like to refer to a "decision maker" which seems to choose between listening to the ego's version of events, or listening to Holy Spirit's version of events. You seem to have that small degree of choosing, within your incarnation, as to either go along with the ego's intended use of what happens, or use it as an opportunity to learn the truth.

Choice is still ultimately an illusion because it only really chooses between illusions, but it makes it seem as though you have to "choose" God again. In terms of choosing between thought systems, you do have to choose between believing in the ego or believing in God. But only as a device to allow you to become aware that there is ONLY God, and the ego does not exist as a real choice at all.

There are also experiences that I've had and others have had also, where sometimes you wake up in the morning and it seems like somehow you just jumped into a slightly different version of reality. It's as though you switched to a different timeline. It's almost an exact replica of how things were before, but somehow there is something subtly a little off or different. It strikes the mind as though you are in a slightly different world. People seem a little different.

And sometimes, objects or buildings may seem to "spring up" out of nowhere. You'll swear there never was something there before, but now suddenly there's this entire building that looks like it's been there for years, that you can't believe was there. Through collapsing of time and so on, and perhaps the idea of multiple versions of timelines, or dimensions of time, it seems like we hop around between slightly different futures. I cannot confirm this at all but it seems like it happens.

This doesn't necessarily mean you are choosing everything freely, it can mean that you are jumping to a different "track" in the pre-recorded movie. A different dimension of the movie, sort of a sub-plot or a different "cut" of the film. There are also certain timelines where certain people may not exist, or they exit your sphere of existence because you've learned your lesson from them and you no longer need them to play a role.

I know this sounds a bit woo-woo and there's not a lot of elaboration on it in the Course, but this is a dream after all and dreams are being made-up all the time. This so-called solid, fixed, physical world, is not 100% fixed at all and sometimes there are "reality glitches" or "glitches in the matrix" or other strange anomalies which defy the ego's laws and show that this illusion is not quite real.

Time seems to progress automatically, but the Course also tells us that miracles are the only device we have at our disposal for controlling time. Miracles are expressions of love coming from outside of time and space. They are capable of reorganizing both space and time and their content. Jesus describes how the miracle introduces an interval "out of time" which seems to rearrange the spacetime continuum, as though causing you to show up further along in time than you would be at, having saved time, because of your willingness to forgive. The miracle undoes the need for time and collapses or cancels part of the movie script.

The miracle is also capable of stepping into a script, let's say a script where someone has a disease, and reversing that disease, leading to a very different future pathway "through" the script. If the miracle can heal the mind and teach a lesson and undo that person's false perception in some way, it effectively catapults them forward in time to a state of being that they might've had to have taken many many years to reach. Since your "future self" is fully healed, it's sort of like skipping ahead in the movie and enjoying the benefits of a saner mind, earlier than you would have.

Often, with lessons having not been learned, they appear to us in our life as something we cannot initially overlook. We see them based on their initial appearance, because we see them with the ego. The "lesson" is really the way that we are misinterpreting reality, and how we're using it to as a scapegoat or to attack ourselves. The answer to the lesson is not being withheld from us and Holy Spirit wants us to learn it. It's not that He is keeping it a secret. But there is something that you yourself are resisting or denying or are unwilling to see and accept, so it depends on your willingness.

Usually when lessons come along for me, they appear to be things that I do not want or do not like or are problems or seem real and upsetting. At first, it's like I cannot see the situation correctly. I can only see my ego interpretation of it, which really is that there is something happening within my ego mind which I am confused about and which needs to be healed. Outside events come along to trigger that and remind me of what needs healing.

The Course talks about how all events are planned by one who has your best interests, so if you can pivot your "framing" of events to see them as helpful and welcome and beneficial, you will experience them as less of an unwanted attack. Don't be too quick to judge based on appearances. You have to learn that you are not being unfairly treated and that you asked for what you are experiencing, and that you can choose again.

Anything that happens, even something which is completely horrible and awful and abusive and destructive, can be used potentially to get your mind into a confrontation with the truth, or to cause you to question something, or to make you realize that something isn't true etc. These things can be painful but there is a deeper purpose. A plan.

For example, someone in your life could be sick or diseased or disabled, and it could seem like this is very bad and unwanted. But, that person's condition may cause those around them to be forced to learn to be more loving. When those people around them fail to be loving and can recognize it as their own failing and that their upset is not being caused by the sick person, they can use it to learn a greater truth. Hence "every cloud has a silver lining."

Tremendous learning can be accomplished from what seems, in illusions, to be something tragic. People choose everything that they are experiencing, even limitations, and even having someone abuse them horribly. The Son of God is not a victim and nothing happens to Him without His will. But at the time, the victim may see themselves as victimized and harmed and unfairly treated etc. But what will they learn? Will they learn what they need to learn to get back to God? Will they use the opportunity to become stronger in the truth? Will they learn to forgive? How will they find peace? It can set them on an entire spiritual journey with far-reaching consequences.

Life's lessons can be hard and tragic, but eventually we will learn from them all and awaken to the truth. And as we do so, we will gradually cause the script to be collapsed and undone and seen as purposeless. Eventually we will therefore not "need" lessons because there is nothing left to learn. He who knows the truth has no need for learning. And so you will stop writing scripts, or you'll write a script in which you awaken finally, realizing that nothing that happened in any of the scripts was real, and returning to the full awareness of God's presence.

Sooner or later you need to learn the curriculum, which only you can learn, in order to become aware of what the truth is. You might delay it, and you might attempt to change the form of the lesson, or choose a different lesson to work on, or rearrange the lessons, or avoid the lessons, but the plan is that you ultimately cannot avoid having to learn the truth, if you want to know what the truth is. So sooner or later, a lesson is going to be presented again to offer you the "forgiveness opportunity" that you might take and use in order to wake up a little bit more.

You can seemingly select between scripts, and you can also experience illusions of choice, and illusions of freedom, and seemingly choose things which are actually premeditated pathways, but ultimately it is all designed to lead back to God. Unavoidably so. Sooner or later you will learn and you cannot delay forever. Forever is not within the bounds of time. It could take many many lifetimes. This might be your "last one", linearly speaking. Eventually we will all wake up and the need for time will end and both space and time will disappear.

As you wake up, you will gradually become more of a cause and less of an effect. That means you will become more miraculous. In effect, it means that you will get back into the driver's seat, so to speak, where you are able to change the dream, collapse the dream, produce healing seemingly in the dream, etc. You may seem to have more freedom, more power to choose, and be more willing to choose God. And your "will" will align more with God's will, which is for your happiness.

Being less at the effect of a dream and more at cause, what's to stop you from changing it if it is appropriate or helpful? Jesus says you will be told very specifically what to do, and that you should consult with Him about which miracles to perform. But yes, miracles will start to happen and this will seem to undo the illusion that you are stuck in a script with no way out. The idea of a fixed script or "fate" will dissolve as you return to a state of freedom - the freedom to express love.

What happens to the forgiven when they have learned all their lessons and have awoken to love and have no blocks to love and love is now flowing freely through them? They have become miraculous. They are unlimited by the aspects of space or time. There is nothing their holiness cannot do, including performing interventions, or as Jesus refers to miracles, "intercessions for your holiness." They can also intervene for your brother and bring healing to his mind and, indirectly, to his illusory body also.

Let's not forget that there is such a thing as a "happy dream" where lessons are learned with greater willingness, smoothness, and effortlessness. Where things are not seen as transpiring against you. Where the world is seen as forgiven. And where the need for learning comes to an end. You cannot learn God, but you can unlearn what is not of God, revealing an awareness of God which was always there, hidden in the mind by the ego's beliefs.

If you don't like what's happening, choose again. And choose wisely. You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your decision. I will finish where the Course begins, with this quote:

"This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite."


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