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A New Interpretation
Talking About the Script and Linear Time
Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 wordword. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.
David: We are talking about coming to this purpose. This purpose is so denied. I use the analogy of the skyscraper, and the purpose is literally that light in the basement. That is the Holy Spirit’s purpose. It’s so buried and covered over; that’s why it takes a lot of practice to let go of our investments. As long as we have expectations then those cover over that purpose.
Friend: But I’m still wanting to back it up again, because I’m still making the choice for peace, both of these are peaceful, I’m still making the choice…
Friend: I hear what you’re saying. Is there a sense that if you were really at peace you would feel that what would occur is that when you pulled into a parking place there wouldn’t be anybody upset about it?
Friend: That I wouldn’t be upset about it?
Friend: That there wouldn’t be anybody upset, because if we’re all one, and if you have achieved a relationship with perfect peace, there should be no construct in which there’s another guy to be upset.
Friend: That’s having an expectation of being outside of myself in form and if I was at peace the whole world will be at peace; and I hear you, but…
Friend: Maybe the thing to do is to look at your mind, and look at the guilt that comes up.
Friend: Then totally at peace this time because I’m choosing it.
Friend: I’m hearing a lot of ego considerations in there.
David: Our friend’s got a key point. I’ll throw this out to you, but it’s a key idea. And this is what the Workbook is trying to teach the mind—that cause and effect are not separate. In other words there aren’t any hypotheticals. The ego does not like that because, like the example that our friend is pointing out. When we get into all of our examples, including the example of the parking spaces, we’re out into the hypothetical what if. You can see how that works. Literally that’s like hitting it on the head, because that’s what the ego does.
Friend: It’s the ego saying what if.
David: If we took it that way, we’d have to have a formula, or we’d have to have a giant book or something—a huge catalogue—4 trillion eight hundred ninety-nine million situations. And you can see the variables are endless. It really gets back to what our friend’s saying in the sense of simplicity—that prayer:
“I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.” T-2.V
Now that’s a principle; in the moment, we will be guided. This is a good example now, ask, How am I feeling right now? This is why whether you go to Course groups or this or that, it’s always good to monitor your own reactions and your own emotions right now in the moment, like: How are you feeling right now? [laughter]
Friend: If I will be guided, am I guided according to how the script is written?
David: I’ll give you another line. The Course says
“You do not need guidance except at the mind level.” T-2.VI.3
Because that is where you need it. In other words, bodies do not get guidance; minds always get guidance. If you are really open and willing, you will be guided.
Friend: When you say, “The script is written” W-158.4 do you mean that the script is written on the mind level?
David: In the perceptual/form everything has already happened. Let’s come at it from another angle. When I say, “The script is written,” you notice that “written” is past tense? Jesus comes at it from the same angle when he says in Workbook Lessons 5, 6 and 7: “I am never upset for the reason I think,” “I am upset because I see something that is not there,” and “I see only the past.” Now, with “I see only the past,” Jesus is literally restating “The script is written.” So, what the mind is perceiving when it’s perceiving bodies and cars and stars and airplanes and rugs and everything is all the past, but it gets very upset about the past because it believes that the past isn’t over.
Friend: So is that what it means when it says “the script is written”; that because with our minds we see only the past? Is that what that means?
Friend: That’s what that means?
David: That’s it!
Friend: I got it! [laughter]
David: And when is truth available? It’s always available in the now! So whenever we’re getting upset about what’s the past, we obviously don’t believe that the past has gone. Otherwise, why would we get upset? Really, the Course is just the path to help us see that the past is gone. So let’s take it another step further, because we’ve only gotten to Lesson 7. Lesson 7 explains the first seven. And Lesson 8 is: “My Mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.” Now we’re getting to the thought level. The only reason I’m seeing all these shadows of things in form is because in my mind I’ve got these dark thoughts like a projector. Here’s the light, here’s the dark thoughts, and here’s all the forms on the screen. Do you know what happens if you let go of the dark thoughts? Light! You have just pure light because there aren’t any obstructions to it. That’s the escape—the escape is Lesson 23: “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” He works all the way up to the first 22 to bring it to that. So really, it gets to be simple! All I have to do now is to get in touch with those attack thoughts and not be afraid of them. I’ve got to be able to raise them to awareness and look at them and see them for what they are, a bunch of backward thoughts, and then let the thoughts go. That’s what salvation is! It’s that simple!
Friend: I was watching a TV series on the brain, either last night or night before, and there was one I found on memory, and the neurosurgeon made an interesting point that without memory we have no sense of self, which I think is delicious because that’s what we’re really trying to do, to shed this sense of self that comes from the ego. Without it we just are, we blend, you know. They said it’s that memory that makes us look back.
David: When I’ve thought of the word memory too, I’ve always associated it with the past. And there’s a section in the Course, pretty late in the Text, called The Present Memory T-28.I in which Jesus says that memory is an ability that you made after the separation, but he says you can use it to remember the present. There’s a shock because you can see how the mind associates: memory/past, memory/past, past/memory.
Friend: Yes, I understand that.
David: Yeah, and it’s kind of a stretch when you even read that section, but basically it’s back to that thing like the present moment is revelatory; it’s pure light. It’s not perceptual. It doesn’t have anything to do with images or form. Really, it’s like the mind is terrified of remembering the present. That’s why it keeps trying to hang onto the past.
Friend: When you can come to a point where you can see or remember the present, you still see the script, however. I mean, you’re still seeing the past.
David: Well, the way the Course describes the present is the holy instant, and it literally says that in those revelatory points, you don’t even… they call them the Great Rays, you might have read it, with a capital G and a capital R. Another way he describes it is in the I Need Do Nothing section. It says, “At no single instant does the body exist at all. It is always remembered or anticipated.” T18.VII.3 In other words, when we think in our minds, How will so-and-so react? It’s like using those thoughts that are all projected out in the future. Or like what happened, how that guy reacted to me at that meeting the other night, or whatever. You see how it’s always the past or the future, but the Course is describing the present as something that is pure light; that literally is an experience of revelation or the holy instant. It’s not even perceptual in that sense.
Friend: I don’t understand memories. Here it is present when it just said it’s past. So what’s the memory for?
David: Well, if we went like this; you know that analogy that I sometimes use about the World Trade Center? And the Holy Spirit’s in the basement and the ego’s in the basement and all these dark layers are stacked because the mind is afraid of the light? The light is the present. In other words, that’s our gateway to eternity is the light of the Holy Spirit. So that’s a memory that’s buried very, very deeply in the mind. In other words, the whole world, the whole self concept that the mind constructed, was made to forget that light. That’s why the mind has to completely cease judging before it can remember that light.
David: And really, when we use peeling the onion, that kind of gets into our process, but last night we were getting into the idea that all of the layers of the onion are the same. I know our friend has brought that up a lot of the time: Is it a process? Do you have to know what the specific belief is or not? Basically, what I am saying is that the ego is like a tree trunk, and here are the branches of the tree. The ego and the branches are identical, and until you see that the branches and the trunk are identical, you can go through a lot of twigs and see that: It seems like I have a belief in time and space and concept of size, concept of bodies, concept of on and on and on. And those are like all the limbs and the branches and the twigs; but the instant that the mind can see that the image-maker (the trunk) and the images are identical, [snaps fingers] then it’s dispelled.
It’s this thing of self concept that it seems like, Boy, am I attached to this body! or, Boy, am I attached to this car! or, Boy, am I attached to this person, or this job. Those are all the branches and the limbs, you know. But the thing is: the mind doesn’t want to look at What is the thing that made up all these branches and limbs? And, Who is this I that is so attached to this body and so attached to different people and everything? You see, ultimately you have to get back to the image maker. You can count those images forever (four hundred ninety-nine billion) you know it just seems like there are all of these images, but ultimately we have to get back to the image maker. And as soon as the mind can see that the image maker and the images are the same, then what is it that can see that? It has to be a very clear mind, a mind that is not deceived in any way that has now stepped back from the image maker, and it goes Wow!
Friend: Can a partially clear mind, with the Holy Spirit, see this?
David: It wouldn’t be partially at that instant. Jesus says it in many ways, but he says you either see or you don’t see.
Friend: There are some times that I see, but I don’t feel like I have a clear mind, I mean a clear mind forever. For a moment I can have a clear mind and see something. One of the things that keeps happening to me is that I try to unravel this stuff with the ego, and it makes me feel crazy, but when I can remember that Oh, there’s a Holy Spirit, and Holy Spirit I want you to see this part of what’s going on right now, then all of a sudden I can feel the peace come in, but I don’t feel that I can always maintain that clarity. It’s like remembering to ask the Holy Spirit in those moments.
David: It’s like, when we spread it out into time, there’s a section in the Course called The Immediacy of Salvation T-26.VIII If you really follow Jesus’ thinking in that section, it makes a lot of sense. He kind of says Why would Got put your salvation in the future? When you stop a minute and you think about it, that’s what the deceived mind believes in this world is that, OK, now I’m reading this Course In Miracles, and if I do this enough, and if I really practice this enough, that eventually (in the future) I’ll achieve salvation (or the totally clear mind). And Jesus comes in that section and he kind of says, Here’s some logic for you. Why would God place salvation in the future? Wouldn’t that be cruel? He kind of runs it through the logic: Wouldn’t it be cruel for God to put it out there in the future? If God gave you salvation which he assured us; he gave us the Holy Spirit which is redemption and salvation, wouldn’t he have put it in the present instead of in the future? Wouldn’t it be cruel for God to have like a little carrot and say, Ha ha, you’ll get it in another millennium, you know, Ha, Ha.
Friend: Oh, we make that future. It’s obvious that it’s there. The problem is accepting it. That’s the only problem I have.
David: I think it’s helpful, with regard to time, that in the ultimate sense, time is a projection of the ego; it’s made up. But, if I believe I’m in it, that’s not helpful in the sense of, like you could use that in terms of denial. But what the Course does is like a stepping stone to realizing that time is but an illusion is what it does with everything, the same thing it does with the body and relationships and everything else, it says, OK, you made time. The Holy Spirit can use time too! He can use everything you made. You made a world. He can use it to lead you out of it! He made bodies. He can use them! How do the Holy Spirit and the ego each use time? The ego wants to promote a linear view of time. The Holy Spirit’s trying to teach us that there’s one time—now! And the ego’s trying to say No, there’s the past, and here’s the present, and there’s the future. So it’s helpful to look at Well, what else is this ego trying to teach me about time if it’s trying to teach me that it’s linear? It’s saying basically You are guilty in the past. You’re a body. Look at all the things in your life that you didn’t do and should have done, and look at all the things that you’ve done and shouldn’t have done. Look at all the things back there that you feel guilty about. Basically the ego says You’ve got it, you’re guilty in the past; there’s no doubt about that. Now, it says And the present is just a gateway to the future. You’ve been guilty in the past, you can’t do anything about it in the present, and you’re going to be guilty in the future—Hell! Hell awaits you in the future! A fearful world awaits you in the future! So that linear thing of time basically says that you’ll pay in the future for the sins that you have committed in the past.
So, that’s where I sometimes get into talking about pleasure and pain, because both pleasure and pain reinforce that the body is real when, (this is the sneaky trap about pleasure) the ego says Didn’t you like that? Think back to that experience in the past (whatever it was that you associate your mind with that was pleasurable—it can be anything). Think of a really pleasurable event. Now, don’t you want to repeat that event in the future? That’s how the ego makes linear time continue. It says You had pleasure in the past, and if you do such and such and such and such, you can repeat that in the future. That’s how linear time continues to keep going; the mind still believes that there is something valuable in the past that it wants to repeat and strive for in the future. By doing so, it keeps linear time going. We’ve talked sometimes about how pain and pleasure are just two sides of one coin, for Jesus says, “It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body and not find pain.” T-19.IV The ego does not want that idea from the Course to be brought into awareness. You can see, you may even feel some resistance starting to come up in yourself right now; because that is an idea that is very important to maintaining linear time and it’s very important [to the ego] that the mind not see the connection between that. It’s one of those things that the deeper you go into the Course, the more you start to see… have any of you read in the Course the term, “attraction to guilt”? T-19.IV On the surface that seems ludicrous! Attraction to guilt? Why would I want to be attracted to guilt? Guilt is what I want to give up! And yet, why did Jesus use so many pages of his text talking about the attraction to guilt? But when the mind is in the deceived state, it is actually attracted to guilt. It actually wants to use it to perpetuate itself. In this world, it’s pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain, right? That’s what it means to have pretty good judgment, to know the things that are good and pursue those, and avoid the things that are painful. And what the Course is basically saying is: My little child, your mind is very twisted. You have a lot of darkness in it, and you can’t even tell the difference between the two; that there is this thing called joy that has nothing to do with anything that’s physical, it’s completely intrinsic; it kind of wells up from within your heart. And your joy comes from fulfilling your function so that when you are listening to the Holy Spirit, and you are being truly helpful, you will feel a joy that is so intense and so indescribable that you will be doing… literally, it’s like doing the Father’s will is indescribable happiness; that those other things which seemed to bring you happiness, you know, those little bits of pleasure, those little bits of fleeting things that you grasp for in the world, will fade from your awareness because that joy will expand. Now, that I can go for! If you just take the first part of the equation about pleasure and pain, it’s like Hey, what’s in it for me? When you say Joy is in it for me, then that’s what we’re moving toward. That’s the positive experience.
Also, I think the thing is, if you think you really know what pleasure is, and you’re really sure that you have experienced it, and you have something in mind that you want to repeat to get that back, whether it’s robbing the bank or whatever, there’s deprivation involved in the interval between now and the time I can get it. Maybe you’d like a drink, and maybe there’s a certain kind of drink or beer or soda that you are thinking about, and as you are going down the street to the pub…
Friend: …your mouth opens wide…
David: Oh yes, just thinking about it! There’s a sense of deprivation and lack until, Ahhh, like that old Fresca commercial, fill your senses and then blow it away. That was the old thing. But you can see that there’s a sense of deprivation or lack involved until that external thing, that sensation will be satiated.
Friend: I think the most common one we can talk about; let’s talk about sex. This is the one that I’ve heard myself so well: That’s pleasurable! Well, this old body’s going to go for a little pain, you know, and it completely blocks my mind. As I have been able to… I don’t know what I’m trying to say, but it’s the very seeking of the pleasure, using this body (get it down real simple, getting away from the sex for a minute); I’m a hot candy eater. I love to eat hot candy. Why? I’m sitting here, I’ve bit my lips! They’re burning, you know. All I can feel is pain. Why? This is a little ego gimmick. If I’m feeling pain, I can’t be at peace. This is the great deceiver. I used to wonder why I hit my finger. What’s that got to do with me feeling separated from God? It couldn’t have anything to do with it. Yeah, it does. It has a lot to do with it. This is part of the ego’s smoke screen for me. Anytime I’m not honed in on perfect peace, this peace that I have just recently discovered, if I can hone in on peace when I get up in the morning, that’s my function during the day. If I pick up a piece of hot candy and eat it, I’ve lost my function. This thing is ridiculous, but I do not hone in on peace while my mouth is munching. If I hit my finger with the hammer maybe I’m not peaceful. Why? Here it is. I’m stepping right back into the trap. If I decide then that I’m going to go for the pleasure and go for the sex act out of marriage, or whatever (if you want to add to this), either way you approach it; if I use this body to seek pleasure through the body, that’s completely different than seeking joy and seeking peace. But I have to get away from the body, and it’s a marvelous thing for me. It’s just happened to me.
Friend: I’ve got to say that that’s what I’ve found; it doesn’t matter if it’s pleasure or pain or sex or security; it’s all seeking, you know, it’s project and pursue, and I’m just chasing my own carrot.
David: We’re not talking necessarily of physical pleasure because some people, just seeing the sunlight…
Friend: I can’t do it if I’m chasing it. You know, we’re not human doings, we’re human beings.
David: It’s like, where do we think we can find it? Like you were saying before, you really do believe that people are just seeking happiness. And what I see the Course as doing is saying, “Seek not outside yourself.” T-29.VII.1 If you’re looking on the screen… I mean, it says you have a right to happiness; that’s your inheritance. You have every right to ask for happiness, but it’s like here’s your direction and now the Course is saying it is within you; that it is the Holy Spirit’s purpose. And to me, when I was talking about the pleasure/pain thing, let’s face it; in this world, pain and pleasure seem to be very different. Experientially, they seem to be very different. So what makes them single or unified? Basically, Jesus says that two things that share a purpose; that’s what makes them the same. So how do pain and pleasure share a purpose? They both reinforce the body as being real. It’s the same thing whether you’re in ecstasy eating something you love or you’ve got a throbbing headache. Is God in your awareness with one extreme or the other? You know, that’s the thing.
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