ACIM Conversations, Part 9
Are We Watching a Movie?
Student: Perhaps the strangest teaching where there is not agreement is this. Some say that we are not even in the dream anymore, that it was over long ago, and we are just recalling or observing this life like we do a movie here that has been already made with all events unalterably set. It just seems like we are here because we are very involved in the movie.
Teacher: Yes, I have heard that idea before. There are two things you want to do when you hear a supposed teaching from the Course that seems odd. The first is to make sure you understand it as is actually taught in the Course and, secondly, ask yourself if the teaching makes any sense, especially in relation to the other teachings. Do these people think we are living the original dream all over again?
Student: Seems that way.
Teacher: So, this conversation would be a part of the original dream?
Teacher: If our dialog here is a part of the original script then why would we be talking about watching a rerun before reruns even existed, or before the movie was ever watched?
Student: That is an interesting point. It would be like watching Star Wars and Yoda stops in the middle of training Luke and says, “You know this is a movie script and we are really in a movie theater watching a rerun.”
Teacher: Good insight. Here we are supposedly repeating the original script as if it is not the original script. Does that make sense?
Student: Not at all
Student: I’m not sure if I understand the Course correctly on some statements about the separation, as sometimes it sounds like the separation is over and I’m in heaven just recalling it, and other times it tells me I’m dreaming right now in need of salvation and need to awaken.
Teacher: We’ll get to that, but first let us use our right-thinking minds and look at this doctrine. Am I right that the belief is that the separation was over long ago and we are really in heaven fully awake?
Teacher: And instead of being in the dream they say we are really in heaven reviewing old memories?
Student: Yes, they say it is comparable to us watching a film. Everything in the movie has already happened and we are just kind of watching it and identifying with the old memories and characters. Even this conversation would be in the movie and there is nothing you can do to change what you will say next.
Teacher: Sounds like I do not have free will then.
Student: It would seem that way.
Teacher: The Course definitely tells us we do have free will, so that has to be considered.
Student: They say we just have the illusion of free will.
Teacher: I see. The problem with the film analogy is that it doesn’t correspond correctly.
Student: How’s that?
Teacher: When you watch a guy being tortured or being shot in a movie, do you actually feel his pain?
Student: Not really.
Teacher: If you really felt the pain inflicted in some of these movies, would you pay to attend?
Student: I’d go out of my way to avoid them.
Teacher: You mean you wouldn’t go to see the movie even if it was free?
Student: Not really, not if I had to experience their pain.
Teacher: How about your current life? Have you had painful experiences?
Student: Yes, I had one accident that gave me a lot of pain for over a year.
Teacher: Would you volunteer to relive it as if it were real so you feel the pain again?
Student: I’d have to be crazy to do such a thing.
Teacher: Yet, that is what some are saying we are doing. There we were in heaven enjoying peace, love and bliss and all of a sudden, we get the idea to relive all the pain of our earth lives over again. Can you imagine that you would have decided to do that?
Student: Doesn’t make sense.
Teacher: The Course calls this dream experience a nightmare a couple dozen times. Would you of your own free will ask to relive nightmares that last for many lifetimes reaching millions of years?
Student: You’d have to be beyond crazy to do that.
Teacher: So, after you healed up from your accident, did you have any desire to relive the pain as if you were going through it again?
Student: Heavens no. I was glad to have that in the past and just wanted to move on to new more enjoyable things
Teacher: It appears that neither you or I can think of any reason that we would want to relive nightmares. In fact, the Course tells us that when the veil is lifted and we awaken that “Nothing that you remember now will you remember.” T-19.IV.D.6 How could we relive this life if we have moved on, and it is not even in our memory in heaven, kind of like our dreams fade from our memory after we wake up here?
Student: You know… I don’t think that the believers in this idea have thought this through. The more we examine this, the more insane it seems.
Teacher: Yes, the Course calls this separation insane. If life in the dream state is really insane, from heaven’s view, it would be double insanity to decide to relive it and make it real.
Student: It certainly seems that way, but some of the wording in the Course seems contradictory.
Teacher: Do you have any examples?
Student: I have been studying this and have come up with some like this one:
“This world was over long ago. The thoughts that made it are no longer in the mind that thought of them and loved them for a little while. The miracle but shows the past is gone, and what has truly gone has no effects.” T-28.I.1
Then it talks about “that one instant still called back, as if it could be made again in time. You keep an ancient memory before your eyes.” T-26.V.5
This does make it sound like we have kept the memory of this world, contrary to the verse you just quoted about there being no memory in heaven and there is no problem of separation to deal with.
Teacher: Yet there are many passages that deal with this problem that isn’t supposed to exist such as:
“Just as the separation occurred over millions of years, the Last Judgment will extend over a similarly long period, and perhaps an even longer one.” T-2.VIII.2
Doesn’t that sound like we are in the middle of the problem rather than fully in heaven with no problem?
Student: Seems that way.
Teacher: And doesn’t this world with its pain as well as enjoyments seem real to you and me as well as billions of others?
Teacher: Is something causing this to be happening or nothing?
Student: Of course, it has to be something.
Teacher: And what would that be?
Student: I suppose it is our thoughts.
Teacher: Yes, the Course says this:
“The separation is a system of thought real enough in time, though not in eternity” T-3.VII.3
Would you say that we are in time?
Student: Seems that way.
Teacher: And we should not discount this experience in time as not happening, for it is written:
“It is a mistake to believe that a thought system based on lies is weak. Nothing made by a child of God is without power. It is essential to realize this, because otherwise you will be unable to escape from the prison you have made.” T-3.VII.1
Thus, what has happened is that we have made an illusion which is a prison from which we must escape. Does that sound like a different take than that you are fully in heaven with the separation behind you?
Where do you think you are now – on earth or in heaven?
Student: I certainly seem to be on earth. I can feel pain if I pinch myself.
Teacher: A lot of this confusion comes from how the Course defines its terms and applies them. We shall discuss this in greater depth later.
Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:
Copyright by J J Dewey
Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE, Eighteen HERE, Nineteen HERE, Twenty HERE, Twenty-One HERE, Twenty-Two HERE, Twenty-Three HERE, Twenty-Four HERE, Twenty-Five HERE, Twenty-Six HERE, Twenty-Seven HERE, Twenty-Eight HERE, Twenty-Nine HERE, Thirty HERE
ACIM Conversations, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25
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