Scripting 104: Uncovering Your Life Script

In Scripting 104 you will learn…

Getting to Know Your Iceberg Self

You not only are dreaming the delusions of a phony self-image and arbitrary cultural preferences, you are asleep to the fact that this is what is going on. The movie, The Matrix, provides an example of this reality:

“The Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. Even in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes; it is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”

And Neo asks, “What truth?”

“That you are a slave, Neo, like everyone else, you were born into bondage; born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch; a prison for your mind.”

To wake up, like Neo, you have to get out of the matrix. That means you have to access the objectivity necessary to witness not only your delusions but also your sleeping, dreamlike state. You are asleep means you are out of touch with most of who you are. If you compare yourself to an iceberg, you are mostly in touch with the ten percent of yourself that is above the water. 

Ninety percent of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you”. The ten percent that is above the water is who you think you are most of the time. It is your “geocentric,” Ptolemaic, sense of self that says the world is all about you, your needs, desires and sufferings. Even when you dream, you still think you are that same self that experiences life in your waking state. That is because you normally think you are awake when you are dreaming. So, the way that you, as an iceberg, experience the sky, other icebergs, and the water, is in that context—your experience as the ten percent of yourself that you think you are. This is the perspective humans generally take to understand the interior of humanity. They are on the outside looking in; they are the ten percent observing itself, the ninety percent within and the vast world without. There are important, built-in limitations to this perspective, and your lack of awareness of those limitations can make you miserable. Here is a parable that attempts to clarify that point. 

Imagine that your iceberg self is in the far north, surrounded by cold water, cold air and plenty of other icebergs. You have just broken off from your mother glacier. There is a strong wind blowing from the south, assuring you that your future is an icy one, which is what an iceberg wants and needs for a long life.  You are happy, comfortable, and your future looks bright. Days pass. You notice that the other icebergs have moved farther away. The air is warmer. The water is warmer, but the wind is blowing from the south as strong as ever. This is strange! What is happening? More days pass. Now no more icebergs are to be seen anywhere. You are alone and the water is much warmer. You are melting! You think, “How could this be happening?” “Why is this happening?” “Life is unfair!” “I am a victim!” You live out your shrinking iceberg life bitter and alone, feeling betrayed by life.

This little iceberg analogy would be trite if it didn’t so clearly apply to the life experiences of many, many people who feel victimized by life. This parable demonstrates that their misery and suffering is a function of their lack of awareness. Because they are unaware of the entirety of themselves, the ninety percent that lies below the surface of their awareness, they lack the information that is required for their lives to make sense. When events do not make sense, it is easy to feel that you are out of control, pushed along by life forces that your culture might have taught you to view as “fate,” “God’s will,” genes, your life script, or the norms of your particular society and culture. 

How do you avoid concluding that you are a victim of circumstances beyond your control and that you are therefore helpless, hopeless and powerless? IDL works to move you from unawareness to awareness, from victimization to a healthy participation in the flow of life. It does so by showing you how to get in touch with the rest of your iceberg self. Returning to our analogy, if you were aware of the ninety percent of yourself that lies below the surface of your awareness, what information might you have that you did not have before? As the ten percent above the surface of your awareness, you experienced a strong wind blowing from the south. From this, you concluded that you would be pushed to the north, remaining in very cold waters. But you did not stay north. You moved south! Your awareness as the ten percent of the iceberg is not sufficient to explain why and how you moved to the south and melted.

When you expand your awareness to include the ninety percent of yourself that is below the water, you have more information. You are now aware of ocean currents that move slowly through the depths, pushing against your underwater mass. This force can be so gentle as to be almost imperceptible, but as long as it is steady and it impacts on your huge underwater surface that faces the current, it will be stronger than even hurricane winds blowing in an opposite direction on the upper ten percent that is above the water and exposed. It is because these gentle but powerful currents are pushing you south that your life as an iceberg is the way it is, not because of the fierce excitement of storms on the surface. If you are out of touch with this awareness, as most people are most of the time, you are likely to experience yourself as a victim of fate. When you are in touch with this awareness, you are much more likely to be at peace with your life and be able to enjoy it to the fullest. Once you get in touch with the ninety percent of your iceberg self and experience life from its perspective, life makes sense. You may not like it, but you can be at peace with the nature of things.

Now imagine that as the ten percent of the iceberg above the water, you look down into yourself. What do you see? You see your reflection in the ice. You dimly see yourself disappearing below the water as well, but what you make of that below the water self is based on your out-of-water perspective.  What you see below the water is distorted by waves and refracted in illusory ways by the light on ice. Your conclusions about your underwater self will inevitably be distorted. 

By analogy, this is what mankind, religion and psychology have done and continue to do. They look at life from the outside in, thereby creating a delusional view of reality. They view greater human consciousness primarily from the perspective of waking identity, the part of yourself that you are mostly aware of and concerned about. The great heritage of human experience is mostly the distorted perceptions of the ten percent of the human iceberg, either trying to make sense of the ocean, weather and what’s happening to it with only partial information, or trying to make sense of its ninety percent by peering down through the distortions of light, ice and water. Consequently, almost everything that you have learned about yourself and about life is distorted and misperceived. That part of your enormous iceberg self that lies outside your normal awareness is not viewed as it sees the world but as you see it. It is viewed in terms of its meaning and value for the ten percent of yourself that you are mostly aware of. What this means is that stuff inside you that looks distorted is distorted to you. Stuff that looks stuck really is stuck to you. Parts that you can’t budge really won’t budge for you. Stuff inside that looks scary, such as nightmares, are scary to you. Stuff inside that is misunderstood because it is seen through waves and refracted light is dismissed as delusional by you. You see the distortions caused by the refraction of the water’s surface and think the illusions are real. Forming beliefs on those illusory experiences, you live in a delusional world. These are the types of observations that the wise men of history have made; they have declared what is true and right based on delusions.

You identify with a part of yourself, the ten percent that lacks the ability to make the stuck parts of yourself in the other ninety percent of yourself budge. The top part of your iceberg is in the minority. It does not have the ability to control or direct the destiny of its greater identity. It is the tail wagging the dog, the flea thinking it is in charge of its host. However, there are other parts of your iceberg self, below the surface, that aren’t stuck. There are other parts of yourself that might be able to make the stuck parts of yourself budge, if only you were able to access them. There are other parts of your greater iceberg self that are in harmony with the parts that are not to your liking. When you take in their perspective, you may discover new ways to get the stuck parts moving or to accept some of your life challenges as being the way they are. 

What Is an “Emerging Potential?”

When you look down into the water or through the ice, you see more water, either as the sea or as the frozen fresh water of your iceberg self. The frozen fresh water below the surface is one part of your greater identity that lies outside your normal awareness; the ocean itself is another, far more vast part of your greater identity that lies outside your normal awareness. These “aspects” are so vast and impersonal that it makes little sense to refer to them as aspects of yourself. The water in the iceberg essentially belongs to no self. Because of this, it makes better sense to refer to these “underwater” perspectives, whether they are within “your” iceberg, in the ocean or in other icebergs, as “emerging potentials” rather than as self aspects. This is because each perspective is emerging into your awareness. It has the potential to be part of your awareness. It also has the potential, when it does, to make a difference in your life. This is because it has the advantage of your life history and perspective, to which it adds its own perspective. The result is a perspective that not only transcends but includes your own.

How can you access parts of your greater self that know how you are stuck and what you need to do to get unstuck? Returning to our analogy, it would be as if you took samples, called “ice cores,” of your ninety percent below the surface. Such ice cores are samples of the entire iceberg, but from different places, experiences and times. 


If you took enough such samples, you would gain a good sense of what the extent and nature of your previously unknown self was. You wouldn’t have to explore everything all the time in order to gain a broad overview map of a much more expansive sense of who you are. What could reasonably be expected to be the outcome? You will make better decisions because you take into account a more accurate perception of reality. You will be more at peace, both with yourself and with life, because you know you are much more than a melting “tip of an iceberg.” You will have more confidence, based on a sense that you know who you are.

In IDL, you learn to make this powerful shift in perspective when you interview and take on the role of various emerging potentials. By doing so, you discover that your life looks and feels a lot different. Things inside you that looked scary aren’t any longer. When you become the monster in your dreams, you find out it was chasing you to give you a message or to scare you into paying attention to something important you are overlooking in your life. You come to view not only surprises but all life events as wake-up calls. When you become the personification of some waking fear, such as frustration, abandonment or poverty, you find that your fear diminishes greatly. Your experience of yourself is now broader and more inclusive. Looking out into the water or up through the water or even into yourself is a lot different when you are this or that part of the iceberg that is under water. What you find is that all parts of yourself are different, in that they are in different locations, take different perspectives and throw off light in unique ways. Yet, they are all the same in that they are all made out of water. There is nothing “shadowy,” illusory or stuck about any of this; only the reflections seen by the ten percent may seem shadowy, illusory or stuck. There is nothing that won’t budge; there is nothing that is stuck; there is nothing that is in conflict or that takes an adversarial stance. 

This water doesn’t have a personality or a soul, although it has qualities and a “nature.” Whether the water makes up your geocentric ten percent, some internal emerging potential of your ninety percent, or an emerging potential from the ocean or sky, there is a comfort and peace about each emerging potential that is normally lacking in your socially-scripted sense of who you are. For example, one woman reported the following three life issues: “Why do I make myself dependent so quickly on people that I love?” “Why do I not know what I want to do in life professionally?” “Why don’t I manage to voice my own needs clearly?” Feelings of emptiness, sadness and not being self-directed personified as a large stone hovering above her head, ready to fall and crush her at any moment. It personified “the strength and power that can come out of me.” Had she disowned her strength and turned it into an externalized threat? When asked if it would like to change, the stone became a sun-lit piece of wood that scored very high in the core qualities of confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace and witnessing. It had no fear, emptiness or sadness. This woman saw that she had the option to live her life from an open, harmonious, peaceful perspective instead of constantly feeling threatened by impending doom. This sun-lit wood is like the water in our iceberg analogy. It does not have a soul or an ego, but it certainly has qualities of nature and feels natural. IDL is about coming home to a sense of who you have always been and who you truly are. 

As we have discussed, the normal view of life taken by your waking sense of who you are is “egocentric,” or “geocentric” and “Ptolemaic.” That is, who you normally think you are is centered on the perspective of the ten percent of your iceberg self that is outside of the water. To take sample perspectives of your iceberg self or of the ocean is not to move into “heliocentric” “theocentric” perspectives, that is, centered on the perspective of something outside of yourself. Instead, you learn to take on “poly-centric” points of view that function like a hologram: whatever part of the whole you are identified with is experienced as the central focus and as the entirety. Today, this young lady found that liberating wholeness in a sun-lit wood; tomorrow, it might be best expressed by a table, frog or monster. IDL works by taking you outside of yourself, to multiple perspectives that you can access by suspending disbelief in characters that conjure access to these new perspectives, known as emerging potentials.

The point of view of the ten percent of yourself that is out of the water is the perspective of your common sense. We all need that.  Common sense is absolutely legitimate and necessary. However, you have other perspectives available to you that are radically different from your present one that also represent common sense. When viewed from the perspective of an emerging potential, your waking perspective is experienced as only one of an infinite variety of perspectives with common sense. Who you think you are has not cornered the market on common sense. From many other perspectives that you can access, you will discover that it is more accurate to say your waking ten percent has almost cornered the market on absurdity, in that it believes it speaks for the whole of who you are, rather like a young child speaking for an entire family or a flea “speaking” for an entire dog! Most other common sense perspectives are totally unknown to you, yet are immediately accessible.  In general, if your ten percent is to understand who and what it is, it needs to view itself both from multiple external and internal perspectives. It needs to view itself from the perspective of other icebergs, the sky, the clouds and the ocean. It also needs to view itself from different “ice core“ samples and perspectives taken from within itself. 

The above iceberg analogy is significantly different from Freud’s famous iceberg analogy. While both perspectives see the conscious mind as above the water, Freud saw the remainder of the iceberg as the unconscious mind. IDL does not set up this dualism between consciousness and unconsciousness. It sees awareness as a spotlight that shines light from wherever it is at the time, awake, dreaming, deeply asleep or in some other state. The ninety percent of the iceberg that is underwater is misperceived by waking identity as unconscious, when it is not; that is simply the bias and misperception of the waking identity when it peers down through the distortions of water, light and ice. It is much more helpful to view the unknown “other,” whether within or without, as the ground out of which the figure of your sense of who you are arises.

What a Life Script Questionnaire is

The following, with the exception of the last section on transpersonal questions, is taken from a Transpersonal Analysis site:


Name: Date:

Parental Influences

1. What kind of lives did your grandparents lead?

2. What is the date of your birthday?

3. What is your position in the family?

4. What is the birthday of your next oldest sibling?

5. What is the birthday of your next youngest sibling?

6. Have you any special interest in dates?

7. How many children do you have?

8. If single, how many children do you expect to have?

9. What kind of person are you?

10. Were you wanted?

11. Have you ever read your birth certificate?

12. When and where were you conceived?

13. How do you feel about sex?

14. Who chose your name?

15. Whom were you named after?

16. Where does your surname come from?

17. Give 3 words to describe your mother and father?

18. Did you have a nickname as a child?

19. What did the other kids call you in school?

20. What do your friends call you now?

21. What do your parents call you now?

Early Childhood

22. How did your mother and father teach you table manners?

23. Who gave you your toilet training?

24. How did they train you and what did they say?

25. How did you respond?

26. What do your parents say about toilet training?

27. When did you toilet train your children?

28. How did your parents make you feel when you were little?

29. What did you decide about life when you were little?

30. How did the world look to you when you were little?

31. How did you feel about other people?

32. Do you remember ever deciding as a child never to do a certain Thing no matter what?

33. Do you consider yourself a winner or loser in life?

34. When did you decide this?

35. What kind of people did your parents look down on?

36. What kind of people did your parents look up to?

37. What kind of people do you like best?

38. What happens to people like you?

Middle Childhood

39. What did your parents tell you to do when you were little?

40. What was your parents favorite phrase?

41. What did your parents teach you to do?

42. What did they forbid you to do?

43. If your family were put on the stage, what kind of play would it be?

44. When you were a child and either of your parents were angry at you, what would you have been doing?

Later Childhood

45. What is your favorite fairy tale as a child?

46. What was your favorite nursery rhyme as a child?

47. Who read it to you or told it to you?

48. Where and when?

49. Who was your favorite character as a child?

50. Who was your hero?

51. Who was your favorite villain?

52. How did your mother react when things got tough?

53. How did your father react when things got tough?

54. What kind of feelings bother you the most?

55. What kind of feelings do you like best?

56. What is your most frequent reaction when things get tough?

57. What are you waiting for in life? 58. What is your favorite ‘if only’?

59. Who or what is your Santa Claus?

60. Do you believe in immortality?

61. What were your family’s favorite psychological games?

62. What kind of difficulties did your parents get into?

63. What games did you play with your parents when you were little?

64. How did your teachers get along with you at school?

65. How did the other kids get along with you at school? 66. What did your parents talk about at the dinner table?


67. What do you talk about with your friends?

68. Who is your hero nowadays?

69. Who is the worst person in the world?

70. How do you feel about people masturbating?

71. What happens to your body when you get nervous?

72. How did your parents behave when there was company around?

73. What did they talk about when they were alone or with friends?

74. Have you ever had a nightmare?

75. Have you ever had a really vivid dream?

76. Have you ever had any delusions?

77. How do people look to you?

78. What is the best thing you can do with your life?

79. What is the worst thing you can do with your life?

80. What do you want to do with your life?

81. What do you expect to be doing five years from now?

82. Where do you expect to be 10 years from now?

83. What is your favorite animal?

84. What animal would you like to be?

85. What is your life slogan?

86. What would you put on your sweatshirt so people would know it was you coming?

87. What would you put on the back of it?


88. How many times have you been married?

89. How many times has each of your parents been married?

90. Did they have any lovers?

91. Have you ever been arrested?

92. Have you ever committed any crimes?

93. Has either of your parents done likewise?

94. Have you ever been in a mental hospital?

95. Has either of your parents?

96. Have you ever been hospitalized for alcoholism?

97. Has either of your parents?

98. Have you ever attempted suicide? 99. Has either of your parents?

100. What will you do in your old age?


101. How long are you going to live?

102. How did you pick that age?

103. Who died at that age?

104. How old was your mother or father at death if not living now? 

105. How old were your grandparents when they died?

106. Who will be at your deathbed? 

107. What will your last words be?

108. What will others say to you?

109. What will you leave behind?

110. What will it say on your gravestone?

111. What surprises will they find after you are dead? 

112. Are you going to die a winner or a loser?

Biological Factors

114. Do you know how your face looks when you react to something?

115. How does your real self feel?

116. Does your real self always control your actions?

117. Do you have any sexual hangups?

118. Do things go round and round in your head?

119. Are you conscious of odors?

120. How far ahead do you begin to worry about things before they happen?

121. Do you ever lie awake at night planning revenge?

122. Do your feelings interfere with your work?

123. Do you like to show that you can suffer?

124. Would you rather be happy than prove yourself?

125. Do you ever speak to yourself when you are alone? Choice of Therapist, Coach, Practitioner, Teacher)

126. Why did you choose Therapy?

127. How did you choose me?

128. What do you think of working with me? 

129. Who was the magician in your childhood? 

130. What kind of magic are you looking for? 

131. Have you had any psychiatric experiences?

132. How did you choose your previous Therapist?

133. Why did you go to him or her?

134. What did you learn from seeing them?

136. Under what circumstances did you leave?

137. How do you select a job? 138. How do you leave a job?

139. Have you ever been in a psychiatric hospital or ward?

140. What did you have to do to get there?

141. What did you have to do to get out?

Transpersonal Questions

How do you perceive the concept of the transpersonal or spiritual dimensions of existence?

What practices or experiences help you connect with the sacred or transcendent aspects of life?

Are you open to exploring transpersonal experiences beyond conventional religious or cultural frameworks?

What role do nature, meditation, prayer, or other contemplative practices play in your quest for the transpersonal?

How do you cultivate a sense of openness, curiosity, and receptivity towards transpersonal experiences?

What beliefs or attitudes support your growth and development into transpersonal awareness?

How do you integrate spiritual insights or experiences into your daily life and relationships?

What communities, teachers, or resources support your journey towards transpersonal development?

What does the concept of the sacred mean to you? How do you experience it in your life?

In what ways do you honor and celebrate the sacredness of existence in your daily practices and rituals?

How do you cultivate a sense of reverence, awe, and gratitude towards the mysteries of life?

What activities or experiences evoke a profound sense of connection with the sacred within and around you?

What limiting beliefs or fears inhibit your ability to access transpersonal experiences?

How do societal norms, cultural conditioning, or family dynamics influence your perception of spirituality and the sacred?

Are there emotional wounds, traumas, or unresolved issues that block your connection with the transpersonal?

What habits or behaviors distract you from engaging in practices that foster transpersonal awareness and growth?

How to explain the purpose of the Life Script Questionnaire to fellow students and clients

Once your student has a general understanding of what a life script is, why it is important, what their life script and script messages are, you can explain how answering a series of questions can uncover elements of their script, the conditions and people who shaped it, and disclose what to change and how to change it.

How to administer the Questionnaire

Students can self-administer or you can read them the questions. In either case, the answers should be written down.

How to use the results to make decisions regarding your life script

Evaluate your answers in terms of the four life positions. Which script shaping factors contributed to which life position? This will help you determine what parts of your scripting you want to keep and what parts require revision.

Be able to use the results to make decisions regarding your life script

If you find yourself repeatedly working to your own disadvantage, assume you are doing so because of your script.

How awareness of the elements of your own scripting can support your access to the transpersonal and the sacredness of each moment, day-to-day

Each of the above questions has some bearing on your openness to recognition of the sacred, moment to moment. As you ask yourself these questions, you objectify aspects of your identity that were previously subjective and determine your reality out of your awareness, thereby limiting and filtering your ability to recognize and access any of the four varieties of oneness. In addition, by thinking about these questions you develop your personal level of awareness that is a pre-requisite for any authentic access to the transpersonal.

Assignments and Homework


Dealing With Pain and Physical Symptoms A Dream of a Car Fire, Health & Exercise


Uncovering Your Life Script


What does your interviewing reveal about your life script? Do the characters you interview in yourself and others have a life script? If so, what is it/are they?

Trade interviews of both dreams and life issues with one or more partner once a week. Interview someone else at least twice. Have others you have interviewed interview you at least twice. Submit your written interviews to your supervising team member. To have your interviews automatically created for you, use the on-line interviewing format on this site. When you interview, ask interviewed characters what they think of your life script interview. What do they think is important? What would they like to see you focus on? 


  1. Write down your answers to the following questions. 
  2. Share your answers with your other study team members.
  3. Discuss.
  4. Submit your written answers.

What parts of your scripting are healthy and you want to keep? What parts of your scripting are supportive of your life goals? What parts of your scripting keep repeating, like a broken record, leading nowhere? Do you believe you have the power to choose your scripting? Do you believe you have the power to change your scripting? What changes do you want to make in your life scripting? What did you like about this IDL Coaching module on scripting? What did you find helpful? What could be made clearer or more interesting? What do you think was unhelpful or should be deleted? How do you think you can use this information in your coaching of others to help them heal, balance, and transform.

Setting Intent:

What do you want to take away from this unit to improve your life?

How would you like it to influence your dreams tonight?

How can you format that as a statement of intention to read over to remind yourself, before you go to sleep, to incubate in your dreams tonight?

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