Exploring the Possibilities
If we accept that our reality is not literally created by us and therefore we are not ‘co-creators’ or somehow masters of the universe, where does that leave us? Are we bound to accept a fate of hopeless victimization and believing that some just get lucky in this world and some don’t, and we have to either fight for or let go of dreams and life passions? Do we just do what we can and accept that things just don’t work out sometimes and sometimes they do; life is ‘hard’, it takes work, you have to take for yourself, and life is not fair? Or on the other hand perhaps we embrace some sort of karmic belief that we all will eventually reap what we sow and all things are connected and inherently just and balanced? Do we surrender all desires and lead the life of an ascetic and abandon all worldly attachments? These are some of the questions that have been coming up frequently for me over the past months as I continue to experience more of the world and its allures of attachment that otherwise were not relevant while living a more irresponsible, non-participating, overt spiritual lifestyle. Through experiences with attachment to desires, material objects, status, and outcomes I have noticed that it triggers a honest look at my belief systems. It is one thing to know and believe something in theory and another to apply it consistently while it is being challenged from multiple angles.
The consistency of challenges allow exposure of hidden weaknesses and therefore opportunities for clarity that could not come forth without exploring all that we fear – primarily the possibility of being ‘wrong’. When we live the life of a non-participant and stay removed from the world it is easier to align with radical spiritual truths because we are not challenged by our fears of attachment, our fear of temptation and who we’d really have to look in the mirror when our ideal image is challenged. Finding peace in the monastery is one thing, finding and maintaining it amongst business demands, bills, children, escapism desires/temptations, addictions, attachments to outcomes, lust, need for attention, being overwhelmed with others’ requests, statuses and titles, bank accounts, and debt is a whole other challenge of liberation. I feel that being aligned to move to Las Vegas of all places, along with being a part of opening a business and having a professional career has made me see that understanding and clarifying these obstacles is my current task and gift. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far.
Testing Our Beliefs: How Radical are You Prepared to Be?
If the world is a holographic projection within our consciousness that ‘I’ am a witness to, then it must first be accepted that ‘I’ as an ego am completely powerless to ‘co-create’ anything. All notions of control over our physical world and universe are a clever illusion like being trapped in the matrix – it’s not real.
This then brings us to the realization that our thoughts, feelings, and attachments are of our own creation based on our perspective of what is unfolding and are not independently existing as an objective part of our external reality. Meaning our life experience is completely within our mind and is not actually an objective reality. There is no actual ‘objective’ reality, everything is a projection from within us, that is to say life is a subjective experience. Life is actually completely ‘neutral’ and just is, we are the ones that generate all attractions and aversions.
All things we ever experience in life do not innately have the names, feelings, thoughts, and attachments that we ascribe to them. All things in life are actually completely wordless and thoughtless – a radical beingness without any labels. This is life’s inherent divine, timeless nature, we are the only ones that categorize our reality into thought systems based on what we are deeming to be important to us. At the center of all these thoughts and opinions is a mysterious ‘I’, ego sensation of ‘me’, that is asserting its point of view as an ever-relevant guiding identity that is ‘running the show’. This is a holographic illusion subject to disappointment.
If we really step back and think about this subjective sensation we can perhaps notice that the dawning realization would be that our experience of our life is entirely dictated by how we perceive it and therefore what we allow ourselves to think about it, and not the actual external circumstances themselves. Nothing is actually ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘better’ or ‘worse’, it’s all in our heads, like a nonstop commentary of our life spinning a story that is totally imaginary. Our ability to be ‘open-minded’ or ‘close-minded’ is a literal boundary upon our life experience because we are editing and filtering our experience of reality to fit into what we expect it to be. In other words, we only see and experience what it is we believe fits within our beliefs for what is possible and ‘real’. So it is not that we ‘create’ anything, rather everything is already created for us and available, we then subconsciously pick and chose what we want to notice and allow into our experience. All spectrums of suffering to bliss are hidden within everything, everyone, and every moment its all a matter of choice.
If we embrace that we are not actually creating our experiences and they are actually being given to us then we can begin to logically deduce the optimal perspective for such a paradigm. Like any good scientist we can approach the hypothesis with an open mind seeking the truth and simply experimenting in order to find what can be proven and replicated. So we explore: to dwell too much on not having ‘control’ only drives us further into frustration and anger as we try to assert ourselves only to be repeatedly reminded that technically life and this universe is so much vaster and grander than our comprehension can possibly stretch to conceive. We inevitably realize that we are bound to realize our humility and incredible smallness amongst a glorious, boundless universe we can hardly imagine.
With humility we easily find gratitude instead of frustration. Then the real enjoyment begins. We are no longer trying to assert our non-existent control over the physical world and therefore can focus on what power we do have which is our ability to perceive what is being offered to us. A very useful analogy is that life is like watching a movie. The true sense of ‘I’ is the audience viewer since, through our adamant experimenting with trying to control and ‘co-create’ life, we found that we actually can’t control nature, life or death, the material world, or the other characters in the movie and must truly not be the actual ego ‘god’ character we think we are. We are instead, watching a movie from the first-person perspective of consciousness within a human being, technically removed and non attached to it. After-all we are not this character, we are observing through it. How invested we get is purely for our own amusement but it is not who we are and there is nothing to actually fear or celebrate.
With this shift of attention from the external to internal, all thoughts, feelings, and desires become easy to analyze and observe because we can more readily identify them as coming from some attachment to the character (referred to as ego) or from an expanded awareness of our true sense of Self. Through consistent observation we find that all attachments to the ego inevitably stimulate fear, struggle, resistance, and suffering. Again, imagine watching a movie and being completely irritated at what the characters were doing, thinking that your thoughts, commentary, and anger could actually change or affect them… Intense fans watching a sports game comes to mind. 🙂
Remember our attachment to the characters is purely for our amusement but we’re really just watching and can’t ‘co-create’ anything. As long as we remember we don’t actually have any control then it can be extremely fun to play along with the human dramas. Just as some people like watching horror movies, some of us enjoy fear, suffering, and struggles whether we want to admit it or not, it’s truth. Others don’t really care and are aloof to life just kind of moseying along, some are active and want constant action and stimulation, others seek harmony and peace, but in reality it’s all irrelevant because the movie is playing itself and will always go on. Our perception of life is our own internal experience and purely dictated by us alone. Life has everything available, there are infinite and eternal possibilities for what we can experience it as it’s just a matter of deciding what we would like to notice. Let’s really ponder this analogy and explore its depth.
Uncovering Our Optimal Perspective
When watching the movie we can resist and fight what is happening or we can have no expectations and just go along with it because ultimately we’re just enjoying the experience of entertainment that it is intended to be. What’s important to note here is having no expectations and always knowing that we are only in control of our perspective not the actual physical reality itself. The body runs itself, choices arise naturally, things still get done, just as the heart beats itself, life lives itself and always goes on as an eternal, timeless existence. Expectations arise from desire for control and attachment to the ego and therefore don’t reflect the Truth – the ego character is powerless of its own to change anything. Indulging in attachment to the character is the road to misery because there will always never be enough. Life will always be lacking somehow, in some way, and attachments to the ego character will never be satisfied. Desire is endless and it is the attachment to endless desire that also brings endless disappointment. This is available as a choice but I assume that by being here you are not interested in that experience and want to explore life without limitations.
How Perspective Changes Everything
If life has everything available then it would only seem logical to stay completely open-minded to the infinite possibilities within every moment without limiting ourselves with attachments to a certain limiting perspective. This leads to a joyful embrace of the unknown of each day, just like the joy of discovering how a movie is going to unfold and what plot twists and new characters will appear in each scene. There’s no need to be guessing what’s going to happen next and projecting into the future or staying stuck on a past scene because then we miss the scene at present. The movie is an eternal novelty and self-fulfilling because we have no pre-conceived notions as to what to expect and thus are never disappointed.
“He who expects nothing, gains everything.”
By staying open-minded we allow for surprise, nonattachment, gratitude, and adventure because we aren’t approaching life with boundaries on what we can experience. This is the divine perspective that the sages of enlightenment discuss when mentioning being the same bliss consciousness amongst all sorrow or joy, nothing to fear yet nothing to celebrate. It’s all inner bliss to the radically Self-aware because they see all experiences with innocent eyes of unlimited love and trust, as the audience of the cosmic play of Divine.
While working towards this radical view, the optimal perspective in the meantime would be to see that anything is possible – there are no limits to life’s magic and everything is always working out for the best and most epic experiences. Fear and suffering are not actually real, they are mental indulgences, lack doesn’t exist innately in the universe – it is a perspective that we can either agree to or not. All perspectives can change, grow, and evolve if we let them. Thus fear, doubt, suffering, discouragement, or lack, only exist because we are allowing it within our perspective. If we want to move past these things then we must assess our current perspectives to see if they serve us, let go of what we don’t want, and recreate our perspective so that fear is no longer a relevant option. Truly embracing that everything is always working out for the best, most exciting, abundant, loving, and adventurous experience leaves no room for struggle or opposition.
Taking the perspective of infinite goodness and divine love guiding all things implies that even amongst all seeming tragedies, setbacks, and challenges everything is really okay and exactly as it should be and there are no victims – there is nothing to ever fear or worry about. Hidden behind all darkness is a road to salvation and so we trust that in the end it’s all the same. In a sense, all rivers lead to the same ocean so there’s really nothing ‘wrong’ with the world. Action still occurs but there isn’t attachment to there actually being a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Some say this is naive and passive because they are still invested in suffering and victimization as part of their perspective, they like being an activist against what they perceive as injustice and want something to fight and contend with. Yet if we are seeking a life without limitation then we must embrace that everything is bliss in disguise which allows an entirely open-mind that surrenders all creative power back to God. As if to say, I’m not going to try and fight this movie that I can’t actually control anyway, I’m just going to enjoy what the director and all the actors created for me to enjoy and therefore see all things with gratitude and humility. Well what better director to trust than the Divine. Surrender all negative perspectives and trust that everything is always working out for every character according to their own path and unique, divine role. Every path is ‘right’ and there is nothing actually ‘wrong’ ever happening. Unless we want to believe there is. 😉
The Kingdom is Within Us
We don’t need to change or control anything in the external world, because it’s already all there – perfect and complete, anything we could want to experience is already available we are just choosing not to see it because we’re looking outside when it’s actually all within us. The kingdom is within us yet we are constantly looking outside and completely missing it – blinded by maya/illusion. This is crucial to understand in order to keep us focused on our inner world and thus staying open-minded and allowing for all of life’s magic to present itself to us. Not because we ‘manifested’ or ‘co-created’ it, the magic’s always been here we’ve just been editing and filtering it out because we have limited ourselves due to being too obsessed with the external world, our mind’s commentary storyline, and the ego character itself. We’re so obsessed with the set, storyline, plot, and characters that we’re forgetting about the actual experience itself. This represents humanity’s fall into confusion as to our true nature, getting consumed by the drama of the movie thinking we are these bodies and the mind’s incessant commentary – we are not. All investment into the drama is for our own amusement and entertainment but it’s only truly entertaining if we remember the truth about it – it’s just for fun, a cosmic play.
By going within we can actually exercise our power over our experience by realizing that it is not the external reality itself that dictates our experience it is always and only our perspective of it. Happiness or suffering is purely in our mind and is the result of perspective – which is our choice of free will. Just as it is said in the movie The Matrix, we are in a prison for our mind – and ironically, we constructed it ourselves! The good news being that we are also the only ones that keep ourselves there. We hold all the keys – the golden key to liberation being perspective. Change our perspective and we change our entire life experience not as a ‘co-creator’ of any sort but by simply seeing that which was there all along. The answers are never to change anything outside, the answers are not in the outer world, they is within our own consciousness, our fundamental sensation of existence – within us.
Go Within and Start Knocking on the Door