You’ll use words like wish, or you whine, or you say should or wrong, but whatever reasoning you use, you want something to be a way other than the way it Is. But you don’t get healthy by getting what you want, you get healthy by surrendering all wants and what is exposed is the Isness of life. You just have one problem. You don’t want it the amazing, miraculous, beautiful way it Is, you want it the way you want it. And I’m here to tell you that you’re a great big spiritual baby wallowing in your own egotistical neediness.
Stop whining. Stop using words to invent expectations and consequences when you could instead just be quiet-minded and immersed in your life. And then you’ll be able to see the work of art that is the story of your life (Lighting and Sets by God). So let’s use an analogy so you can really hold on to the idea:
An Ego is like a person who goes into a theatre and then bitches through the whole movie. They disrupt everyone around them. They talk over dialogue, they complain about every aspect of the film and the theatre. And whether it’s a tense scene, a love scene or even a funny scene, it all feels the same to the Ego. They just sit and bitch because the script isn’t doing what they want it to. And so goes their life. Their time in the theatre ends up being an unpleasant existence instead of an inspired life.
The Spirits on the other hand have become wise. They don’t invite negativity into their life, and so the Spirit is seated in the theatre quietly. Unlike the Ego, the Spirit lets the film wash over them, and they allow each scene to be what it needs to be in order to tell the story of the film’s narrative—in this case, the story of the life they call “theirs.” The Spirit’s life goes up and it goes down. It includes tragic lows, yes. But those are what create the contrast that allows the highs to be so glorious. If you accept that relationship then suddenly it all levels out in a very cool spiritual way.
This is what the philosophical comedian Andy Kaufman was getting at. Have you seen Milos Forman’s brilliant film Man on the Moon? It’s about Kaufman, who was famous for a comedy act where he was basically an asshole. He was an asshole to the media, he was an asshole to David Letterman, he was an asshole in his comedy shows, and he was even an asshole in the wrestling ring. But here’s the catch. Andy was into Transcendental Meditation. And he had reasons to have a clear mind. And those things allowed him to see the Truth. And the Truth was that it was okay if he was an asshole—as long as people got to see the asshole lose. And that’s what Andy did.
Andy’s stage was the theatre of life. He got thrown off Letterman to uproarious cheers from the audience. He looked pathetic when the crowd’s chants scared him, and they cheered at his fear. The best was the ring though, where he would taunt the audience and enrage them, only to be pummelled into oblivion by some meaty giant. And the crowd would go berserk with happiness. And inside, Andy’s bloodied body would smile, despite the fact that a lot of the audience actually thought he was an asshole. Because he didn’t care what they labelled him. He cared about the fact that they experienced thrills and a sense of joy by watching him get crushed. That’s the movie that was playing in Andy’s theatre.
What people think of you or any thing else is irrelevant to your enjoyment of the movie you’re watching. As I’ve said before, the Dalai Lama lived in exile and they shot Gandhi and imprisoned Mandela. You can be super-good and there’s still going to be people that hate you. So don’t cultivate opinions.
Don’t sit in the theatre trying to tell yourself nice stories about what you see on life’s screen. Just let it happen without comment and you will have done as the Buddhist’s say and you will have let it go. You will have experienced acceptance. You will be allowing the story to flow. So don’t pose a life on facebook that’s designed to tell a story make your ex’s jealous. Go live a life that makes you happy. And do that by simply letting the film unfold. Don’t ruin it with negative commentary. Just sit in the theatre and quietly behold the wonder that emerges from the greatest director of all, Creation.
Following a childhood accident should have left him dead, Scott McPherson spent his life meditating on thought, consciousness, reality and the self. Seeing the emotional damage done by ego-based overthinking he began dedicating a part of his life to guiding students toward more peaceful and rewarding lives. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, Canada.