After we die, all of our cells are still present yet we are not ‘us.’ The life that has left us is our ‘spirit’ or ‘soul,’ and it exists to live. It exists to be, and it comes alive when our ego is doing things. We can think of our soul as the reader and our ego’s lifetime as the story. One ‘is‘ watching the other ‘do.’
For our ego to have a story it must first have a pursuit, a goal, a want, a desire that leads us to engage with the rest of the world in some form of conflict. It doesn’t have to be some major conflict –it can be one that is easily resolved. Simple examples would include:
1) We want to read a book immediately so we can’t order it on-line. The store owner wants a certain amount in return for the book. That constitutes the conflict between us. If the book has enough value to us, we’ll agree to pay and that will end that conflict. We both will feel within our own realities that we’ve come out the winner.
2) We can want to no longer be single and have the desire to find someone. Once we win access to these other single people, we must compete with others for their attention. If we win that, we must get the other person into a position where they choose to date us. If they agree, we are no longer in conflict.
If they refuse, but they will still spend time with us, then the we are still engaged in the desire to win their love. If they won’t even consider a relationship with us then we cannot truly court someone who has no interest in being courted. We have our desire, but no person to be in that conflict with.
If we push it too far, then the other person may develop their own desire to prevent us from contacting them, and they may call the police. Then our conflict shifts to being with the police, because our desire is to keep courting the person and theirs is to stop us.
If we agree to surrender the attraction, then that segment of conflict-based drama would end. The other person got what they wanted but we did not. If we do not accept that resolution, then we’re still engaged with our desire.
These various levels of desire-based conflicts are what we spend our lives resolving. They are what it is to live.
Of course, all of these conflicts can also end very easily. We ask someone out and they agree. We go in for a fair price and pay it. Life is filled with/made of these little conflicts –these little hills to climb. Yet, observed as our unfolding story, these little dramas add up to a much grander and more beautiful tale than most of us realize.
We don’t have to be a superstar, or rich, or even be well-liked, in order to have a good life. But we do have to learn to love our dramas –our conflicts. If we will accept that they are what life is made of, we begin living them more fully in the understanding that we are here to do and become –to not resist our own story.
If, in this lifetime, we want someone else’s story then we must choose to live it. But no matter which drama we choose, the egos dramas will always be made of desire and conflict. This is the nature of duality.
Yin and Yang co-exist like the wave and trough of reality. That climb to success and its associated price is what adds the sense of reward to achieving desires like getting a degree, winning love, or having children.
Seen from the right perspective, virtually every life is filled with opportunities to live a life of satisfaction. But to do so, we must first accept that if we are going to have a desire, then we are choosing to engage in a conflict with risk.
That risk can threaten to hold us back, so we must also remember: to not have a desire and participate in its pursuit, is to stifle the act of living itself.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own over-thinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.