Our spiritual life lives outside the realm of time or reasons or limits. It floats above the lines and definitions that live inside our human head, all while those same limitations are accepted as ‘the world’ by our ego.
What does it mean to have thought limitations that form our world? For instance, few of us believe we can do surgery without getting a medical licence and becoming a doctor, yet the fact that con artists have actually done so proves that the ego’s ‘firm’ structures only exist if we choose to believe in them.
To live life we all need some kind of identity. If we’re perpetually ambiguous then we’re essentially no one at all. But in the ego’s world, several identities are placed on us whether we like it or not.
In a school we become a student in a hierarchy with teachers and principals on top. In marriage we become a spouse. By having a child we become a parent. By taking a job we assume a work identity with its own set of rules.
We can go to court to argue that we never asked to be ‘Canadian.’ But none of our arguments will stop the government from locking even a truly innocent us in jail. The reason they can do that –even if we’re innocent– is that it’s done based on a set of ideas (read: codified thoughts) that we call ‘laws.‘ But those adjudications cannot be fair if they include lies or other false evidence the authorities only believe.
The fact that nations fight over borders, and the fact that many borders that currently exist weren’t there before WWII, proves that nations and their borders are thought-based fictions that most humans mostly just agree on.
What’s important to see is that things like borders, or nations, or insults, or guilt, or swear words only exist as ideas, these are not actual things in the universe. They are merely thoughts we can have. It’s the pang of guilt that helps change our behaviour, so we don’t need to overdo it.
Most of the things people consider ‘real,’ –time, companies, nations, money, justice and even our current identity– are nothing more than flexible, temporal ideas.
Most of the things people consider ‘real,’ –time, companies, nations, money, justice and even our current identity– are nothing more than flexible, temporal ideas. So, for instance, to be agonized over the actions of the state makes sense to the ego. But our spirit must always stay aware of the fact that the nations, the conflict, and our distaste for the behaviour are all merely made of thought.
Approached in a productive way, this means that an aware person can live their ego’s life and fully experience the emotional journey, while still remaining aware that the entire experience and its elements are all made of ideas they are conjuring as ‘the observer.’
With that understanding, everyday life turns into some fantastic super science fiction experience where there is no screen or soundtrack, our game is the full senses version of living of a lifetime, and where you can only die once –or maybe twice if you’re super lucky..
If we maintain a distance between the book of our ego’s time and place-based emotional life, and we as its infinite, timeless, mysterious spiritual reader, then we can begin to climb around on our thought-based structures in ways that allow us to thrive and yet still suffer –without our spirit, the reader, ever being in danger.
All we need to achieve a healthy distance from which to view our daily illusory reality is an earnest effort to actually watch for its existence. Why not start now?
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.