You’ll use words like ‘wish,’ or you’ll whine, or you’ll say ‘should’ or ‘wrong;’ but whatever reasoning you use, if you’re suffering it’s because you want something to be a way other than the way it Is. But we don’t get healthy by getting what we want. We get healthy by surrendering all wants and what is exposed is the Isness of life.
It’s that easy. Meaning you just have one problem: You don’t want it your amazing, miraculous, beautiful life the way it is—you want it the way you want it, regardless how that might impact others. But I’m here to tell remind you that you don’t need all that disruption. You’re not really in bad shape, you’re just like we all are sometimes: a great big spiritual baby wallowing in your own egotistical neediness.
Literally: stop whining. Stop using words to invent expectations and consequences when you could instead just be quiet-minded and be immersed in your life. Even if you think you hate it at times, on your deathbed you will treasure your own existence. By 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 that idea:
An ego is like a person who goes into a theatre and then bitches through the whole movie. They disrupt their own viewing of the movie as well as the views of 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.
Our egos worry good scenes will end, and they fear bad ones upcoming. So they just sit and bitch because the script isn’t giving them purely good feelings. But who’d go see that movie? Where would the story be? Why would we be interested? And that’s how people behave towards their own lives. Their enjoyable time in the theatre ends up being an unpleasant existence all thanks to wanting and wishing.
Our spirits on the other hand, have become wise. They don’t invite negativity into their life, and so our spirit sits in a theatre quietly. Unlike the ego, a 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. But those lows are what create the contrast that allows the highs to be so glorious. If we accept that relationship then suddenly all of our up and down feelings are less isolated and they are seen in the context of our entire story. It all levels out in a very cool spiritual way.
If you’re familiar with him, 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 good reasons to cultivate a clear mind. And that clarity 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. So that’s what Andy did.
Andy’s didn’t work within the frame of some proscenium. His 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.
When Andy allowed the crowd to hate him, the crowd would go berserk with happiness. And inside, Andy’s would secretly 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 of any thing else, is irrelevant to your enjoyment of the movie you’re watching. As I’ve said many times, the Dalai Lama has lived in exile, 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. Live free.
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.’ By reducing your resistance you will have experienced acceptance. You will be allowing your story to flow.
Go live a life that makes you happy. And do that by simply letting your 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.
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.