I give you a fresh way to think about ‘reality’
What is it really like?
I can’t tell you. I don’t know why. Some things are bigger than words. “Cat” is just a word. The experience of a cat is much bigger than those three letters. It’s a funny cosmos like that.
But I think it’s a little like this:
You work in a cinema. You run the projector.
You set the projector up and the movie starts. You watch it play out, from the comfort of the projector room.
After a while, you forget that you are watching a movie. After all, the movie is happening out there. It’s coming from the outside in.
(It’s easy to forget.)
Sometimes you like what you’re seeing. Other times you don’t. Sometimes you complain about what the characters are doing. This one is mean to some of the others. This one says unkind things. This one really loves Billy, but feels she needs to stay with Brad because of what happened to his brother, who is also a werewolf.
Why can’t she just be true to her feelings?!?
Sometimes terrifying things happen to advance the narrative and build dramatic tension. But terrifying things scare you, so you complain about them. Sometimes the experiences represented are less rich and exciting than other experiences, so you complain about them.
And all the while, you never realise how ridiculous it is to be in the projector room of a cinema, complaining about what’s happening on the screen.
(That’s not your fault. Humans were created when aliens spliced their own DNA with some bonobos – largely for comic relief.)
Sometimes, you start to remember. You start to see connections. You get a sense of how our attitudes and thoughts relate to what’s happening on the screen.
And then sometimes you wake up completely. You find yourself sitting in a projector room of a cinema. But you have no idea how to work the projector any more.
And without someone to show you, eventually you give up, and go back to passively enjoying the movie.
(Doesn’t that character have a lovely face? I wish I had a lovely face like that.)
This is not really how it is. But it is like this.
Humans are good at forgetting. I think we are designed that way.
But we are also good at learning. In time, we can learn how to control the film feed into the projector. There is an art to this, but it begins with gratitude and intention.
(See my upcoming book: Zen and the Art of Projector Maintenance)
With practice and the right guidance, you get the hang of it. You become the author of your own films. You award yourself an Oscar every couple of years.
You fall in love with your life.
But in time, something else happens. You begin to fall in love with something else. It is not the film that feeds into the projector. This is free and comes easy.
It is not the film but the light itself – the pure light that shines through your projector, and gives all the images their life.
You realise that this is where the magic is. This you that is not you. This is the beauty that your eyes were ascribing to other authors.
It is all in the light that powers your projector.
“In the beginning, darkness was on the face of the deep / cinema screen.”
As I was saying, this is not how it really is.
But it’s kinda like this.
The year is getting started folks. Time to set up your projector feed.