“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
– Albert Einstein.
“I have come so that you can have real and eternal life,
more and better life that you ever dreamed of.”
– Jesus the Christ John 10:10
“We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.”
– T. S. Eliot
Something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.
The life in our dreams is not truly found by exploration, but by recognition. Boredom, depression or anything less then pure exhilaration from being alive is due to submitting without resistance to a vision that is less than who you are.
Eckhart Tolle says, “Usually people are completely unaware of the roles they play. They are those roles. When you are completely identified with a role, you confuse a pattern of behavior with who you are, and you take yourself very seriously.”
Is the role that you define for yourself working for you? Is the story you tell about yourself producing the life you want? For those who would like the freedom to experiment and reinvent your life, this book is for you.
Lets look at this thing we call reality. In the context of The Life Experiment there are two realities. The first is that which is not affected by our perception, or our story. The second is a reality that that comes from our story.
I heard Byron Katie tell a story from her book, Loving What Is. Katie was using a restroom in an office building. She walked in as a cheerful woman was walking out of one of the stalls. She was pleasantly singing to herself, nodded to Katie and kept up her melody as she washed her hands and left. Katie thought, ‘Wow, what a lovely spirited woman!’. She then walked in that same stall only to find the toilet seat dripping wet! She was so startled to find that such a lovely spirited woman would be so rude, as to pee all over the toilet seat and then walk out like she had done nothing. “What an inconsiderate lady!” she told herself as she started to clean it. She then pondered on the mechanics of how the lady was even able to get the seat this wet in the first place. Was she standing on the seat?!… Then it dawned on her. That lady was no lady at all. She was a transvestite singing in a falsetto voice! The nerve of such a person! She was feeling very uncomfortable even being in this bathroom at this point. So she hurriedly flushed the toilet to leave. When she did the toilet splashed up water as the water rushed in to refill the bowl completely drenching the seat again. She stood there and laughed at herself as she realized the person in her mind turned from a lovely woman, to a rude woman, to a transvestite man, then back to that former lovely woman all in the time space of a potty break!
We are meaning machines, us human beings. The idea that something can exist independently from the meaning that I have given to it can be hard to grasp. I recently met with the IRS agent regarding my back taxes and we had a great time! … Were you surprised that “met with an IRS agent” and “had a great time” were in the same sentence?
The story that we are telling about ourselves and the world around us dictates how we are experiencing life. But consider that the meaning we place on the countless events in our life is just a hallucination. This may sound offensive to you to call your experience this, because hallucinations are not real. But are our experiences real? Could there be a separation between how I experience the world and the world itself? Could you be confusing what you have made up with reality, just like Katie confused what was really happening in the lady’s room story above? Could it be that all the experiences of your life result from the stories you have been telling about events that unfold before you?
What are some of the stories we tell about ourselves? Here’s a couple you may relate to:
“I am a young, single, white male so I am just having fun right now. It’s not time to commit yet.”
“I am right brained so I’m not good at making money.”
“I am Irish, German, Italian, Spanish so watch out for my temper! I can’t help it!”
“I love people from Arizona, but the Southern CA people are stuck up. You just can’t find good, down to earth people here, like out there. Its too bad, cause I like the weather here.”
As you open yourself to thinking and talking about “the way things are” in different ways, the way things are in your life start to change. Wouldn’t it be great to have the good life now? I believe it is possible for everyone, even for you.
More to come.