Today I was watching a recent episode of Raising Hope where Jimmy and Sabrina compete against each other with posting videos online. They compete to see who has the most followers and who captures the most dramatic family stories. Their co-workers at work spend time engrossed with watching these videos everyday. And at the very end of the show, Jimmy and Sabrina decided that it was enough and didn’t want to compete anymore. Their co-workers stare at their phones checking whether Jimmy or Sabrina posted anything and they didn’t, so one of them asks, “what do we do now?” And the other one says, “I guess we have to go back to living our lives” and the first co-worker replies by asking, “what life?” They have a bit of a lost and panicked look on their faces but before they could take a moment’s break, they are relieved to find a video by another poster and start laughing again.
This reminds me of how each of us competes for attention using the stories in our lives, the stories we make up, the drama, the beliefs or thoughts. It’s like how my husband and I each have our own view of which education system is right for our children. And from our beliefs each of us makes up stories through experiences and conversations to build up the biggest follower and group of people to support our decisions and beliefs. Every one of those videos is synonymous to a story that we make up about our life, or a drama that we create to distract us from what is real.
And I realize that throughout my life, I have had very few moments where my ego ever stopped. I jumped from one drama to the next and even now that I have started to become more aware and conscious of my thoughts and life, I still get sucked into my own drama, problems and stories. How wonderful would life be if one could remember to actually start enjoying life in reality rather than in the imaginary realms of mind? When you truly let go of all stories, labels and identities, then what? Just like the TV show, without the drama and entertainment of our mind’s fabrications, we actually have to start living life and start seeing life the way it is and not the way that we dramatize it to be. And reality perhaps is like that pause between one video and the next, between one thought and the next, between one drama and the next. That is the place of true being and stillness.
On a more direct level, in a society where we are constantly directing our attention towards our mobile devices for entertainment, information and communication; maybe its time that we start putting them down and actually going back to living through a more real and simple way of life.
Lesson: Notice the images and thoughts in my head, these are the ‘stories’ of my life that are purely imagined, its not real, just like the videos on our phones that so many of us are captivated by, that is not real life. Start being aware of the pauses in life and perhaps that is how life without illusion is like…
What would it be like to drop all of your stories for a moment and simply be present, what is left in the absence of stories, identities, labels, thoughts and beliefs?