A Real Life

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“Grandpa, why are you so old”, the five year old boy asked staring lovingly up at the greying old man.

From the other side of life the old man looked down affectionately at his grandson.

“We each have our own story and I am coming to the end of mine. Just a few pages left. I was young like you when my story started”, the old man said with a faint smile.


“What was your story Grandpa?”


“Well, most of it was just like everyone else’s story with just the details being different - until nearer the end.

In the beginning I did mostly what I was told to do. I was told that being obedient, not questioning authority and being good at school would make me good at earning money. And then money would allow me to have things and then I would be secure and happy. That didn’t turn out to be true. And the end of the story was never spoken about.”


‘Did you write your own story?’


Half amused, half sad the old man shook his head.

“Why didn’t you write your own story. You are good at telling stories.”

No waiting for a reply the boy asked, “If you were going to write your own story what would it be?”he looked up with expectant enthusiasm.


Well my boy, I wouldn’t write a story at all. I would open my eyes and look at what was happening right in front of me now. I would look for myself and decide for my self. What is happening and how does it really work.


You see, when I was your age everybody was trying to put their story in my head and make it my story. That worked quite well. I didn’t ask why I couldn’t live my own story.

I just lived in the story they had given me believing that was the only story. That story became the real thing for me. I couldn’t see it was just their story.


“I am not going to live in somebody else’s story”, the boy said drawing himself up to his full height.” I am going to be the hero in my story.”


Just be sure you see for yourself. People like to write stories in your mind without you even knowing they have done it. But you are a bright boy. I think you will be able to see what you see instead of seeing what you are told.”


After several moments of silence the old man added, “It is called consciousness. If you are lucky you will become conscious. Although anybody can become conscious only a few ever do.


“I will leave you some notes of my own experiences with consciousness. You may find them helpful as you grow up and find life isn’t making that much sense”


From concept to consciousness.

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