A Real Life
.“Grandpa, why are you so old”, the five year old boy asked staring lovingly up at the graying old man as they walked hand in hand down the forest path.
From the far side of life the old man looked down affectionately at his grandson just starting out.
“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?”
The old man hesitated for an undecided moment then said, “Well, most of it was just
like everyone else’s story with just a few details being different -
In the beginning like almost everyone else I believed mostly what I was told. I was told who I was, what to believe, what to think, who to become. Conforming I was told was the solid and safe road to a happy life. I was told that by being obedient, not questioning authority I would stay out of trouble. Being good at school would make me successful at earning money. The money would allow me to have lots of things. Having the things I would then be secure and happy. At first I surrendered to that illusion not knowing better.
Later I could see that it wasn’t true. It was just a story everyone told themselves.”
“So what did you do then Grandpa?”
Noticing the boys real interest and so with a hesitant mischievous smile on his old face he said, ‘Well I did something nobody expected. I looked at life for myself.”
They walked along in silence a few moments.
“How?” the boy asked
“My boy,” the old man said meeting the eyes of the eager up turned face, “I open my eyes and looked at what was happening right in front of me. I looked for myself and asked myself, “Is what I am being told true? What am I seeing here? What is really happening here? How does this really work?”
“You see, when I was your age everybody was trying to put their story in my head and make it my story. There was a lot of pressure. Even though I could see it wasn’t true it was difficult to live my own story.”
“I am not going to live in somebody else’s story”, the boy said drawing himself up to his full height.”
“There is no need to. Maybe don’t tell everyone else you are going to do that. First become sure of how things work. And even when you do keep it to yourself. People like to write stories in your mind without you even knowing they have done it. They naturally feel more secure if you are living in their story. Then there is no need for them to question their life.They get quite upset if it is questioned. But don’t let that put you off.
If you look at life for yourself what you see turns out to be so very different from what everybody believes it to be.
Everybody is living in a dream. But they don’t know it.”
After several more moments of silence the old man added, “Seeing life for yourself is waking up. It is called consciousness. Although anybody can become conscious only a fortune few ever do.”
The young boy looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“I will leave you some notes of my own experiences in consciousness. You may find the insight a helpful short cut in traversing a life that conventional wisdom is blind to.