A Real Life
‘Grandpa, why are you so old?’ the 5 year old boy asked looking up at the greying old man.
‘Well, we each live in our own story and I am coming to the end of my story. Just a few pages left. I was young like you when it started.’ the old man said smiling down at the boy.
‘What was your story Grandpa?’
‘Well it was much the same as everyone else's with just the details being different.’
‘It started with hope but it turned into mostly fear. I was told that being good at school would make me good at earning, and being good at earning would make me secure, and be able to buy the things I wanted would make me happy. It didn’t turn out that way. And the end of the story was never spoken about.’
‘Did you write your own story?’
The old man shook his head.
‘Why didn’t you write your own story Grandpa?’ The boy didn’t wait for a reply. ‘If you were going to write your own story what would it be?’ he went on with enthusiasm.
‘Well, I would not make it a ‘make believe’ story like others do. I would close the ‘make believe’ story book and open my eyes to what I really saw.
‘You see, when I was your age everybody was putting their thoughts into my head, telling me what life was. I didn’t question it. And so that is what I ended up believing and seeing. That then became my story.’
And then more to himself than the boy he added ‘If I was to write my own story -
The boy having missed what his grandfather had meant said with total innocence,‘I am going to school next year. Then I can learn to write my own story.’
‘Well just make sure you see life for yourself as it really is or they will write a story for you in your head. And you won’t even know they have done it.’
The boy looked up quizzically. The old man looked down at him compasionately.
‘Well just look at life carefully for yourself. See what you see and not what you are told is there. Then you will be okay.’
The boy looked a bit perplexed as though he hadn’t grasped it.
After several moments of silence the old man added.
‘Its called consciousness. If you are lucky you will become conscious. Only a few people ever do. I will you leave some notes of my own experiences with it. You may find some help in them as you grow up and find that life isn’t making too much sense.’
Notes on experiencing a real life.
A brief overview:
Our attention is captured in an unconscious stream of thought and life follows whatever has captured our attention.
What if we became still enough and consciously saw life for ourselves instead of following the commentary that has been inserted there by our culture and our experiences in society!
Real life is experienced as we reclaim our attention.
We see reality clearly once our attention is liberated from the endless limiting commentary about life that is going on in our head.
Stopping this constant stream of conditioned thoughts gives us a chance to ‘see’ for ourselves that a life fully experienced is actually and literally beyond our imagination. This ‘seeing’ will not be an intellectual excise. Nor a building of concepts. Nor an act of mental brilliance. It is an experience of just ‘being’.
With a stilled mind a previously unseen space opens up.
This new space is a conscious experience -
This is an awakening from blind ignorance.
Blind ignorance is the common human experience. Our attention is held in ignorance by established thoughts in the surface turmoil of life. Making sense of things has always been limited to who we think we are and our minds reaction to what it sees, hears, touches, smells and tastes. From this limited input we asses life and seek meaning. Our life experience turns out to be little more than experiencing these thoughts.
In practice our attention is so captured by our thinking that we cannot experience anything outside of our thoughts. We spend a life time building, adjusting and defending these thoughts of who we are. Our thoughts have become us.
Thoughts are not us!
With an increase of conscious insight we leave behind this confusing surface turbulence.
Beyond the mind generated view there is such an sublime experience awaiting us. Peaceful joy and clarity instead of the usual perplexity unfolds when the mind is at rest and the aware attention is able to experience directly and consciously.
Experience is the only teacher we have.
We may talk and reason all our lives but we won’t understand a word of truth until we experience it for ourselves.
Awareness experienced opens out the way.
To experience one’s true self one must be conscious.
If consciousness -
It is a rare gift.