A typical summary of life would read like the following, we were born, we age as we live, and we will finally die. Within that period of a lifetime, we spend our time avoiding pain and chasing after pleasure. We may or may not chase pleasure at the pain of others but we chase after pleasure nonetheless in the attempt of aligning with our own ideals of a pleasant life. However, once in a while, life opens up its true nature to some of us through various ways which in essence having to do with the weakening of our egos. That life declares to us that the ego is nothing but a mental construct. A mere conviction that we ascribe to ourselves out of our and societies’ valuation of ourselves and our unique human narratives. In turn, these people teach us about the hidden nature of existence, of being. Succinctly, the teaching reveals to us that all life is one. There are no seven-and-a-half billion human beings on this planet in addition to the animals. There’s only one, both seen and unseen, fundamentally speaking. Of course, such a revelation is very hard to intellectualize if not impossible altogether.
It is also often said that spiritual awakening or the realization of the true nature of Self (note the capital S) would bring about a liberation from suffering. Thus, awakening is often pursued as another human endeavor to avoid suffering not knowing how the said liberation from suffering is made possible.
Every deed taken not in a full realization of God in the small selves is a deed taken by the ego, the biomechanical animal creature which is preoccupied with advancing its egoic and physical security and with chasing after pleasure for itself even to the detriment of others. Thus, beings can be selfish, mean, and cruel toward one another and as a result, we suffer one way or another since the game of separation (life) is being played in its full illusionary nature.
However, since these egos aren’t real, the damage they do to others isn’t real either, fundamentally speaking, since there are NO REAL persons to be damaged, to begin with. The damage done is only ‘real’ as experiences like a dream or nightmare which is real only as an awful experience. So, thus, life is very much like an interactive movie where we can watch it unfold as an experience but nothing real can ever be imparted upon us and by us.
I’m not saying suffering isn’t real for it is but it is real as experiences only. A dream or nightmare that lasts a lifetime would seem real too and it is real but only as an experience of a lifetime. With this realization, everything that transpires in life loses its significance since there is no one capable of doing anything to anyone else since there is no one to begin with but the One Self. Of course, it goes without saying that no one would want to endure a lifetime of nightmare but knowing it a nightmare helps alleviate suffering as the nightmare loses its significance. Life thus becomes the art of dreaming lucidly.
So, when you’re going through tough times, know that life is very much like an interactive movie. It is real only in being the flow of experience. You are never in real danger. There is no one to win anything and likewise, there’s no one who stands to lose anything. There only appear to be winners and losers. In the end, although we experience life subjectively, ultimately, there is only a single Self watching it all, alone in the movie theater. Happy watching or should I say, happy dreaming!
The difference between life and dream is an illusion, however persistent that illusion is.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. -Albert Einstein.