This life, be it your only one, or one of many (up to you) – is a human experience. With that comes certain inherent limitations. While there are no limits to our experience in the mind, there are definite limits to our experience with the body, which cannot be transcended; barring of course astral out-of-body experiences (OBE’s) or chemically altered states of experience.
A swelling movement in the last several years is turning more people on to the concept of the ego – the axial locus in the mind that believes it’s thoughts are real; that it’s separate from the outside world, and freely shares about how you look in the mirror.
As copies of books like “The Power of Now” continue to be passed around from friend to friend, the number of people contemplating the infinite space between their thoughts ever increases. The awareness of this truth, that the thinker, the “I”, is not real, nor is its elaborate life story, can lead not only to empowerment and serenity, but also depression and anguish.
Here someone has discovered that they can free themselves from inner thought and opinion, that what they thought they were isn’t real. They’ve discovered that they aren’t John Doe, but actually the whole totality of cosmic energy. Yet here they are standing in the middle of the same life they were living before, which requires that same ego, the thinker, to continue functioning.
If I just sit here and “be the space of awareness”, I’ll promptly get evicted from my apartment and starve to death. One must continue to exchange time and energy for money, pay the rent, keep friends and family, and use language tactfully if they ever hope to get laid.
Most people who have contemplated the true, infinite nature of their being will know the instability of their sanity. Trying to put a foot in each canoe, as it were, creates a kind of split personality disorder. Personally, I’ve found it incredibly difficult to psychologically manage the role of both non-dual Universe and ordinary citizen.
There’s the rub, the dilemma especially in urban civilization. If you want to do and have the things you like to have and do, you have to keep pretending that you are “You”. There is no place for a person in the city if they choose not to play the game of citizen. Society does not value or reward retreat. In Vancouver, the closest equivalent of living in a mountain cave in the Himalayas is pitching a cardboard box in a Gastown alley.
And what’s the point, really? Actually doing shit is way more fulfilling than a life of cave meditation.
If you’ve come so far on the “path”, as they say, what you then must come to accept, or otherwise go completely mad, is that once your mask – the ego – has been found out, it will never be completely discarded. You will still carry on until death with body and the details on your birth certificate.
When you haven’t fully accepted being human, life kind of feels like living next door to a massive party and you’re not allowed in. There’s something fantastic going on, just outside of your comprehension, and you’re never quite satisfied about it. You can’t fully get on with life.
You must embrace it – the pain, the joy, the detours and details. Thrive in it. Explore it’s absolute potential while you can. Strive to be more awesome. Make your little world something worth being a part of. Illuminate the shadows and unobserved parts of the accumulated personality. Make healthier choices. Challenge yourself.
The trick to this whole game, I think, is to still have desires, to set goals, to grow and become something you enjoy being – in short, living your life – while, as often as you can, remembering the space between the real, infinite You, and thought. Soon enough that thoughtless awareness could begin to pervade all the activities of your day, not just in meditation or yoga practice. You will more easily be able to let go of anger, judgment, self-deprecation, and generally any thoughts born out of the illusion of separation.
It’s possible to “pretend” to be the trappings of your skeleton, without forgetting that you’re much, much more.
Now go on, get lost!