About five years ago my quest to understand how life works ground to a halt.
Prior, I’d spent decades as an earnest seeker. Sometimes fueled by my role as a therapist, healer and mentor and at other times in an effort to improve myself, my psyche and my lot in life.
Along the way I experienced shifts that led me to think that I’d found the ‘answer’. But in the end a quiet realization, like a gong sounding deep within, signaled that all seeking had dropped away.
One of the key insights that sprung me from misunderstanding how life works happened when I came across an image of the mind.
I used to think that the mind works like a camera. That it uses our five senses to take in the world out there, flows data to our brain to process and creates ‘reality’.
But this view doesn’t account for how seven billion people have seven billion different views of the world. Why one day a barking dog sounds like a pneumatic drill and the next day is barely registered.
We could say that each person has different brain chemistry and processes reality differently. But no amount of tweaking brain chemistry accounts for billions of nuanced human perspectives that change in an instant.
And if our mind works like a camera and our photographs represent true reality. Then we can’t avoid comparing photographs and end up arguing who has the most accurate, truthful, beautiful image.
What makes more sense to me now is that our mind works like a projector.
The film passing through the projector is the content of our thinking. And the light of consciousness projects thought-created-images onto the mind screen of awareness.
In this model the energy behind life, Source or pure awareness, creates and powers the movie theater, screen, projector, you and me sitting with myriad streams of thought, the thought projected images on the screen and our bodily reactions.
The more we see that our experience is a projection of thought the less sense it makes to believe that other people or circumstances are the cause of our experience. This view takes us back to the camera idea of the mind.
Instead we experience a cascade of difference when look in the direction of where our experience really comes from.
A saying often attributed to Anais Nin states it like this:
“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”
The more we become aware that we are created and powered by the energy of life itself, the quieter and more present our mind becomes.
With a present and quiet mind the light of consciousness sees through habitual thought in the direction of the Source of our experience that is pure awareness.
Leaving us free to immerse ourselves in life. Knowing that as long as we don’t over think things consciousness will shine through even the most challenging experience to reveal a fresh inspired perspective, and a clear path. Relieving us of overreacting or wanting to leave the movie theater altogether.
And because there is only one Source powering your movie, my movie and everyone else’s. It means that we can sit side by side in the movie theatre of life. Knowing that we don’t need to defend our movie as the ‘real’ one because we know we’re connected to the same power source that enlivens our unique state of mind and creates our different movies.
And with an open heart, because hearts always fall open when we drop defending them, love, compassion and wisdom will flow between us.
Movie night anyone?
I’ll see you there.