What if our life was just a story?
We observed and realized the fact that life is a series of experiences (click re-birth and see “look around you”) and that our way of living was not to live each of these new experiences for what it is but through images and feelings captured during our past experiences, stored and accumulated in our brain, and compared and dissolved with one another. Therefore, we live in an imaginary world, not in reality. Imaginary in the strict acceptance of this term, a world of images. A series of images that pile up becomes a story, like the one we tell our children before going to bed, and there is then no exaggeration to say that our life boils down to a story, that we tell ourselves.
What if this story was leading us to chaos?
On the other hand, we observed clearly that we were in the grip of a second bias, which takes us further away from reality, the bias of races, of these frantic races of our brain in instinct / survival mode, that of the pleasure to be maximized on the one hand, and that of the unpleasure to be minimized on the other hand. So, rather than seeing the world as it is, we look at it as we would like it to be or become (seeking for more pleasure) and as we would like it not to be (trying to escape from fear and suffering). However, this double movement, inherently bipolar and Manichean, leads us to permanent contradictions and conflicts and ultimately to the chaos we are in, personal and interpersonal, individually as a human being and collectively as a society. Of course, not only the pleasures contradict each other, but also each pleasure generates its share of displeasure, and the pleasures of some are also often the displeasure of some others. In short, we are, by making thought our north star to manage our own life and our relationships, on a degenerative and dead-end path. As thoughts, which is egocentric and only knows how to reason in these terms, is quite incapable of finding peace within itself and with its surroundings. Not a judgment. Just an observation. Not easy to catch. Yet a terrible one indeed. The terrible reality we live in. I’m not trying to convince you, here. You have to do the job. To look at this with all your attention. To look within. See your conflicts, your lack of peace, if you struggle, go beyond yourself, look at your world, your family. If it’s not enough, look beyond again. And go back to your true self. Be fearless and observe how much you suffer beyond your shell, beyond your armor, beyond your success, beyond your smile, beyond your words. You will see it, I promise.
What is our field of responsibility and what are our possibilities?
We have already gone through the responsibility aspect extensively in previous articles. In short, our responsibility is total, since there is absolutely no difference between our society and me, you, us, anyone. There is no such thing as society. We are society and society is us, nothing less and nothing more. Which leads us to a phenomenal realization: we can do something about it, if we dare to!
Back to the realm of our life. Our observation is final. We live our life as a story. But there is no obligation to do so. In other words, several choices are available to us. 1/ That of continuing to live in and reinforcing this story. 2/ That of leaving this story and writing a new story. 3/ That of leaving the world of stories and discovering a new world. 4/ That of leaving the world at all. Which will happen soon enough. We could call it a dead end if it was not the sense of living, psychologically and metaphorically speaking, I mean (click re-birth & see “to die today”).
What if we choose to continue living in our story?
Many people cling to their story at all costs because, precisely, it is their story, they say. Whether or not they are the authors, whether this story is connected to reality, and whatever the consequences of this story for themselves, for those around them and for the world (click tenacity & see “our extended family”), having lived with and in this story for almost always, they are very attached to it. This is what many of us decide to do, consciously or not, every day. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is as it is. What generally guides this decision is not only the attachment to our pleasures and possessions, but obviously also the fear of the unknown.
What will my life be like if I change? Grass isn’t greener anywhere else! This is the degree ZERO of awareness and responsibility. Thus, the importance of the educational work. We know in this case that the body of the story, its plot, is written mostly in the brain at a young age, and that life – I mean our brain – only reinforces that story. The thing is this story, and our strength and best assets for success are built on fragile soil because our childhood decrees – which we endlessly repeat thereafter – are formed on our weaknesses at the time, on the first pitfalls, on the first sufferings, the first differences, the first solitudes.
So, we are living this immature story, written by a magnificent and moving little being who made his way in the world, as best he or she could, without a compass, and without knowing that he or she could go and see elsewhere, find himself, reinvent himself, and even reborn. And we never challenge it again. Or we fail to. This is both sensibly moving, poetically tragic, and rationally catastrophic. We sometimes talk about missing out on life. Here we go!
What if we choose to leave this story and write a new one?
Wizards, religious, philosophers, scientists, psycho-something’s, coaches and gurus of all kinds, aware of what we are experiencing in the world of stories, and caught by their own savior’s ones, often offer as an alternative to this old unworkable story, to create a new story and, under certain conditions, it may obviously work! This is about cracking the code of our brain. Once we understand the mechanisms. And once we realize that we are the authors of our own story, it is up to us and not so difficult to reinvent it if we want to. It is then a question of making our brain believe that we are now an augmented version of ourselves, more beautiful, stronger, fairer and, at the cost of deep effort and self-sacrifice, to succeed in reprogramming it!
The level of consciousness on the mechanisms of thought must be good, the level of responsibility for this new life that we are emerging is also generally good, so we just have to suffer to become who we are, or who we decide we want to be. See Tony Robbins. And, if the story is beautiful, full of meaning and impact, we have taken a step forward towards a more peaceful and just world, haven’t we? Of course, it is the case artificially only, isn’t it? On the surface. Fake it until you make it. Cause, what we call personal or self-development here, mechanically again, is a denial of the world, essentially. We are inventing images again, certainly more beautiful, more appealing, but which remain pale copies of reality. And, above all, in this apology of the augmented self, we deny the others. An apology for egocentrism in a new kitchen style, “my digital and purposeful self 4.0” one could say!
The resulting feeling of power and even gratitude is great, only it is an artificial paradise. Do you see this? Look within yourself and around you. See the success, the wealth, and the power of those who walk this hopeful new path. Read articles and other biographies of these extraordinary characters with fresh eyes. Again, nothing wrong. It is a path. You can go for it. Our only question is: is it real? And will the planet turn smoother tomorrow than today with this path? Surely not. More of yourself, and a brand new powered brain, will never get you to solve our joint and basic paradoxical contradictions and conflicts (pleasure/displeasure) and will never get you out of the images bias.
What if we choose to leave the world of stories for a new world?
Thought can only lead to a world of images. We can certainly create magnificent ones, and reach them, we remain prisoners of our thoughts, of this past, which is no more, of this future, which is not yet, were they appetizing, even paradisiac, they are not for real. So I would call them “overrated”.
So, can we get out of this imaginary world if we firmly want to, this world of stories? In other words, is there a world, a life, which is not the fruit of the past, of the known, of thought, of the images collected and projected, is there another world? The promise is ancestral. Many religions and social currents have sung it … and we may contemplate the results. Not debating. Just observing the mess we are in.
The only serious answer is “I don’t know!” isn’t it? All we know is that we cannot reach anything beyond the mind through the world of thoughts. This is clear. Deep within ourselves, it is then up to us to decide whether we wish – or not – to go on a quest, in unknown territory, to discover if there is another world, another way of living, of being in the world. Wanting to do it through the prism of another model, person is totally futile, childish. Since listening to others implies, again, comparing and conforming to ideas, analyzing, returning – without ever having left – in the world of images, zapping, repetitions. And so on.
What if we free ourselves from the known?
However, to travel outside the world of stories, we realized it is precisely necessary to abandon stories, whatever they may be, whatever the cost. When we come from our world of images, this new path seems rocky, dangerous, even, and the price to pay seems high, at first. This is one of the major reasons why so few people take it. The first, of course, is ignorance. The second is fear of the unknown. The third is the appreciation of danger. But we have seen that we ourselves are on a path of fools. Which leads us and beyond to the abyss. Yes, but this is our way. And then it’s the only one there is. That we know? Is there just another one? Back to where we were below. We don’t know!
And, to find out, we have to pay before entering, if I may say so. Of our (images/imaginary life) destitution. And it is so hard to be naked, alone, different, with no resource, we think. Without mask. Without makeup. Without others’ support. That is a recipe for giving up, right?
What remains far from our attachments, our fears, our races for pleasure and against displeasure, orchestrated by our thought? What remains when the brain and the emotions remain – of course – but when we decide they are no longer our guides in the vital affairs, of knowledge of oneself and of others, of relationship, of conduct of life? What remains when all of our conditioning, all of our experiences, all of our knowledge, all of our “lived experience” are found in their places, in the past, that is to say indeed dead and buried? What remains when we let it go. When we let everything go. When we are empty. When we are meaningless. Sounds like death? Precisely! Reason why we are so fearful about it.
Do not guess, do not start to procrastinate. Our topic is far too serious, it is about our life. Observe! Look! Listen! Within you and around you. That is all you can do. If you are serious about it. If you’re up for the inquiry. See your thoughts. See your emotions. See around you. See the mess we have created, internally and externally. Detach yourself from all this as an observer. And reconnect to the world beyond the self, beyond the images, beyond the feelings. And see if there is anything left, when you leave that pale world copy, this world of images, when you detach yourself from your possessions and from anything you know. What is left when there is nothing left, of what we know?
You tell me!