So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness
Chapter 15: Back to the beginning- with illumination
There’s a film called Propaganda which is a North Korean film about the West. It holds a fascinating mirror up to western society. The deadpan narration over scenes of consumer frenzy over the new iphone and Black Friday are sobering. It mentions how advertising uses vague slogans that that do not actually mean anything. This reminded me of what Bill Hicks said about advertising. It also reminded me of how I used to see signs on lorries such as ‘Reality’ or ‘Be the best’ and think they applied to my own life.
Now I notice just how many signs, instructions and ‘man made’ distractions there are just along a Norfolk road on the way to work. It’s as if they are put there to stop you having any depth of personal thought, because as soon as you begin thinking there’s a sign that jolts you out of your train of thought and breaks your concentration: Urban Jungle (not as my husband used to think, a rave night, but a cool garden centre (if that isn’t an oxymoron)), T junction, Take That Tribute Band, car boot, road works, even the white lines in the centre of the road, as if you wouldn’t know how to drive if there wasn’t a line painted on there for you to follow. The road signs look plonked down, so do the electricity pylons and telegraph wires, as if we wouldn’t be able to believe in electricity unless it was spelled out to us in wires. Even the trees begin to look unreal, plastic, like model railway scenery.
With each new level of awareness there’s a temptation to play, to test it, to work out which rules can be bent and which can be broken. But I soon get bored of doing things like trying to make wind turbines change direction or water change colour. I don’t even try that hard to work it all out or understand how it all works. Ultimately it all ends with, so what? Or, what now? And what I am left with is, what do I want to do? What would I do if I didn’t have to do anything? What would I do if anything was possible? What would I do if I could do whatever I wanted? My horizons had been limited for so long that I had to ask myself that question many times before I could even begin to start to frame an answer.
Everything is arranged so that our biggest and best experiences are early in our lives (partying, travelling, love affairs, marriage) and this, plus the emphasis on youth in shows and advertising mean that people spend most of their lives looking back to the good old days, drawn to the past, and taking all the power away from their present. Wedding photographs on the mantelpiece, watered down nights out (karaoke, local pubs, tribute bands) with other no longer young people, and of course alcohol, always alcohol, to give the illusory promise of fun and to keep people dumbed down.
Little tests, like my car key fob breaking in my hand at the petrol station, a diversion on the way to work as I was already late. Someone being aggressive at work. Testing my ability to stay neutral in the face of provocation.
Little rewards: the receptionist at work saying you smell nice, then later me coming out of the kitchen, her saying, earlier I wanted to take you out, now I want to eat you up. A horse walking down my road. Realising at the traffic lights that I really don’t care if they are red or green. Going to the Roman Fort with my friend pointing everything out, the mounds, the maps and artist’s depictions of the buildings, and me not believing any of it. Seeing a ring with a green* stone in the window and it was half price and it fitted.
*My theory is that I am green mist come down into this body for a human experience. We thought this world up, created the idea of it as a test, an experience, or a game. We believed in it; this gave it life. We had experiences with emotional content; this formed memories and attachments to things, places, people and ideas. We forgot that we made it up. We forgot we were ‘spiritual beings’. We even forgot about and stopped noticing and believing in ‘spiritual’ markers and creatures e.g. giants and fairies; and so we fell asleep and stayed asleep. The ring reminds me who I really am.
At work: that’s the benign one whose wife left him; that’s the grumpy one; that’s the one who always makes me tea. They are in roles. I can’t expect anything more of them. All the feelings, relationships, attachments I have, even to family, are all in my head.
Creating little pockets of freedom: clean white technology free spare room; not washing myself at weekends. Keep chucking things out: today I threw out the faded pink little nodding dog that my friend Jane gave me when I passed my driving test and which has always sat in the dashboard of every car, for the last 23 years. Keep changing: A few weeks ago I texted my friend who I used to do a monthly healing swap with and told her I was going through a ‘cease all spiritual practices’ phase and wouldn’t be giving or receiving healing anymore. Today I texted my friend who I am meeting in the city to say I would meet her for coffee and a catch up only, no shopping, because I am ‘staying away from malls, too much stimulation’. The advantage of being weird is that I can just come out with stuff like that and no one bats an eyelid.
Dismantle the illusion brick by brick. Push where it moves, like Jenga- except I don’t know if I want it to suddenly all come crashing down- but maybe that is what happens.
Look around- people getting old- that’s what happens when you stop moving. This ‘perfect’ space was ‘just’ to enable us to increase our frequency so we can move on. You’re not like other people; so prove it.
And suddenly everyone’s doing it or talking about doing it: a man in my team who has just handed in his notice, bought a motor home, is going to rent his house out and go off travelling in Southern Europe in the winter and spend summers in the UK working on campsites. My manager saying at my appraisal, are you planning to keep on working or are you thinking of going off to India or something. A healthcare worker on the ward who is going travelling around India, Thailand and Vietnam for a year then onto New Zealand and Australia for another year, with the intention of not coming back. Friends who are talking about selling up and going off to Morocco… Anything is possible…
The end… and the beginning.