Monday, February 19, 2007
I don’t watch television much, but today I was watching an episode from a BBC mystery series, and I began to realize that watching shows like this could be an inspiring and enlightening experience. What started this line of thinking was a scene in which one of the actors was sobbing in fear 0f something that seemed about to happen. As I watched, I started to smile, and then laugh, simply because I knew she was an actor and it was all just part of the show. Neither the threatening circumstance nor her fear was real. I was watching a drama that, while interesting and at times absorbing, was totally unreal – and my laughter was at the utter unreality of it all. I found this uplifting and instructive because, in a way, this is my situation at all times and in every circumstance. While the “story” of my life – my personal struggles as a separate, vulnerable individual in a world fraught with dangers -- may seem intensely dramatic and vivid, it is actually no more real than the drama on the BBC show. If I sit back and look at “my” life from a vantage point outside of the “story” (as I do when I’m watching television), it all seems like an interesting but totally illusory and harmless show. This is the vantage point from which the Universe (my word for the infinite force that some people call God) always sees me. From the point of view of the measureless Universe, instead of a separate, frail life called “me”, there is always just the single, unending Life of which everything is an equally vital part. From this much larger perspective, what happens to the supposedly separate entity called Hamilton Salsich, Granite Street, Westerly, RI, USA, Planet Earth, Milky Way, etc. etc., is no more or less important than what happens to a diminutive moth making its way through a rain forest in Ecuador. In the endless Cosmos, nothing is more or less significant than any other thing, and therefore, in a sense, everything is both incredibly significant and incredibly insignificant. Whatever happens with my so-called “personal struggles”, the grand Universe (God, Allah, the Tao, etc.) will continue dancing its spectacular dance. Indeed, the drama of “my” life (which really isn’t “mine”, but the Universe’s) is worth chuckling about just as much as the trifling BBC story I was watching today on television. I felt sorry for the actor who was sobbing, but at the same time I could smile and be at peace because it was all just a marvelous show, as is this risk-free and wonderful life I’m a part of.