In the process of awakening to higher consciousness, things start to break into our world from the “outside”…
Strange happenings that seem out of the ordinary. Strokes of good fortune. Bizarre coincidences. Symbolic messages. The further you progress on the spiritual path, the ever more common these become.
If you ever have the opportunity to watch a film called The Truman Show, starring Jim Carey, you should do so. It provides a fascinating metaphor of the process of spiritual awakening. The hero, Truman Burbank is the unwitting star of a cynical 24 hour “real TV” show that has been following his every movement since his very birth. His entire world is a dome-enclosed island, complete with fake sun and moon.
Every major incident in his life has been carefully stage managed by a cynical TV producer for maximum worldwide viewing figures of The Truman Show. Truman himself is blissfully unaware that his entire world is a fabricated fake. He has never left the small island he was born on, but always dreams of running away to a tropical paradise on the other side of the world.
Every now and then, something breaks in from the outside and tries to alert him to the delusion he is living. It all builds up to a crisis point where Truman finally begins to question his “reality”, and finally challenge it, and seek to break out of it.
Our lives are a bit like that. We also live a false reality; a construction of our own senses that seems so real, but actually breaks down completely under examination. Many of us strenuously avoid the subtle messages that are always trying to come through from the greater reality beyond. Maybe we prefer the safety of the comfortable world we have created. Maybe we don’t even believe any other world could even exist.
Deepak Chopra describes Synchronicity – the appearance of meaningful coincidences in your life – as a sure sign of spiritual progress. It would seem that the further along the spiritual path you travel, the more often you experience such remarkable meaningful “coincidences”. However, you can also use the same principle to manifest what you desire, from the formless substance of the universe, through the power of thought alone. As the universe imposes its thought upon you, likewise you can impose your thought upon the universe.
Awareness is the key to spiritual awakening and unfoldment. Remain awake to the strange phenomenon breaking in from the “outside” in your life, both in your physical realm as well as in the realms of thought and intuition. Actually, there is no “outside”. You are bigger than the world you see or have created for yourself through your ego delusions. You are actually in contact with that infinite world at all times, although you may be totally unaware of it.
The key secret lies in “waking up” from the dream of everyday life and earnestly seeking the truth with all your energy. A key point in the Truman Show came when the cynical TV producer admitted that if Truman really wanted to, i.e. if he exerted every effort to break out of his fake world, then there was nothing that anybody could do to stop him.
It’s that way with us too. The reason we don’t break free to enlightened consciousness is because we like conventional consciousness well enough. It’s just too much effort to try anything else. After all, there are the bills to pay, aren’t there? And what would the neighbors say? And besides, where are you going to find the time for all that extra spiritual stuff?
And so on…
In the film, Truman is terrified of the waters that surround his island. Years back, the TV company staged his father’s “death” by drowning when Truman was still a little boy. This served the ultimate purpose of keeping him on the island forever. Moreover, whenever Truman starts to make any serious efforts to leave, strange “coincidences” (created by the TV producer)conspire to prevent him. It’s as though he is simply not fated to ever leave.
Well, our own ego does the same with us. It fears its own death, and cons us into believing that its death is also our own. It sets up belief barriers that we dare not pass at any cost. We stay in our comfort zone – our own little island of safety- in every area of our life, no matter how uncomfortable that “comfort zone” may actually be. Examples abound. Money. Security. Marriage. Following convention. Why take any risks in life? Why rock the boat?
Some people give up everything to follow the spiritual path with their entire lives. Others put in about 15 minutes of meditation a day, read the odd self-help book now and again, and consider themselves “already enlightened” in the midst of their conventional consciousness. Oh well!….
In the end, Truman has to face, and overcome, his long-standing terror of water. He escapes from the island in a boat. The TV producer throws a massive storm at him. Then a terrifying tidal wave capsizes the boat and virtually drowns Truman. But not quite… He survives to find the exit to the dome enclosing his world. Despite last minute attempts from the illusion-maker to scare him into staying, he steps through into the unknown,
leaving beyond the world of comfortable illusion he had known all his life long.
Again, we see close parallels to spiritual awakening; commonly called Enlightenment. Spiritual traditions also talk about the need for death of the old to make way for the birth of the new. The symbol of water baptism (which, interestingly, is used in the film) is the Christian image of this; submergence into the deep, dark waters of unconsciousness and reemergence into new life.
Very frequently, the deepest spiritual moments – the point at which we come closest to touching our true divine essence – are those of profound difficulty and challenge in your life. That is another reason why the ego consciousness is terrified of such “negative” events, and wants to keep you far from them. It knows that at those critical points, you come very close to God and hence to liberation. That is definitely NOT want the ego nature wants, as this would spell its own demise, and so it acts to keep you forever slumbering in the world of the comfortable and the known.
Mystics talk of “the dark night of the soul”; that period of deepest darkness and inner searching prior to the dawn of the light of spiritual liberation. It is the point at which we have to confront our deepest fears and inbuilt prejudices, and overcome them (even as Truman did) in order to step into a new reality.
OK. You may not be living your existence out in an artificial dome in front of billions of TV viewers. Yet, in a very real sense, your life is very similar. Instead of a cynical TV producer, you have the ego consciousness – that artificial creation of yours that helps you deal with the physical world, but is not the real YOU at all. The reality you take to be so real keeps being “invaded” by strange meaningful coincidences from the outside; increasingly so, as you begin to wake up. You may sympathize deeply with the cynical exploitation of Truman in the film. Yet, you should also spare a thought for the way a part of your inner psyche mercilessly deceives you, exploits your worst fears, and keeps you drugged; forever wasting your divine potential on trivialities that count for nothing in the long run.
You too, if you are to ever wake up from this self-imposed fantasy world, must also get serious. You too must be relentless and face your worst fears. Be determined to find a way out. That’s what the ego, like the TV producer in the Truman Show fears the most. Because, if you were every to get really determined, and give it your all to the very point of no return and beyond, there is nothing anybody or anything could do to stop you from succeeding.
And that’s not fiction. That’s fact!