Your Life Is A Truman Show
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Spirituality deals with paradoxes: it aims to point to the only "thing" truly existing but that cannot be pointed directly. Fortunately metaphors can be used as a tool to help you grasping what this work is pointing to. In this post I would like to address what awakening is about using as a metaphor the movie “The Truman Show”.
I think everyone is familiar with this movie. It is a beautiful movie that tells the story of Truman Burbank, a young insurance salesman whose life is not differently from many of us: he has a family, a profitable job, a comfy house and it seems to be happy. Truman’s life flows around him quite smoothly but his mundane life do not totally satisfy him: he is a dreamer, an explorer, he has a impellent desire to travel and visit the world. It appears to him as if there is a piece in the big puzzle of life that is missing. He does not know exactly what it is but he has this uncomfortable feeling that there must be something more about reality, something that it cannot fully grasp. It is clear that the way he is living and conducting his life is not truly fulfilling him and that he is just pretending to be fine at the social level. Indeed, individually, he is broken, lost, incapable of making sense of his life. He needs to find answers. His love and strong commitment to dig deeper and deeper in understanding reality will mine his reality. His inner desire of knowing the truth will push him undertaking this amazing journey toward himself. In a sense, this journey will put an end to the life of Truman Burbank and a new man has to arise from ground zero.
Truman is the victim of a crazy show designed by a man retained to be a genius by the most of people incapable to refuse to be part of this big fat lie. They love to be entertained to the detriment of someone else life. They have no awareness of the possible implications of their shallow behavior in ruining the life of a man genuinely trusting and loving the people around him.
Nevertheless, this puppet show turned out to be Truman’s salvation. The suffering he had to go through was the fire that kept his motivation alive to wake up from this illusion. He had enormous courage to face his own beliefs and anyone else that was trying to keep him sleeping in name of materialism, capitalism and entertainment. The show must go on! However, the world that has been created for Truman was only apparently flawless: what all these people could not foresee was the impossibility to control Truman’s inwardness: they could not see that within Truman there was something that no one could ever take and manipulate, that is, the love for Truth.
Once his doubts about the reality he was living in found some confirmation, he started behaving differently. He started his transformational process, a sort of hero's journey that will lead him to his liberation. Friends and family could not anymore relate to him. He became a free man with no fear to find what is truth. People started to be threaten by his behavior. His personal evolution was something that unconscious people could not neither stand nor understand. They came up with anything in their power to block his desire to get free by using his most inner fears in the attempt to discourage him to liberate himself from this illusion. Nevertheless, the love for Truth was much stronger than anything else and at the end Truman’s journey got accomplished.
Well, your life is no way different from Truman’s life. You are living in a show, in an illusion that is so well constructed that you cannot see it. The main difference between Truman and you is that Truman was the victim of someone else’s ego, whereas you are your own victim. You have constructed this puppet show all alone. You are at the same time the genius that created the entire show and the victim of your own creation, it is just matter from which perspective you look at the show. Once you awake you will be amazed about the geniality of this reality and how many layers of deceptions you have designed to keep yourself sleeping. It is just pure genius. However, the other side of geniality is madness and this is the side of the coin you will experience as long as you do not wake up.
The good news is that, like for Truman, this illusory world is not flawless and you can wake up but to do so you need to be as courageous as Truman. You need to start questioning the obvious, you need to contemplate about yourself and the reality you are living in. You need to look within and not somewhere outside you for true and absolute answers. This is the only place you can trust and directly experience the truth. All the blaming, judging, criticizing and moaning about how much suffering there is in your life are just a waste of time. It is not seeing that you are the only responsible for the situation you find yourself in. You are the only one that can do something about it. There are no external powers that keep you living a miserable and unhappy life, you are literally the creator of your life.
Just to remove any doubt, you do not have to look for any door in the middle of the ocean that will finally set you free. There is no another world outside this one where you can find liberation. Liberation or awakening is right here, right now devoid of any assumptions you have about yourself. Ultimately, liberation do not require any external resource because it is available to us daily in front of our eyes but we cannot see it due to our conditioning: we are the fish looking for water! However it is important to say that liberation requires true commitment and devotion to put aside your own self interests and simply find what is true. Could Truman know what he would have discovered once out the dome? Did he know what he might have found outside it? Was he sure that he would have found something better? No, he was just truly committed in discovering was what true with no expectation whatsoever.
It does not matter what you see within reality but how you see it. Once awake, reality will appear to you in the same way in term of colors, sounds, tastes but “you” have changed (or better disappeared) and therefore you will relate to life in a different way: emotions, feelings, the inner voice inside your head, problems, others, the whole world will lose their grip over your life. You will know that you are literally creating everything you perceive right now and therefore you are now in possess of all the powers to change or toss out anything that you do not like about your creation. As in the Truman show, unconscious people will try (unconsciously) to keep you chained in making you believe about the existence of a material and physical world, about the importance of dedicate your entire life in achieving external material goals. Literally (and when I say literally I mean it) this world is neither material nor physical and your only goal is to wake up, increase your consciousness and live this human manifested life in line with this realization.
Why can not you see this illusion?
I believe the main reason is the lack of existential education within our society, completely focus on "physical" and "objective" reality. There is just not the interest in giving a proper education about what it should be addressed before any other form of education: the nature of our self and our daily experiences. Of course this is not happening because very few people are aware of the Truth and we just keep raising ignorant generation after generation.
Our experience of reality is simply based on an illusory premise: that what I call "me" is a physical body-mind entity experiencing an external physical reality. Since this assumption is taken for granted, no one really bothers too much to question this basic belief and our life runs unconsciously focusing exclusively on the external world. We are so convinced that this is the case that we cannot see the obvious, that is, that the body and the mind are experienced by me (whatever "me" means) in the same way as the "external" world. You cannot be the body or mind simply because these are objects known and experienced by you.
It is not the body or mind experiencing the world, it is you! (let's leave the definition of "you" wide open for the moment). Body and mind are known and perceived by you.
Why do you consider the body and mind to be yourself and what is happening outside it as not-you? Why do you draw the boundary between you and not-you at the level of the physical body? Is it not your current experience that you are aware of your body and mind as it happens with any other experience happening within the world? Could not the body and mind be held as an object of which you are aware of as any other objects present within the external world? Are you not aware of the news broadcast in the radio? Are not you aware of the color of the sky? In the same way, are you not aware of the itchiness of your nose or about the feeling of hunger in your stomach? Why the hell you consider one experience as you and others as not you? Is there not a common subject experiencing all these experiences?
Can you please stop doing whatever you are doing and dedicate some time to realize that you are also aware of your body and thoughts? Can you please stop and realize that you have been brainwashed in believing that you are your a body and a mind? Can you please realized that you are that which is aware of them? This should be already obvious but no one taught us to focus our attention inward rather than outward. Is it not amazing that there is something that is conscious of everything we know, body and mind included? Is it not liberating to realize that whatever it runs within our mind, our inner voice, our most terrible and painful thoughts are something known by me and do not represent me?
Can you actually make such a shift? Can you actually realize that you are the witness or the observer of everything happening within the world, body and mind included? This would be already a huge step for you to stop identifying yourself with the body (and therefore with all its bodily sensations and emotions) and the mind. This is only the first step and much more has to be grasped but this step is the most important one to relate to and create reality from a different perspective.
Please take some time to turn these words into a real and direct experience and practice every day this awareness in being that without falling in the illusion to be a body or a mind. This is the first step to realize much more about life and reality that will leave you speechless. It is the first step to live a more conscious life.
Feel free to comment any insight you might experience in practicing this short (but really important) meditation exercise.
Thank for reading and see you next week!