Student: According to Bill Hicks, “Life is like a ride in an amusement park.” In what sense?
JS: Imagine that you’re on a roller-coaster. The normal perception is that ‘you’ are experiencing the ride – right? “I am experiencing this roller-coaster.” That seems fair enough.
However, can the ‘I’ that one is normally referring to here be separated from the experience itself? What do I mean by that? Well, all of the people on any given roller-coaster are having a very different and unique experience of it, are they not? No one is sitting on the same seat, for example, so the experience differs in physical terms. And likely some of the people have been on the ride before, perhaps many times, and so their own experience of it will be quite different from someone who is riding for the first time. Then we can differentiate between those who are enjoying the ride and those who aren’t; those who are are excited and those who are scared; those who feel elated and those who feel sick; those who are in the moment and those who are worring about their marriage, or their bills. The list goes on and on.
So you see, there isn’t an objective ‘ride’ for consciousness to experience once, and then it’s over with. ‘You’, if you contemplate this, will realise that you are not the experiencer of the ride at all. Rather, you (and your apparent life, which is analagous to the ride) are a single stream of happenings being experienced by consciousness. You (the persona) and the experiences that you appear to be having, they can never be separated, because you colour them. And yet this persona, this false self, can certainly be experienced, and is being experienced, by your true Self: unconditioned awareness – that universal I Am that we all ultimately are.
So, when you think about it, there is actually no ‘you’ at all – no doer of the deed. The you whom you felt yourself to be is merely a process happening within consciousness. How can it be otherwise?
From the moment you get up, till the moment you go to bed, you are caught-up in process; the context and the conditioning of your own apparent life. Even if you resolve to do absolutely nothing ever again, the natural processes of your body will have you getting up to use the toilet, or to wash, or to eat. And then there will be people knocking on your door due to unpaid bills. Or if you live with family, they will be pestering you to do something, or else calling a doctor out to see you.
What I’m saying is that you can’t physically avoid the process, which your present notion of self is a fleeting consequence of. You can, however, let go of that fiction altogether; including the fiction or self-image of a seeker who is seeking enlightenment. For that too is the result of process. And as long as you continue to hold on to it, the process has to continue… more books, more gurus, etcetera!
Student: So what’s preventing me from letting go?
JS: You’ve likely always had a very specific concept of enlightenment, which you’ve begun to realise is an erroneous concept. And so you keep on seeking, hoping that the truth may be something other than you now suspect. Because, of course, enlightenment is not an attainment of the ego, but rather a state occuring in its absence. Yet it’s the ego which seeks. And you know this because you are ultimately observing that process… which means that you also have the power to let go of it – when you are ready too, of course (more process).
Student: Surrender control?
JS: You’re not surrendering control because you were never in control – remember? It’s just a ride. You’ve never been doing anything but observing the ups and downs, the twists and turns, of a divine process. You’re a passenger!
Student: I’m not sure that I understand.
JS: Imagine what movies may be like in the future; that instead of watching it on a screen, you could actually ‘plug-in’ and select a character from whose perspective you could experience it from. Your own conscious memory is then ‘suspended’, for the duration, and you inevitably believe yourself to be the character you become. The resulting experience would be one of having control, of course, and of free will. Even the character’s thoughts you would feel to be your own, when in fact they’re merely part of a script.
Nevertheless, you’d still only be watching a movie (albeit from within, and from a particular perspective). You wouldn’t actually be doing or controlling anything at all. The only difference between that, and life, is that the script of life is not written, but arises out of process – conditioning. Which is why mind control becomes the primary tool of choice for anyone wanting to control a planet. There really are no limits to the kind of society that one can create through mind control – but only while most of the people still believe themselves to be their minds. Only for as long as they remain asleep, in other words, and disconnected from their true and infinite Self.
What’s important to remember is that you cannot separate the experience you are having from the character you are playing. Your character and its experiences are the experience – the ride. ‘You’ are not experiencing the world, as such, but you (Consciousness – God) is experiencing you, within the world. When you see the difference you understand the ride.