Mike was riding his bicycle. He had the “green light,” in the intersection so he started to go across. Suddenly, a car coming from nowhere cut off Mike’s pedaling. In a second, Mike had to rely on his brakes to stop before hitting the car!
The driver of the car was a young guy wearing his baseball hat backwards.
Mike was able to go across the intersection without further issues.
Bottom line: Everyone was alright. That is the “now.”
The above are the facts. However, what is going on in each protagonist’s mind is the drama to be aware of.
“What is the matter with that kid! I have green light! I am right! That starts things off. Then the ego uses that opportunity to grow in size thanks to using some “big” words learned through several sessions on conditioning: “ What the F… you SOB!” An angry face, a little shouting, giving the finger… Isn’t that the “right” way to show how “right” you are?
“That should teach him a lesson to be careful!” Mike thought.
Amazing how the expression of our anger could teach a lesson to another on being careful. Part of the conditioning. No doubt.
Mike was hiding his fear through the “tough” look, topped off with some self-righteousness. But… “He could have gotten killed!” The mind defended the “I.”
… But the fact is that it didn’t happen. The “now.” 🙂
The ego has a great story to keep the momentum of growth! Mike told his wife about the incident, then his kids, some close relatives, his friends. Every time he related the story, the juicy details increased. Mike became such a story teller! but the “moral,” of the story every time was: “I am right. How he dared to mess with me.”
The kid driving the car forgot about the incident 5 minutes later, as soon as he arrived to the beach bar that he was heading to.
If Mike was aware of how his mind created that moment of ego boost, if he was aware of the illusion of having complete control of Life, he would surely have reacted in a different way. But the fact is that he wasn’t aware, and the consequence is that this incident supported his conditioning, his learned behavior. The importance of the “I.” Later in his Life, he may want to “conquer his ego” and his mind will allow him to think that this is “right.” 🙂
Ego is mind. If we recognize how the mind analyzes, dissects, separates, make distinctions based on sets of beliefs stored as past experiences; we could observe how the mind is never present in the “now.” It cannot be, for the mind interferes with the experience of the “now,” which is no-mind.
Have you ever watched the same movie several times?
The mind knows what is going to happen in that movie. Why that isn’t boring? If you are aware, you will notice that when you are into it, into a particular scene of the movie; there is no thinking. You are in the “now.” The moment the mind takes over, by going into the past or the future, rewinding or fast forwarding the movie in our minds, while watching the movie, boredom appears. Suddenly, it is the same old thing.
Why a kid does not mind if the same bed story is told to him night after night? Just like a dog will fetch the frisbee many times even though it is thrown to the same place to be picked up. The activity will be enjoyed until physical tiredness sets in. Those activities bring joy, and they could be repeated as long as there is no mind.
Is the mind “bad”? No! It is necessary to remember things, faces, facts. It is necessary to make “educated guesses” also known as ” carefully thought out decisions.” The issue is that the mind has taken over our being… and we don’t even “know” about it.
Life does not give teachings. We recognize them as such.
Bart is an avid bicycle rider. He loves the sensation of being caressed by the air… the feeling of sweat running down his body through pedaling. He also appreciates the light and shine of a Sunny day, its warmth and overall nourishment…
Shorts and a visor is all he needs; but if he could do with less clothing; he would.
One morning, he went on and had a flat tire. That was the first time in many years. As he didn’t have a repair kit with him, he walked back. Fortunately he didn’t have to walk that much. That was the first calling.
Bart decided to buy a repair kit with a tube in case he had a flat again.
As Life has it a few weeks later; Bart had another flat in the rear tire, which is the most difficult one to change. Bike riders stopped by to ask if Bart needed help, but Bart thought that he could handle it. Because Bart had a spare tube, he was able to change the tire and fortunately there was an air station close by to fill the tire with air.
Bart was happy of his good luck! 🙂 He resumed pedaling … but on his way back… He had another flat!
Fortunately as the first time, he didn’t have to walk too much.
That was the second call.
Bart hesitated to bring a pump with him. Too much of a hassle! He thought.
A few months after that incident, Bart had another flat tire! This time he was far away from the air station and no one seemed to stop to give him a hand! It was the rear tired of course, Bart managed to change it but he had no air to fill it!
Barefooted and without help he walked for 1 hour. There was no biker carrying a pump with them and no one seemed to care…
What is the moral of this story?
We could come up with many things.
“Always bring a pump with you! Could be such one.”
“Don’t rely on anyone. Carry all you need with you.”
“Don’t ride a bicycle outdoors. It is dangerous!”
“Pray before you go on your bike journey.”
“Get a better a bike…”
As Bart was walking back, he caught his thoughts in “complaining mode.” Once he caught them, they were released and he was able to appreciate the sunshine, the walk back without purpose, the feeling that at the end, there is no particular place to go, no need to hurry up, but just to look at the scenery and enjoy the view.
Bart did not make of that story a traumatic experience.
In Life many times we receive “warnings.” If we don’t hear them good enough, the following time will be even harder to hear, but it is the “I” meeting the challenge of the day, who will interpret the need for change. It could be the pain, the sorrow, the grief, the uncomfortable situation, which could traumatize that “I” to the point of making a shift… but that is not truly change…
That is just a fight between the “I” and Life. The “I” does not have a chance, but the “I” will keep trying. Once the “I” gives up, surrenders, etc. we may believe that we have changed for the best, that we flow in Life, let go, move on etc.
We do not.
True change does not happen through surrender, through the feeling of being crushed by Life as a victim…
Change comes when while living an episode; there is no biased story in our minds.
Bring your pump with you but not out of fear.
If you fell off the bike, stand up and keep walking… if you can… If you remember the story with intensity, the pain; fear will be created and the bike, which is a simple bike… will be feared.
A trauma has been created.
To trust Life is to know that whatever direction it will take us, it will be the absolute best for us. That direction is not our destination, but just another biking path to try, enjoy and move on…That is known as to live.