I just finished watching a Netflix Dark Comedy – ‘Darlings’. It is an excellent movie – I recommend it. Without giving away too much, the story has a revenge element. One person aggravates the other person so much so that person wants to take revenge. When I watched the movie, I was rooting for the victim to take revenge – actively egging them on because I wanted that satisfaction of seeing the aggressor feeling the pain. That’s one side of the story.
I do Vipassana meditation, and the idea in meditation is that you have compassion for both the aggressor and the victim. More so for the aggressor because he/she/they is the first victim of the aggression. This is the other side of the story.
I have experienced both sides of the story – what changes what I experience? The narrative. What do I mean by that? When I watched the movie, the thoughts in my head were all in line with the movie – the thoughts controlled me. These thoughts brought up the feeling of revenge in me too.
And when I am doing Vipassana, the thoughts that arise are different, and those thoughts sway me. They bring up the feeling of compassion in me.
What is the moral of the story? We react to the movie that the thoughts are playing in our head at that time. And these thoughts change based on the circumstances or what is going around us. Even if the aspen leaf wants to be still, the wind will move it.
Does it mean we are puppets whose strings are held by the thoughts running through our monkey minds? This is where being a human is advantageous because we can observe our thoughts. And if we can observe something, we are not it. Unlike a tree so rooted in soil that it cannot make a choice or an animal who acts on its whims. We have a choice. The choice to act or watch. The choice to react or respond.
The question is, how do we make a choice? For some of us, not making a choice is also a choice. We live our entire lives doing what our thoughts are making us do without even realizing that we are slaves when we should be the master of our thoughts. The first step in being a master is being aware of your thoughts – what are they saying? As much as possible, being aware of them – that’s it. And then see the mystery unfold – it will reveal a world that is even more interesting than all the world’s greatest movies.
Some of us are transitional beings – sometimes we are aware of our thoughts, and sometimes we are our thoughts.
And then there are those of us who are always aware of the thoughts – sometimes 100% and sometimes 1%. But we are always aware.
Which of these three stages are you in? Are you a master or a slave of your minds right now?