Drama. We all enjoy a bit of it every now and then. Influenced by television, film and books, we act in a similar fashion to people in those tales – or how we think they would act. Life is not at all like EastEnders, and yet, how many people do you know who try to make their lives just like that particular show? I have known plenty in my brief time on this planet so far, for various reasons – boredom and low self-esteem ranking high.
Why do we enjoy the drama in our lives so much? Various reasons – it gives us attention, it makes us feel important, it turns our attention away from other things. When something is happening to us, we enjoy the opportunity to extol upon this, whether the situation was a positive or negative one (yet, in reality, there are no positive or negative situation, merely situations).
The culprit for all personal dramas is the ego. Remove the ego, and all drama ceases to be.
Remove the ego? Who would I be then?
We are all under the false assumption that we are our egos. In effect, our egos consist of patterns of ingrained beliefs and behaviours. All of these can be changed. If all of these can be changed, then who are we? Is there a core person in the first instance, if we all have the ability to change? What would you say if I told you that you were not the centre of the universe? You would probably agree with me (I hope). What if I told you that you were not the centre of your own universe?
It is only our perception of ourselves as the centre of our little universe, our dramas, that continue to lead to suffering and dissatisfaction in our lives. When we realise that, in fact, our own universe does not even exist, we can move away from both it and the drama that we create to sustain it – just think about all the energy that we pour into something that doesn’t even exist. We cannot have our own universe, for we are sharing it all the time with everything on this planet, indeed in this universe. Uni – one. Not separate. When we realise that, our worldview shifts dramatically.
Not being the centre of our own universe means not reacting to every little or large thing that happens in our lives. If someone upsets me, who is the “me” that they are upsetting? Why am I reacting, getting upset? For comfort from someone else, for attention, to be told that I am right and that they are a horrible person? Who is this person that is upsetting me? Who am I?
By combining Zen and Druidry in my spiritual path, I have come to realise many things about myself, whoever this self is. I don’t have to react to everything. Things will happen, I have no control over them. What I do have control over is my reaction to them, or lack of reaction. Much like in nature – the daffodil rises early in January, and then dies from killing frosts in February. Does it get upset about it? Why do we let our human consciousness impede our lives so much in this way, when all of nature seems to cope without the drama? The daffodil will bloom again when it can – as simple as that.
Seeing how nature copes, combined with the principles found in Zen (of no separation, the destruction of the “self”) has really opened my eyes over these last two years. Zen teaches us that when we see Buddha on the road, we should kill him. Why is this? Because there is no Buddha external to us – it is inherent in all of us. To believe otherwise is to believe in fallacy. When we realise that Buddha is in everyone, why be all dramatic about anything? As Charlotte Joko Beck stated, and titled a book – Nothing Special.
Living with this mindset, that life is nothing special, has, paradoxically, the effect of seeming to make everything special. Life becomes special, when we take our egos and the drama out of it, and see it for what it really is. It becomes real, as opposed to the imaginary world that we create to indulge our egos, our imaginary universe where we are the centre of existence. Which would you prefer to live in?
Note: Zen Druidry is a book that I am writing for Moon Books, looking at how Zen and Druidry can combine to create a worldview that awakens one to the natural world with full awareness. For more wonderful titles from Moon Books, please see their website at http://www.moon-books.net.