There has to be a way. I will find a way. The way. My way.
I will find a way to be the person I am destined to become. The true me. I know he is in there somewhere.
I watched a movie recently called Kumaré about a filmmaker who impersonated a fake guru and built a following of real people. The filmmaker Vikram, pretends to be a guru who recruits followers into his entirely made up, fictional world. He invents chants that mean nothing and creates fictional yoga moves. He immerses himself inside the guru and what he comes to know, ironically is himself.
The lesson which after seeing the movie seems so obvious, hit me hard and I lost my breath for a moment. What the film reminded me of was that the answers are already within each of us. Our own path is there for us to discover if we only just listen and believe that it is waiting for us to discover it.
“The answers are already within us” feels like a cliche – but it isn’t. It’s true.”
People are searching for answers in the wrong place. We are numbed by social media, and by the toxic culture we’ve built around us. It’s everywhere and yet, we do nothing about it. We get caught up in “living” and forget to listen to our truth, to our inner voice. How to do that comes soon, but first, let’s start with the basics.
I’ve always been fascinated by how the mind works. If you haven’t seen this experiment before, watch this video now:
Ok… did you see it? Did you see the obvious?
Watch it again. Look closely.
See it yet? It’s right there! If you were like me (and like most people) when I first saw this experiment years ago, you should be stunned. How is it possible to miss something so obvious. It’s the same thing for finding your own answers. You don’t need to be told, because the answers are already inside you. It’s that simple, and that obvious.
That should be a head slapper for you. If it isn’t, think about the video. The very first moment realized what you had missed – how did you feel? For me, it felt ashamed – I mean, the freaking thing is right there – hiding in plain sight! Not even hiding… not even trying to hide!
The mind sees what it wants to see.
In Kumaré, Vikram (the filmmaker and the guru) quite literally tells everyone around him he is a fake, and yet the telling of that lie fortifies his appearance as a guru. He literally tells people he is not a real guru.
“I fake so much, I forget who I was before.” Vikram Gandhi
Vikram, and his alter ego Sri Kumaré show us this fundamental truth in a way that our egos do not like. I’ve seen comments on blogs about the film that it was cruel for him to make this film. That people aren’t mice and shouldn’t be experimented on. That he fooled his disciples into thinking he was someone he was not. Don’t we all fool each other about who we really are every day?
I still feel like I’m a kid, dressing up in adult clothes doing adult things.
This comment from ragnaROCKER on Reddit gets to the heart of the matter (unedited for grammar, spelling, content):
“I thought he was kind of a dick. I mean i get that he was trying to prove that gurus can be spewing bullshit and people will follow them, but when it got to the parts where people really opened up to him and asked him for advice on important life issues (like the lady with the marriage problems) i think he went to far in maintaining the charade. He should have at least pointed those people to places where they could get help.
Overall i think it was a good idea/ bad in practice kind of thing. You can even see how he is in over his head at the end and scared to reveal. It came across as “hey, these hippy people will believe anything! That’ll be a funny documentry!” But once he(and the audience) come to realize these are real people and not just carictures caught in the 60’s it takes on a meaner tone that i don’t think even vickram was ready for.
I came away thinking, these people are gullible, but kumare is an asshole.”
SPOILER ALERT, THERE IS A GORILLA IN THE VIDEO WALKING AROUND
Once you see the Gorilla in the video (you did watch it didn’t you!), you have glimpsed the first secret: “The mind sees what it wants to see.”
Each of who discover this secret must make a decision. You must decide to start to wake up to the world around you. This is is Neo in “The Matrix” deciding to take the red or the blue pill. It must be a conscious choice or it doesn’t count.
If you were surprised by the gorilla video, ask yourself “what else am I not seeing that is right in front of me?”
Are you in a broken marriage?
Are you unhappy at work?
Are you miserable with your life?
Your brain will lie to you – it will disguise the signal in the noise. You must find a way to turn the volume of the noise down, at least a little, and you need need to be honest with yourself.
Sri Kumaré did not give his followers a choice, there was no blue pill or red pill. Even as he literally told everyone he was a fake his followers simply feel deeper into the trap. Him “saying” he was a fake only served as further proof of his authenticity. Kumaré’s followers were so desperate for answers that they believed what he said, believed what he said because they were looking for answers outside themselves – they needed someone to tell them how to live.
They didn’t see the Gorilla.
When I started this blog I promised myself to never write trite, stupid top 10 lists. There are no shortcuts to waking up and living a fully conscious life. There is however, one thing that I started a few weeks ago in earnest that does seem to be helping me, bit by bit.
I invite you to try it with me now…
Breathe. It doesn’t matter how – through the nose, out the mouth or reverse. How you breathe is not important. Just breathe. Think to yourself, I am breathing as you breathe. You don’t have to say it out loud, just take a breath and think “I”m breathing.”
Breathe in and hold it for a long second or two. And blow it out. And all the while, think “I’m breathing.”
Do it a few times.
Yes, you, sitting there at your computer or on your phone. No one is watching. You don’t even have to close your eyes. Just breath in, hold it, and breathe out. Slowly.
I just did it to try this for myself. For real. Just now as I was writing this. I’m on a commuter train. No one knew. No one noticed.
Did you do it? Do it. You know you want to.
So here’s what you just did. You just created a tiny crack in the universe. You allowed yourself to stop thinking for just a tiny second. And if you can do it for a second, you can do it for more. And the more you do, the more room you can make to think. And listen. To listen to yourself and to see the obvious. To glimpse the Gorilla. Congratulations
Also, you just meditated. Yea, I know, you don’t meditate. But you just did. That’s it. That’s the basics of meditation. Nothing else needed. No yoga pants or sweaty, smelly rooms fully of people. Congrats, small victories eh?
I need to hear from you, I need to you to share how you feel, and what you think. Tell me in the comments, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make up a name if it makes you feel better. Just tell me. I’m here and you are not alone. Thanks for reading.