Welcome to Chuck’s Place, where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences!
Imagine going to a movie and staring at a blank screen. How can we know and experience a movie without a projector projecting a story? It is through the projection of our own story onto the screen of characters and elements of this world that we discover who we are and our reason for being here.
When Buddha attained enlightenment he learned how to turn off the projector. No easy task, as anyone who has attempted meditation knows. He discovered why we suffer. We suffer because we project. We cognitively and emotionally completely invest, or attach, to our stories as real and eternal. Ironically, we absolutely must do this in order to fully experience the story. Naturally, however, though we all deny it, in the final analysis, we must all retire our attachment to the story of our life, through old age, sickness, and death.
Of course, the paradox for Buddha was, in order to reach enlightenment, he first had to experience the deep sensuality of life in this world, illusion or not. It is the proving ground for advancement. If you try, as he did, to skip over the experience of sensuality, like the acetic, you simply attach to another illusion of life, feeling special and entitled to, though not worthy of, enlightenment.
The upshot: if you are in this world, you are here to live it fully before you can turn off the projector and advance. The great archetypes within us provide the story lines and energy for much of our lives. Despite the impersonal nature of the archetypes, we are driven to experience them personally before we can retire them or detach from being controlled by them. How many times are we driven to find nirvana in a romance, at any age? Perhaps it is necessary to spend countless lifetimes in pursuit of the “one,” finally experiencing the ecstatic bliss of merger with one’s soul mate before we are ready to truly retire that illusion.
And what does retirement mean? It means, fully realizing one’s own wholeness, bringing home the gold, standing comfortably, a solitary being, calm, fulfilled, ready for the next adventure, this time, beyond the illusion of eternal sameness, or the attachment to but one story.
The paradox remains. We must project to fully discover ourselves in projected form. Then we must, fully, bring home the gold. This is the crucifixion stage, as we contain the compulsion to project and give away our gold and truth, by shunning all the enticing movies presented for our delight and security. This is the path portrayed in two of my favorite movies, The Matrix and Little Buddha. (Non-projector that I am!)
As always, I am open to discussion or comment. Should anyone wish to write, I can be reached via email at: email@example.com
Until we meet again,