Illusion, Definitions and the Movie of your life

Posted on October 13, 2010
Filed Under meditation | 2 Comments

I’ve been reading Illusions by Richard Bach (Amazon Affiliate link), which is an interesting book about a reluctant messiah. At one point in the book the author uses a metaphor of life as a movie to point out that people create their own films and determine in them how helpless or actualized they are. I think there’s some degree of truth to this idea, particularly if we understand that how we choose to define our lives and the experiences we live determines how empowered or disempowered we feel. While it’s true that  that we don’t control all of our circumstances, the beliefs and definitions that we apply to a given situation definitely effect our ability to control ourselves and handle situations.

The value of internal work is that it helps us get out of the movie so that we can consciously start living. To do that we have to determine if we want to continue to believe in the reasons and definitions that hold us back, or critically examine and question them in order to truly test their validity in our lives. When we question those beliefs and definitions, it involves taking a different perspective to everything we do. By looking at our actions and choices from a different perspective, we can test whether or not how we behave is really helping us, and if the supporting beliefs for that behavior are actually providing clarity and conscious choice to our lives. If the behavior is detrimental, chances are so is the definition that supports. It’s necessary then to make changes in your definition, if you want to permanently change your behavior. Merely trying to repress or stop the behavior won’t actually change it. In fact, it’ll ultimately make it stronger. So you need to understand the definition, or if you will, the rationale for the behavior. It may not make sense on a conscious level, but I can guarantee it made sense at some point or you wouldn’t continue to do the behavior.

Once you understand the rationale, you can change it. This usually involves picking apart the definition, and putting in a new definition that specifies how you consciously want to act in a situation. When something triggers you, instead of causing reactive behavior, you’ll stop and make a conscious choice.

Comments

2 comments
Apel Mjausson
Apel Mjausson

I'm enjoying your blog. Thanks for writing it.

Like you I've noticed that simply stopping an ineffective behavior doesn't work. A strategy that has worked for me in the past, is to run through a scenario in my head in which I'm using an alternative behavior. This usually causes the underlying limiting beliefs that support my previous behavior to surface. It also makes it easier for me to figure out the best possible behavior I can think of right now, because I can try out several different behaviors and see how I feel about them.

Glad you like the blog Apel. I like your technique. I think that's an excellent way to approach this kind of work.