[excerpt from HOME, getting real with what you already are]
One evening, I was on my own watching ‘Fleabag’, the series created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Fleabag is the main character (we never learn her real name).
Her sister in the programme is called Claire. Married to someone who treats her appallingly, Claire is in love with a Scandinavian man she has met through her work. He is called Klare.
Fleabag and her sister bump into this man in the park. (It’s the ‘I look like a pencil!’ haircut scene for those in the know.)
The scene ends with Fleabag firstly turning to her sister and saying “Bye Claire”.
Then she turns to the man and says, “Bye Klare…
…And then she turns to the camera (ie to ME the viewer!!!) and says “Bye Clare”.
Yikes! I almost jumped out of my skin. (My name is Clare remember. It might not have had the same effect if my name was anything else). For a split second I felt like I’d crossed a line between two dimensions, suspended between two planets, in two worlds simultaneously.
Because, as absolutely involving, moving and engaging as a piece of film is, the characters on screen exist in a different (unreal) plane to the viewer, the (real) conscious space in which they appear.
The characters in the film and the viewer of the film do not exist in the same reality.
While the viewer is engaged in the film, however, it looks absolutely real. In those moments, the viewer is oblivious to the fact that it is just a creation.
The viewer is fully identified in to the movie, moved by the drama, engaged in the twists and turns of the relationships.
The viewer’s only actual reality, as witness, as the space in which all elements of the movie arise, is forgotten about.
And then something breaks the spell of identification with the movie.
It might get boring. It might be a bit of bad acting or clunky script. It might be the Starbucks cup in the Game of Thrones. It might be someone coming into the living room and asking if we want a cup of tea. It might be the closing music beginning and the end credits appearing.
(It probably won’t be one of the characters apparently turning to you and addressing you by name, I’m afraid. That is reserved only for very special people.)
Without the viewer in the first place though, the programme could not have been experienced. It could not exist in the way it appears to.
Consciousness is the first ‘pointing’ of this book. Consciousness is the viewer. It is the illuminated present in which everything happens and of which everything is made. Without Consciousness there would be nothing, no-thing, nothing visible, nothing sensed, nothing felt, nothing seen or heard.
Consciousness is the prerequisite to anything appearing, in the way that a viewer is the prerequisite to the film being seen, to the film coming into existence.
The film is so vivid, so real, so gripping, so enthralling that the fact of the viewer is completely disregarded. The act of viewing is irrelevant (even though, in reality, it is the only truth). The film is grabbing all attention.
But what is the film? What is it made of? It is fascinating to consider that, while that film, that arc of tragedy and drama and adventure and tension and loss, appears so compellingly, objectively real, it is actually made of the viewer.
In a conversation about reality, what becomes clear is that the thing that looks so real, the film, does not exist as anything tangible or real. It is the viewing, that is making it all possible.
When the film, that drama, that tension starts to become less compelling, it starts to be recognised for what it is, a creation of Consciousness.
It becomes recognised that that is what we are. And that is mind-blowing. The mind begins to settle back into the truth that all these comings and goings are happening within awareness. Without Consciousness or awareness, nothing.
We can explore the idea of Consciousness a bit more deeply with the dream analogy. When we are asleep, we might dream of a ‘me’ character going through different experiences and endeavours. That entire set up is happening within the existence of the dreamer. The character in the dream, as real as it looks, as much like us as it appears, is just a creation of mind in that moment, made possible because there is a dreamer.
The dream is made possible by the dreamer and the dream is made of the dreamer: it is all the same thing. There is no possibility of separating dream and dreamer. There is not even any possibility of separating anything within the dream, as much as it appears that it is a real world, that there are real people and real events, it is still a creation of the dream.
Within the dream, it looks like survival can only be achieved through controlling the happenings within the dream and that safety is only possible by securing the character. But actually, because the whole thing is taking place within the dreamer’s sleeping mind, the only possible solution for that character is for the dreamer to wake up. In other words, the only way the character’s challenges can end is for the dream to end and the character to disappear. On waking, there is no character, no threat.
What we start to see from this, is that the Consciousness that we are enables an experience of a separate idea of what we are. But the truth is that we are only that space in which that lived experience of separation arises.
Through this section of HOME we are essentially considering this shift of lived experience:
From a human conscious mind identified in to the drama, believing its beliefs……to a human conscious mind that is no longer identified to the drama and is settling back into its truth as the viewer, the dreamer, the Consciousness space in which everything appears.
When we suffer, the mind is trying to find its way within the dream back to reality, to Wholeness but it can never achieve that. The dream depends on the belief that it is real, and that it is separate from the dreamer, separate from the Consciousness that we are.
Trying to find our way Home within the dream only maintains the dream further.
Isn’t that right, Claire?