There is a huge irony in life. It's so huge, we can't articulate it. We can only see it and laugh, and then go on living.
I see it every time I go to the movies. The characters think that the play is moved forward by their effort. They think that what they do and say in each scene will effect the next scene. Of course, the characters do not know that the whole movie is already written, all the experiences and outcomes already decided. They don't know that their every thought and action is scripted, their every word already encoded on the celluloid that has yet to unwind.
When we see a movie for the second time, we can appreciate this irony.
Until we know the Self, we are merely characters in our own movie. Thinking that our choices and decisions give impetus to the next scene, we energize our own drama. We can become very demanding and greedy. Our plotting can become dark and complex.
The drama in which we are all stars, like the movies in the theater, is viewed on a screen, a background, without which there wouldn't be a movie.
In theaters, the movie is projected against the background of a big white screen. It is created with the light of the projecter and the images of the film. In life, our drama is projected on the screen of the Self. It is created with the mind of the separate self.
We can't recognize the Self as long as our movie is playing, just as we can't see the white screen in the theater as long as that movie is playing.
What does this have to do with our life? Here is the irony. We have to play our part. We can't hold anything back. We have to roll up our sleeves, jump in, and give the best damn performance we can. But the play is already scripted.
Something in us know this. From beyond time and knowing, we see this and laugh, and then go on living. But the living becomes different. Our living is no longer tense with an excessive concern for ourself. We don't give more force to the drama, propelling it forward.
Without tension, the mind becomes quiet. When the mind becomes quiet, the Self appears. When the Self appears, we notice that our part is suddenly more light-hearted, generous, and friendly. We sort of lean back and touch the screen.
We become the screen of the Self.