Now we move into early adolescence. That age of curious growths and clusters of hair. Changing voice and pimples to bear. This period of your life is more available to memory, no doubt. As you think back, images appear and moods resurface. Random words remembered from a time already gone. Emotions and sentiments pulse into your bloodstream in this act of reminiscence. But think back. Is this act anything like pressing the rewind button on a cassette player? Do you experience these memories as a stream? Or is it just random events and experiences that pop into your awareness? Hormones flourished in this period. Orgasm was at some point discovered. In a dream, was it? Or by experimentation? And then the crushes. And the desire. Oh, the Desire! You’ll probably have felt just about ready to implode at some points. And here identities are tested. It is an extension of the playground, masked in mock maturity of immature adolescents. Here too, there are victors and there are losers. Here your self-esteem was shaped and your conception of self-worth established. You will have been involved in numerous challenges and responded according to your conditioning, these experiences conditioning you further. And now the innocence and naivety of childhood mysteriously dissolves away like too little sugar dropped in far too much water. But this analogy is misleading. It is actually more like too much dirt and debris collecting and occluding a small amount of pure water. And now you are engaged in battle. The ego in place. The pedestal is decorated and the worshiping platform established. Your identity is developed and you now believe in it. You are mislead into believing that “this is just the way YOU are” or that “that’s just YOUR personality” as though it was a natural characteristic inherent to you as an entity. You forget your true essence. The purity and clarity of that water is now all but gone, buried deep beneath all the layers of delusion accumulating still. After the harrowing experiences of adolescence, it is safe to say that you stagnated as a growing being. Your development halted. Your inner life dead. Your true essence obscured. Your ego in full control. The rest of your life is pretty much a blur, with no real continuity to it. As much as you’d like to believe that you have been a constant entity, a continuing presence, a solid existence, an inherently existing and independent being, I’m sorry that’s just not the case. But don’t take my word for it. After all, blind faith is one of the few things worse, in my opinion, than ignorant unconsciousness. But don’t take my word for that either. So up to this point, we have been engaged in a supposed “story of your life,” haven’t we? Or if this story has not really been an accurate depiction of your life in your opinion, there probably is one that you’d like to believe is more true. But what is it really, this story of yours? Could you tell me please exactly what it is? You would probably enjoy very much to talk to someone at length about all the various and exciting events and experiences that color the tapestry of your “life,” wouldn’t you? But is it really any more than mere words? You’d like to think that, a) there’s meaning attached to the words, and b) there’s memories and events and experiences that the words are pointing to. However, you yourself attached the meaning to these strange sounds you call words. And, these memories amount to no more really than just thoughts, or mental videos, similar to watching a video on the TV but for some weird reason believing that the main character in the video is YOU. Well now, if that’s not a strange form schizophrenic-split-personality-mental-projection-psychotic-illness, I’m not sure what is. Well, in that case, you may want to ask me, “what is the real story of my life, then?” The real story of your life is actually quite simple. It is no more than a voice inside your head, vaguely similar to your own voice as you hear it when you speak, carefully pronouncing the words “it is no more than a voice inside your head, vaguely similar to your own voice as you hear it when you speak, carefully pronouncing the words.” Sound familiar? “sound familiar?” The story of your life also consists of your eyeballs moving regularly and predictably from left to right on a computer screen focusing on strange shapes that you immediately translate into noises inside your head. This is happening right now, I assure you. And this is what your life is made up of. That’s it. Very very simple. Now I want you to breathe.
* ~ ~ ~ breathe ~ ~ ~ *
Did you just breathe? It felt nice, didn’t it? Refreshing. Now do it again. Did you do it that time? Curious. Funny that. How is it that you didn’t even know you were breathing until I ordered you to do it? Oh, and I’ll bet you don’t take too well to the notion that I just ordered you to do something, to which you complied immediately. Should I use the euphemism then? I suggested to you the pleasurable act of breathing, and you, after mulling this over quite well, decided to try it out. But back to an important point: you were distinctly unaware of your breathing until I mentioned anything about breathing to you. How about your beating heart? If your thoughts would shut up for a second, I’m sure you’d be able to feel it as a distinct thumping sensation. Or the blood gushing through your body? So, there are all these things happening to you right now that you are completely clueless about. Poor sap, this is YOUR LIFE! But, don’t worry, there’s a remedy. You see there’s nothing really wrong with you; you’re just very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very distracted. You probably had at least three different thoughts pop into your mind while in the process of reading the previous sentence. Now I want you to breathe for the next five minutes. Really try, okay? Ready….Go