The mind likes to play its tricks with rules and semantics – illusions and fairytales. Most of our lives, we’ve been sort of stuck between believing and disliking what we’re believing. Have you ever noticed that? We believe in something and keep telling ourselves that story over and over (reinforcing it) even though we don’t like it. I don’t like the way things are but that’s how things are… I can’t change it!

This felt apt for this post – the gentle contemplation of the moon. Honest, open, soft.

We live in a made up world with made up rules in made up bodies and made up lives. The suffering comes because we think it’s all so real. We forget that we made it up. It’s like a child getting scared by the monster under its bed. The kid made it up and now he or she is spending his or her nights in fear of this thing that now seems so real. We forgot we made it up. I’m not saying there aren’t monsters under any beds – but there might not be monsters under every bed.

And this is where the notion “you create your reality with your mind” comes in. I haven’t really seen the ego-centric concept that is bounded about working in a way that is actually genuinely convincing as yet. It just seems that the ego takes credit for the past. I thought of it and then it happened, look at me I’m a powerful creator! Yay! Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that belief. It’s relatively real and useful for a while.

When I say “you create your reality” –and I literally never say it– what I mean is that your view of the world and your belief structure and model of “how it should be” determines how you interpret what you experience. This is basic psychology stuff, I’m pretty sure you know this bit. The next level is then “are we going to just be living inside of that matrix forever?”

Most of you guys have already figured out by now that every “thing” that we can call by name, and indeed the names too, are temporary, transient and ultimately illusory. But from time to time we get snapped up by the jaw of intrigue and then we’re back on the ride before we know it… We have set the intention to be more mindful or present and we’re doing really well. Then we have a funny day where our minds are more active and suddenly we’ve got papancha galore and a million and one stories about how things should be different. What often follows is the same obsession with the mind-chatter as before just one level up.

Beautiful watercolour work. Something about this just spoke to me.

So… what happened? The issue would be that it became just another “way of life” or another aspect of your personhood rather than a transcendence of your personhood. You’ve stop telling the story of “I believe I am this or that.” But it’s been subtly replaced by “I am very present. I am aware.” and so on. All of which is still the same it was before but it’s now under the ruse of being more enlightened or whatever… It is still very much within the jurisdiction of the ego. It’s become another “should”.

As I made mention of in a recent post about depression, the biggest problem that ‘happy people’ have is that they’re not happy all the time. So they stop feeling like they are actually a happy person but by this point they’ve already generated some mental construct (another illusory story) about how they are a happy person… So, they just end up faking it and slapping some form of mask on…

This is the same with the transcendence of the persona… If you “transcend” the persona by just making up a new one then you haven’t transcended anything – you’ve just replaced the old thing.

The catch is, developing a new persona is part of letting go of your old persona. And it’s actually a part of letting go of your persona all together… As long as you don’t just end up doing what you did before with the new one. By which I mean, deciding you’re not identifying with being “Patrice the Porcupine Pawner” and now you’re “Patrice the Presence Practitioner who happens to pawn porcupines for petty cash.” You’ve traded up. Now you’ve got the high ceiling. There’s still a ceiling but it’s so high you can almost not see it – until you thwack your head on it.

Every thing comes with an expiry date. Some things last your whole life. Other things only last a day. Others less or anywhere in between. If your direct experience is not leading you to a realisation of this impermanence then it is highly likely that you will find yourself trading up time and time again. The ceiling will get higher and higher until you either give up or blast through. On this path, sooner or later the ceiling will come off or disintegrate or something like that. It’s just different for each individual. That is set in motion already.

All you need to do is nothing.