Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
For many years I had read how we create our own reality. This was a great puzzle to me. Of course, it’s quite easy to repeat what others have said and then convince yourself that it’s true. This is called belief. Belief is not knowing; it is not a realization. You can believe that out of body experiences are real, but unless you have had one — or a thousand — then you don’t really know what it feels, looks, or sounds like. It remains an idea, but not a realization. You can also believe that life has a purpose, but it is only the mind that tells you this out of belief and not as a fact. And you can believe that you create your own reality, but unless you fully see this then it remains a belief.
Consciousness is the totality of all that is. It is existence at all levels, including all pairs of opposites that we call duality. Consciousness is a field of potential — what may or can happen — as well as the entire range of experiences, phenomena, expressions, and thoughts. The contents of consciousness is consciousness; it’s the whole enchilada, so to speak. And this totality is each one of us. It is as much in us as it is us. When we say that it is in us, this means the “us” of consciousness, and not the “us” of individual bodies, minds, and brains.
The two faces of human beings
We can look at the person in two ways. One way is how most people understand themselves, because it is the default. When the mind is conditioned by authority figures, parents, teachers, relatives, and all sorts of information and ideas, the egoic self is formed. This self believes that it is a body and all that is identified with the body — ideas, memories, relatives, friends, possessions, talents, and so on. The egoic self is just a belief, because it is temporal and it is changeable. The other way to regard a person is as an expression of consciousness. Consciousness is the natural state of being, while the egoic self is artificial and created out of belief. Consciousness is the whole, and the egoic self is a fragmented worldview of the self and all others.
Everything is consciousness, and because we are all consciousness then we know of all of the dualities of hot and cold, good and bad, caring and uncaring, smart and stupid, loud and quiet, tall and short, wild and controlled, chaotic and ordered, and so on. As Freud said, there is a part of the mind that is our face to the world that we want others to see us as. We have a real “us,” but we don’t want others to know this is what we are, and this includes all of the bad, negative, and unseemly aspects of consciousness. Freud called this moral and ethical face to the world the Superego.
The writer creates reality
When a writer creates a book, a play, or a movie, she taps into the totality of consciousness that lies within her — as her. If she remains in the egoic state of the individual self, then she cannot create reality, because the egoic state is limited to itself and not the totality of existence and thought.
A writer can create terrible and cruel villains, heroic protagonists, characters that hold secret flaws or inclinations, slimy creatures, evil sociopaths, and altruistic sages. The entire breadth of potential behavior, mindsets, and actions is at the writer’s disposal. Why? Because all of these are in consciousness, which means that they are with her. And it’s a bold thing to write cruel characters who lack compassion and are apt to be destructive. It’s bold because it is an admission that such characteristics are within the writer. But because they are in all of us, as the audience we become involved in the story and find it believable, even if it’s science fiction. It only needs to be written realistically in order to have this effect. In essence, the writer is creating reality, and when we sit in the theater watching all of her characters, the action, and the scenery, we are experiencing the writer’s reality.
As consciousness, we all are the creators of our own reality, each and every waking moment, as well as in every moment of a dream or daydream. Can you see this? Don’t take my word for it; look into this. And when you look into it, consider that all of the good, bad, and indifferent are within you — not you as an individual, egoic self, but rather “you” as the totality of consciousness.