Monday, November 06, 2006

All or Nothing

Last night I watched The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring on television. I saw it when it first came out at the cinema. (I haven't seen the other two). It was interesting to watch it again particularly from the standpoint of freedom. Here's one synopsis of the story:

"An epic vision of good versus evil, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring recounts the heroic quest of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), a peaceful Hobbit entrusted with a terrible responsibility. Placed in possession of the omnipotent One Ring --- lost for centuries and containing the Dark Lord Sauron’s "cruelty, his malice, and his will to dominate all life" --- Frodo must travel through Middle-earth to the land of Mordor in order to destroy the ring in the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged."
The "heroic quest" is a personal one each of us has to make to discover the meaning of life, or so it would seem.

As I see it the quest is meaningless because it is based on the illusion that life is personal. There is only one life that we all are. To think I have a life of my own is like trying to stuff infinity into a box, which is impossible. Life is not mine or anybody's but simply life. Put another way, life is not mine but ours.

Back to the movie.

The problem started when someone thought he could create a ring of power that would not only belong to one person only, but would make that particular individual have power over all. How can one have control over all when the very people he is trying to control is himself? This is delusion. You cannot divide the one indivisible life. So either everybody owns the ring of power, which means there is nothing to fight over, hence, no quest; or no one owns the ring and there is nothing to fight over, again no quest.

The desire to take or be in control originates from the illusion of having a personal self. The moment you think "This is mine" is the moment you fall into delusion. True power is all or nothing. Either we all possess something or no one possesses it.

The human experience is a game where you pretend to be a person that has preferences and likes and dislikes. The problem with having preferences is if you're not careful you are likely to forget who you are and start believing in your own press that you are merely a person. I am not a person, I am only playing a game of being a person.

For instance:

Having likes and dislikes is part of the game.
In truth, I love everything; or I love nothing.

Personal friendships is part of the game.
In truth, everyone is my friend; or no one is my friend.

Being in a family is is part of the game.
In truth, I'm related to everyone; or I'm related to no one.

Having a possession is is part of the game.
In truth, we all possess that thing; or no one possesses that thing.

There have been times when I've been watching some reality TV show and, just for fun, I have supported someone. I have felt butterflies in my stomach and a lot of tension because I've wanted the one I was supporting to win. Not only was I tuning into the anxiety of the person I was supporting but I was receiving the anxieties of all other supporters; and feeling the tension from the other contestants and their supporters. On the other hand, when I stop playing the game and simply watch the show without supporting anyone, i.e. with detachment, I'm completely at peace.

I am All.
I am nothing.


Related articles: Freedom; The Personal versus the Universal Approach; There is Only One Life; Universal Consciousness; Whose Life is it Anyway?