Who am I? That’s a very key question the answer to which will influence our experience of life. There are two major categories of identity—one real and one illusory. Most of us live identifying with the illusory one and as a result our life’s experience is to say the least very challenging. To use modern vernacular in stating the Buddha’s First Noble Truth that life is suffering—we would say that for most of us life is very unsatisfying. At some point and even at several points as our lives roll along we can hear that sad song in the background with Peggy Lee’s smoky voice singing…“Is that all there is, is that all there is.”
How many of us are buying lottery tickets in one form or another hoping for the “big win” that will change everything for us. Then we will be happy. Which energy in our illusory identity is the most prevalent? If it is the need for security then we might indeed be looking for actual material security in the form of a winning lottery ticket, slot machine payoff or a big upturn in the stock market. If it is the titillation of that special sensation then we might think romantic love, that high from our favorite substance or maybe a new car might do it. Or if we are addicted to power then that long sought promotion, election victory or playing-field triumph might seem to offer meaning for our life. Alas, such achievements, addictions or acquisitions offer only the short-lived illusion of happiness or fulfillment.
However, there is only one ticket that makes sense, only one ticket that will deliver the goods that our souls long for and that ticket is a guaranteed winner. You know that you have a genuine or “real” ticket if it has printed across its face NOW. No numbers—just the simple declaration—NOW. All we have to do irrespective of the details of our lives is to learn to be present to what is. If we embrace what is happening and experience it without wanting it to be different, we will be empowered beyond anything that the world of illusion can ever offer us. Just as Jesus rejected Satan’s temptations of security, sensation and power we will no longer have any use for such trivial and meaningless baubles. We will have ascended to the throne of the kingdom of joy—we will have won the Big Lottery.
___________________________________________________________________For a much more in-depth discussion on Simple Reality, read Simple Reality: The Key to Serenity and Survival, by Roy Charles Henry, published in 2011.