You’re driving to a party in your car. You pull up to the spot – an attendant greets you warmly:
“Name? … Ah, Yes! You’re VIP. We’ll valet your car for you. If you follow me we can avoid this long line. Here’s a bottle of water. And please, let me take your coat. Your friends are waiting!”
“Awesome, thanks.” … you reply.
This is amazing. You actually need to use the restroom… the sooner the better.
You follow the attendant to a side door leading to a small entry room, with a couch and extravagant art on the walls. Immediately you hear the low bass of longue music and party chatter in the next room over. The anticipation of a great night inches toward crescendo.
“Have a seat, I’ll be right back with your security bracelet”.
You sit as the attendant steps away. You text your friends.
“Just landed! Waiting for my security bracelet”.
“What security bracelet?” … replies a friend.
You fly off the couch and barge through the door the attendant walked through. It leads to an exit – no attendant in sight. You run to the room with longue music, and as you enter, find a chair with a speaker on it, aimed at the wall, playing the bass and party chatter you were hearing. Just a trick. You run back to the street where you were greeted. The line of people you thought you were skipping leads to a bank of elevators, to the 40th floor banquet hall, where the actual party is taking place.
I hope this next part hits like a stick of dynamite.
(If not now, the fuse may just need time to burn…)
Life is this party. Right now, you are in the phony entry room, waiting for your security bracelet, and you don’t yet realize the attendant is a con. The “attendant” represents your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, distorting and motivating nearly every waking minute of your experience. Further, there is zero chance you have not been absorbed in this illusion – this is a default position, until we are lucky enough to pull a thread of inquiry. Even worse, the first few times we suspect something may be off, and snoop for answers, something distracts us. We are compelled back to the couch… passively waiting for a bracelet that doesn’t exist. The real party, is objective reality.
“OK. Cute story, but this metaphor makes no sense…”
Who said that? You, or your inner attendant? 🙂
Put the story aside. Hold the premise of illusion in mind.