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Popcorn, Pop and Pure Awareness

By Frank J Kinslow

I love to go to the movies. For a couple of hours I become completely engrossed in what is happening on the screen. When I step into that theatre I leave my everyday life behind. The movie is only a flickering of light and shadow on a screen. But, I get wrapped up in the illusion as if it were real.

The flow of thoughts in our minds, from past to future and future to past, creates the illusion of movement. Watching thought is like watching a movie. The film is a long strip of individual pictures or frames. In a single second 24 still frames will flash on the screen. This is faster than our minds can process and it looks like there is actually motion on the screen. That is pretty amazing. We see motion where there is none. That is the illusion that a movie produces.

The movie projector works on a simple principle. A bright, white light shines through the film and creates a picture on the screen in the front of the theatre. As the audience, we sit contentedly watching as the actors work their magic, forgetting that they are nothing more than light and shadow. We cry and we laugh as if the fantasy were real.

Our life is just like that movie. It unfolds thought-by-thought, minute-by minute, year-by-year. We, the audience, get completely absorbed in the drama of our own movie. We worry over the bills, love the new house, watch the children grow up and think about our own death. Like a movie, our lives are an illusion, a play of light and shadow. Don’t get me wrong. Our lives exist, but not the way we think they do. This mistaken identity is the cause of great human suffering.

Our awareness is like the white light from the movie projector. It is that light of consciousness that shines on our lives, letting us know we are alive. It observes as the people, places, loves and losses come and go. Our awareness is our most important possession. If we lose it we lose everything. The quality of our awareness determines the quality of our lives. Poor quality awareness is like a movie projector with a dim bulb. Dim awareness illumines a tedious world filled with constant struggle.

Activities that waste awareness are overworking, over indulging in alcohol, drugs and food, watching long hours of TV, and labeling and judging people, things and situations. When we squander awareness we eventually get the feeling that something is missing from our lives. We could have riches, fame and loving family and still feel incomplete.

On the other hand, life becomes fresh and full and vitally alive when we care for our awareness. And now, you have to ask, “How do I care for my awareness? That is the most beautiful part of it all. You take care of your awareness by becoming more aware! How simple can that be? You strengthen awareness by using it.

Oh, I hear you, “How do I use my awareness?” Do I have your attention? Well, that’s the answer…pay attention. Pay attention to what you are doing right now. Pay attention to everything. When you see a bird, don’t label it, look at it. Observe its feathers. Watch how the wings move its body through the air. Listen closely to the noise it makes and the noise will become your song. Now pay attention to the wind, the rustling of the paper in your hands, the flow of your breath, the beating of your heart. Pay attention to everything. In the white light of awareness, step off the screen and become the spectator of your own movie-life. Only then will the illusion of life melt before your eyes to be replaced by the rich reality of pure awareness.

Read other articles and learn more about Frank Kinslow.

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