Sunday, 22 February 2015

Being Birdman

Like a lot of people, I thought the film Birdman was great. Michael Keaton gave a fantastic performance. I thought the script was quirky and the way it was shot was very cleverly done.

What I wasn't expecting from the film was for it to be intertwined with aspects of spirituality... and blatantly so, too. 

Michael Keaton's dressing room mirror had a little note on it saying, 'A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing', which was exactly what I was getting at in my book The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair. In one scene he goes and gives a critic an intense lecture about how much she and people like her suck. He holds up a rose and says something like, "You have no idea what this is, do you!" 

It felt great to see such clear messages in a Hollywood movie.

Towards the end he says along the lines of, 'I don't even exist. I'm not even here,' (sorry I can't remember it word for word) and then goes on to shoot himself.

(I don't think I've given away too much...)

The reason I'm writing about this is that his realisation that he didn't exist should've been an enlightening experiencing. Only an unsteady mind would go on to try and terminate itself after having such an insight.

The truth of the matter is, in order to know who you are, you - that is, the you who you think you are - has to step aside and cease to be. Your whole personality, with all of its past and achievements, becomes transparent the moment you're truly Being. It sounds daunting and to some it will seem terrifying, but it's nothing but liberating.

I'm speaking from experience here. The thing is with me, I keep coming back and playing the role of Gavin Whyte. 

Why, if it's so liberating, do I keep coming back to the little me who I think I am? 

Because it's a habit.

It's the biggest habit I have and I'm forever going back and forth, back and forth, in and out of the game.

But I'm telling you, the moment you see through this habit of thinking that you know who you are, and playing the role that everybody knows and loves; when you become one without an identity, when you see that you are the silent witness, you will know in an instant who the real you is and you will be transformed. 

A glimmer of light will have got in and you will not be able to turn your back on it from then on.

No drastic change in your external life has to happen, although, I bet you will be drawn to reading spiritual books and texts, and begin practicing meditation or other techniques that allow you to go within.

Not knowing who you are sounds scary to the habitual you because it feels like it needs it to survive in the world. But it doesn't. You will at once step back and see through the illusory you and see through all of that with which you once identified with. 

You may laugh. You may cry with joy. You will at once be finally in love.

You will not put a gun to your head because you'll know that suicide is the ultimate waste of time. You will know that you're not your body, so destroying it isn't going to do a thing apart from get you a new ride. You will know this. It will all become clear.

Don't go looking for that which you are... look at what you're not. 

Tick things off the list, one by one.

You will come to the conclusion that anything that you're aware of is not you.

Birdman has the subtitle The Unexpected Virtues of Ignorance. It points to the life we have lived for millenia. It's amazing to see what we have accomplished through not knowing. But our ignorance is still with us, causing us stress, depression, doubt, grief and fear. Only when our ignorance is diminished will we truly begin to see The Unexpected Virtues of Being, and our fear and the rest of our burdens will be lifted.

(Go and see Birdman... it's a treat).

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