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34. The Dude's Not a Wizard, but Magic Happens

Image by ImaArtist
Take the Lord of the Rings.
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If I were to ask you what Gandalf looked like, you'd probably have an image in your head of a long-haired Dude, sporting a white beard, and wearing a pointy hat.
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Where do we get that idea from?
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The books and the movies.
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And they're good right?
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Well, you might not be into all this fantasy stuff but for the point I am making it doesn't really matter.
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So, here's the point...
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Gandalf is not Real

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Yes, and?
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Well, when we are reading a book or watching a movie it feels real.  If we didn't believe in what was happening, we wouldn't care about the characters, and we wouldn't be invested in it.  So, we wouldn't continue to read the book or watch the movie.
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And sometimes, when we have read a book and then see a movie of it, if the characters don't match our expectations of how they look, then it can take a while to adjust to that.
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But Gandalf is fairly easy - a generic wizard type.
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Imagine that you're at the cinema watching a movie with Gandalf in it.  If the movie has been done well, then you feel whatever the wizard feels; hope, desperation, compulsion, need, anger, and so on.
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Ever asked yourself why that is?
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Let's take this up a level.
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Sometimes the Werewolf Eats You and Sometimes You Eat the Werewolf

an american werewolf in london
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The above image is from the 1980s classic horror movie An American Werewolf in London.  If you aren't familiar with it you can click the image to be taken to a description.  
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The above guys stumble from the path on a misty moor to then be scared witless by the sound of a huge wolf howling.  And moments later, they get attacked.
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Now, I loved this movie.  And sure it was scary in places.  Edge of the seat stuff.
And now I get to the point I want to make...
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I'm sitting there watching a movie, knowing it is only a movie, knowing werewolves aren't real, and knowing that these are just actors playing their parts.
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And yet, my pulse would have been getting faster.  I would have been generally anxious about what happens next.  Wanting to see them get attacked while at the same time not wanting to and so on.
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It's Just a Movie, Lebowski!

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Yes, it's just a movie, but we are captivated by it.  We believe what we are seeing so much that it affects us emotionally, physically, and mentally.  And that's what movies do, and also good books.
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But why, when they are not real?
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Answer - because our subconscious cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality.  It believes what it is seeing.
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Back to Gandalf...
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We engage with his quest.  We see the difficulty in it and wish against all odds that he can overcome whatever trials will beset him.  We feel for the other characters, and we take their side in whatever battle they are struggling through.  
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And during those moments, we are living that fantasy with them.
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So, here's the rub.  Here's what all this is about...
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Your belief in your own individual self is also a fantasy.
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And like a movie, whatever you think that you are going through right now, you engage with it, you invest in it, and you believe it.
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Your own personal character, in the movie of your life.  Full of strikes and gutters, good shit and bad, love and loss, hatred and desire, and the list goes on.
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And you believe in it.
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But your "you" is a character in the same way Gandalf is.  
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How can you see through its fantasy if you believe that it is real?
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Firstly, by being made aware of it.  Secondly, by questioning it.  
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You are not your "self", you are what is observing this self.
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You are the one who is watching the movie play out, but you have lived your life thinking that you are in the movie.
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What the Hell Does All This Mean?

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It means that the problems that you think you have are no more real than those that Gandalf has.
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It means that the journey that you think you are going through in life, you know, the one that has to have meaning, the one that has karma attached to it and is on its way to its destiny, this is also a fantasy.
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The bad times, the good times, the poor you, the great you, the down-on-your-luck you, the golden-days you... all a fantasy.
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You are the silent watcher.  
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You are the awareness through which the bad times or good are appearing.  But unlike a movie, the watcher is untouched.
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And this watcher, is the Dude.  And once this lie of self-belief has been seen through, a kind of magic occurs.
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And in blog post 36, we are going to look at this in more detail.  We are going to look at how to question this fantasy, so that you don't have to take my word for it, but can begin to see it for yourself.  And we will begin to unravel how a natural magic weaves its way through your life when your self has got out of the way - aka The Dude Way (wu wei).
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Peace and love Dudes, peace and love.
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The Reverend Thomo

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