Living In the Movie of Life
Living in the Movie of Life
By Colin E. Davis
(An edited version of the chapter called Living in the Movie in the paperback edition of Shadow Tech)
Living In The Movie is an analogy similar to Plato’s metaphor of the cave, that describes a way of perceiving reality that mirrors the way a movie is created, projected and viewed. By waking up to the movie-like nature of reality, we gain the opportunity to get involved in the previously unconscious scripting of our lives and become directors rather than just viewers or characters in our movies of life.
Imagine a scenario where moviegoers visit a theater and sit down in their seats. They make themselves comfortable as the movie is played for their entertainment. If the movie is really good, with a compelling story and excellent production, the viewers may lose themselves in the movie. The movie can literally take over their consciousness. After the movie is over they may walk out a bit disoriented, remembering the significant events in the film that really compelled them. A great movie is transparent and allows the viewer to project themselves into the characters and scenes.
In a similar fashion, in real life, most of the time we are living “through" the events of life which seem happen “to" us like in a movie. We are more or less entranced by the movie of life and generally do not seek to understand its mechanics. Therefore we have little control. But a few of us do seek to gain movie making knowledge.
In this movie projection analogy, we might imagine turning around, looking back to the rear of the theater and seeing a beam of light coming from the projector room. Then we are able to see that the movie on the screen is actually a projection and that the source is in the projector room, not on the screen itself.
What if we chose to get out of our seats and go explore the projector room? We would find an amazing piece of technology, the projector, as the source of the movie we were watching. We would see all the other movie viewers down below, entranced in their seats, immobilized by the power of the projection. We would then see the encoded film running through the projector and on the shelves, reels of program material.
In this analogy, the projector’s light is consciousness itself, the projector is the human body, the film emulsion where the movie program is encoded is our state of mind and reality is the reflection of the movie screen. We are each born with certain intrinsic characteristics, meaning we are born into a movie of reality, but like a film in the process of being made, we are continually “exposed" and “developed”. The light sensitive emulsion on the film (read: emotion) becomes solid and then when the light of consciousness projects through the film, what we perceive is completely filtered by the way we have been exposed.
Just like moviegoers we alternate back and forth between watching the movie of life and falling into it, becoming the characters. There are three stages of perception that we go through. The first is when we believe we are movie characters. I “am” a fireman or a ballerina dancer (persona based experience). Then there is the stage of recognizing that we are not the roles we play in society and that we can play different roles. And then there is the stage of recognizing that we are projecting this reality, playing characters, interfacing with other characters according to pre-determined “scripting’, and that we actually have the power to re-write the scripts that are playing out. That is the director level, but we have to go to director school to master this stage. This is what The Matrix was all about. That is what 21st century alchemy is about.
Carl Jung recognized that myths are meta scripts that we live through. We impersonate the characters in the myths. They are fictional personifications of our roles in society, but even more than that, they are energetic patterns or scripts that themselves live through us. The gods “have” us.
When we understand that our life as we know it is the direct function of our internal state and scripting, we can then take 100% responsibility for everything that happens to us. This is especially important in terms of the things that negatively charge us. Taking responsibility for the scenes and elements that appear in our movies definitely includes those things that invoke fear, anger, annoyance, grief, sorrow and the like.
A analogy that is similar is Paul Levy’s analogy that he calls Awakening in the Dream. It’s a similar metaphor that explores the relationship between our internal state and our outer reality in alignment with dream symbolism.
When we do dream analysis, we try to interpret events and objects which appear in our dreams as symbolism that have a direct link to our personal psyche and to the collective consciousness of mankind. Dream analysis is an effective way of understanding the internal dynamics of our psyches. And when we interpret the things that appear in our movies as though they are symbols which we can interpret for successful navigation, we come even closer to the level of responsibility that we need to have in order to really direct our movies. Always asking “What does this mean”, was something I was taught to ask by my father after a great film, and now, as I understand the nature of my reality to be similar to a projected film, asking this question has become a continuing mantra that I meditate upon when doing this very fruitful waking-life dream analysis.
With all this being said, we don’t want to have to process and analyze everything that happens in our movies of life, but if we can live in a flowing way, in a way that feels right to us, even if we have to face challenges, we can face them with courage and with a certain faith that we have to power to meet those challenges. Then we are in a movie of our choice. And so importantly, if we can be free of the unnerving scenes that keep appearing in our movies, if we can be free of the negative cycles that repeat over and over, then we are really in a movie of our choice. and in fact, we would then be the directors of our movies!
These metaphors are clever, but can they really apply to our lives? Yes! Melissa and I live this way every day, and by doing so, we have access to our deepest coding and are able to stop destructive cycles and to read our outer lives as an accurate oracle for guidance. When we live in this way, our lives take on a new dimension, an artistic dimension that flows and is deeply meaningful. Living in the old way, where we are subject to the winds of change, victims of circumstances, is not empowering and does not lead to very much growth. Living in this way and knowing that all significant events can be traced back into our psyches is deeply instructive.
Here is an example of how aspects of my own life which would normally be referred to as chance are actually my own creation. In my own inner work, I discovered that some of my primary destructive coding was related to what I call the victim/victor code and is caused by emotional abandonment. As I was coming into this understanding two of my neighbor tenants moved out and new ones moved in. These two men,were each suffering from deep emotional wounds. I learned about their history over time and they revealed to me what they had been dealing with. As I talked with them more I came to find out that they saw themselves as victims, and in fact they each had specific circumstances play out in their lives when they were young that were act of aggression upon helpless children. They were truly victimized.
I befriended these two, doing my best to give guidance when they asked for it and trying to help them. Only after I really got into my own code of victimization did I realize that these men were aspects of me, they were showing me what the code I was running looked like when it was fully engaged. In my case, I was repressing my victim code, I was not wanting to see it for many years. It was the way I felt as a child in my early life but when I grew up and developed my own sovereignty, I repressed those old feelings and didnt allow them to surface. They directed my life in so many ways, and my movie of life continually showed me the scenes that this film or code was the source of. If I look back, I can see how so many of the people in my life were running the same code and how I always wanted to help them. I believd that my outer reality was truly separate and that acting on them was an act of giving. In fact, my helping of others was in one way opening up my heart or my ‘out channel’, but in another way it was a futile act because the giving I was doing was partially caused by my deep need to be healed myself, and I was not directing that care inwards.
When two new neighbors showed up, I was just at that time able to see my life as a projection. And as Melissa and I really started to go deep into our emotional wounds, we noticed things change outwardly. On neighbor moved out suddenly and the other died. He literally died next door, and that is itself a story for another time. Then as we began to come into the understanding of acceptance, the ‘in channel’, that allows self love, a new neighbor moved in. He was a plumber who was there to work on the building’s plumbing which was blocked, yet another metaphor. At the same time I received a metal coin at a party that had the words “go with the flow” imprinted on it. We pondered the meaning. We eventually realized that the plumber, who himself led a very flowing and self accepting life, was a teacher for us. And the blocked plumbing was later found to be caused by an ‘underground leak’, meaning repressed emotions. We learned from him and the circumstances and deepened our awareness of acceptance. He then moved out and a very neutral neighbor moved in who is rarely there. The other tenant was replaced with a successful contractor who is a fine home builder. He calls his business ‘artisan’. I see the shifting of the people around me as the outer reflecting of the shifting of my own inner state and the moving of deep emotional energy which has been the film through which my consciousness projects.
We call this way of living Life Art. It is engaging in life as an artist engages his or her own work. Our lives are masterpieces of art and we are all creating our life art in every moment, only we usually dont know it. Becoming aware of how our inner state creates our movies of life allows us to change anything in our lives by changing our inner state alone. The story above is one of countless stories I could relate where one of us has witnessed a change in our outer movies of life as the direct result of inner work we have been doing. Slowly but surely we are sourcing our own code, the film we are each running, and studying it for elements we wish to change. By first illuminating the source energy, then integrating or accepting what is, we are then able to move into the recreation process which is simply a matter of intent, but that intent is effective because the blocked energy which was keeping us back has been transformed, thus our life art is created.
These metaphors are an artistic creation in themselves and can be used just as a viewer of art uses the art as a filter to see themselves through. Art changes us by adding something to our perceptual filters. Art changes us on the deepest levels and by creating and admiring art we enhance our lives. Living in the movie is life art which enhances our lives in a very meaningful way. It has aesthetic and practical application. It not only sounds good but it works if we allow it to. There is nothing to be proved, only art to be lived.