Morpheus: Do you believe in fate Neo?
Morpheus : Why not?
Neo: Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.
This scene from The Matrix is one of my favorites. The choice of reality and whether what we see in front of us in real. The other night my wife and our kids were watching the TV show Awake. This question was asked to one of the characters, ‘Is this real?” My son responds, What is real?
We can say that our daily life is real because we’re the ones going through it. But is it? How do we know it’s real? It’s something we believe, something we must believe. For if it is not real than who/what is controlling our lives? Fate? God? Karma? Or is there something else?
As Morpheus says in The Matrix, “We see only what we want to see.” If we thought there was something more than we’ve been told since birth it might cause a panic. The idea that we’re in control of our lives is my favorite. As a Buddhist I believe that once we die we are reborn until we attain the state of enlightenment to benefit all sentient beings.
Our current life effects our rebirth. Our views, intentions, speech, action, how we attain our livelihood, our will–nothing can be achieved without will–, right mindfulness and concentration. This the Noble Eightfold Path. Noble Eightfold Path describes the way to the end of suffering, as it was laid out by Siddhārtha Gautama. It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing the person from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things.
I don’t believe in fate. I believe that things happen for a reason. We move through our lives for that reason. Some of us choose to do things that are greater, while other choose to do things that fit who they are and what they want out of life. I’ve never wanted to be ordinary. I applied for acting lessons when I lived in San Diego. I looked for representation as well. But they were not there yet. I was turned down for my looks.
When I was 21 I was thin and looked five years younger than my actual age. Agents didn’t like that. I knew if I was cast in anything it would be the geek or something similar. We all have to start somewhere.
My somewhere started eight years later when I began to take my writing serious. I took the initiative, after much prodding from my wife. I knew I wanted to do something other than what everyone else was doing. I wanted to make a difference.
I believe my writing has changed who I am as much as my belief in the Tenets of Buddhism. I no longer feel like a scared little deer in a meadow full of bucks, I’m becoming the buck.
I no longer fear reality, because I’m not sure if this one is real. I’ve read far too many Science Fiction novels to believe we are the only sentient planet. Or that we are in the only dimension.
Our fate, reality and our lives are up to us. If you want to do something, praying for it can only do so much before you have to put forth the effort. The effort makes all the sweat, late nights, morning coffee rituals and trials worth it.
References used for this post:
Four Noble Truths — The Big View
The Eightfold Path — The Big View