Barinov Design
Visual Identity Design // Paris, France

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Guest Post: PINK SHACKLES OF REALITY

The following is a guest post by Maya Benten

Have you ever had an experience when, for example, out of nowhere the thought of going to New Zealand pops into your head and then suddenly that same day you meet people from New Zealand? You check your mail and there is a brochure about New Zealand. You turn on the TV and there is a movie that takes place in New Zealand. Have you ever experienced something like that in your life? I am pretty sure you have. This many coincidences are hard not to notice. Even if your mind tries really hard to come up with a perfect explanation for every single serendipity, don’t you feel like there is more to these coincidences than meets the eye? The universe is speaking to us.

The sad thing is that almost everyone is told that they cannot fully grasp this life and the workings of the universe. Even the smartest individuals throughout history like Socrates said: “I know now that I know nothing”. And if that is the case, then what is left for us mere mortals? Not much. So we just give up trying to understand anything. We think to ourselves: “Who am I to question this existence? I am just “little me”, who struggles to pay rent. Never, in a million years, will I solve this puzzle. It’s futile. I am just “little me” and my abilities are limited”. By thinking like that you lock yourself in a prison because there is a correlation between your thoughts and the things that happen in your life. And when you put yourself in that kind of prison you stop actively participating in your life and your fate.

So there you are, locked inside your little prison, with no power whatsoever to make any changes because you have given up. You have handed your power over to your parents, peers, the TV shows you watch... Everything around you begins to dictate what is real, and you have no say in it because you are just “little you”. So you live your small life, not really happy but somewhat comfortable. On some level you know that something is very wrong with living like this but you don’t question it because people around seem to know what’s going on, so it must be how it is. And this blissful ignorance has its own perks. It is as if you are in a Gulag (Soviet Union labor colony) sharing a floor with a dozen of other tortured prisoners but you think to yourself: “Hey, at least, I don’t need to worry about my house getting repossessed!” You’re fed a little piece of bread but you think: “Hey, at least, I don’t have to leave a tip.” You wear shackles but: “Hey, they are pink! My favorite color!” And don’t get me wrong, I am all for being positive and grateful but sometimes it is vital to be brutally honest with yourself because eventually you will be forced to look at reality anyway. And if you don’t create your own reality, then someone else will.

However what is reality? Is there a definite reality for all? Is the reality of a starving child in Africa the most real thing in the world? Or maybe the reality of Paris Hilton’s life is the real thing? Well, it is all real because it all exists. We can not judge from the moral point of view, what is good and what is bad. It just is. There are seven billion people and all have their own realities - some are similar, some are completely different, but equally real. 

As the mystical teacher Dr. Michael Joseph Levry said: “The problem you are having right now is the solution to a much bigger problem you are not aware of.” So no matter what reality you find yourself in, you have to shape it, instead of letting external circumstances determine it. Because what Socrates meant is not that we should give up trying to know things. Instead he said that there are so many things to know that even when we dedicate our whole life to knowledge, we will still have unanswered questions. But that idea never held back Socrates himself from seeking answers. There are plenty of questions for everyone. So instead of mindlessly floating through life, we need to seek knowledge of ourselves, so we can command our destiny. Because it is by being active creators of our own fate that we create the fate of our bigger collective reality. 

So go on and look closely at your life in the present moment... You might find a hidden treasure.