Our Life As A Story

I spent this weekend at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.  I saw films I liked, one or two that were lousy, but one film was incredible.  It was called “Working Man.”  We’ll be looking at this film in detail in the Gold Circle program.  It just kept giving and giving.  But I wanted to say something about it that applies to anyone who is reading my blogs and learning how to let go.

Our lives are like stories.  The goal of initiation since inception was to bring our story full circle…no incompletions.  When we learn to do that, everything in our life eventually makes sense.  Sadly, most people compare their life to a Hollywood production.  Hollywood, like most things today, is ruled by people with clone minds.  I invented the term clone mind to describe the condition whereby the false self tries to look like the True Self.  The Hollywood star is always acting. But they do it so well that we don’t know it’s an act. There was actually a film about this at the festival. It portrayed the difficulty of relating to someone who isn’t being themselves. You don’t know when you are talking to a character versus the real person. Sadly, this problem isn’t just confined to professional actors. Lots of people are acting in our world today. They might get what they want from others, but they won’t get free. Now don’t get me wrong. I love actors and Hollywood. A free person can act as a profession, but they won’t forget that they’re acting. They won’t use acting to manipulate others.

In fact, being a clone is the furthest you can be from your True Self.  We’re taught to idolize clones, then we view our life as unimportant and certainly not a good story.  I constantly prove that wrong.  The examples that I use from my own life are simple events that happen to everyone…nothing spectacular.  What turns these mundane experiences into perfect initiation stories is letting go.  Letting go moves us out of the physical perspective (which includes clone attributes like positive thinking or managing our thoughts and most knowledge/expertise) into the True mental perspective.  We go from the false self to the True Self.  That’s the journey that we all intended to take in life according to initiation teachings.

We all start out our life, as well as every chapter of our story, with an event, which in story writing is called an inciting incident.  We associate beliefs with that memory…beliefs that caused the event and conclusions we drew from the event.  We generally hold those beliefs as true simply because we attach them to our past, real-life experience.  We keep illusions alive when we relabel beliefs as true.  Those beliefs keep creating our experience all through life unless we let them go.  The longer we are alive, the more such events we accumulate.  In the illusion, we equate real with true.  That keeps us stuck.

Initiation, i.e., letting go, brings such memories full circle as we let go of the causal beliefs, as well as the false conclusions surrounding the memory.  The past memory loses its emotional charge and our future life changes.  We’re released from the trappings of the past so that we can create freely. We’re no longer stuck on repeat.  So in the end, we see how the inciting incident happened, what it cost us by holding on to the associated false beliefs, and how we got back to where we started as we let go.  No therapeutic techniques can provide this kind of insight into our mind and our life.  Nothing is more satisfying than letting go and seeing memories come full circle.

Letting go is what creates an amazing story because it ties up every lose end. But the art of letting go was lost. No one does it anymore. Stories don’t have real endings anymore. So people die without feeling complete. They often feel major regret at the end of their life. That isn’t natural. Everything in the initiate’s life eventually makes sense.  And, most important, it doesn’t take an incredible plot to gain a standing ovation from the audience.

The original idea of story was that we are born free, unconditionally loving, and true; we fall into the illusion where we are lost and confused, and we escape and get back to freedom, unconditional love, and the truth with initiation.  Initiation was NOT a special club.  It was our birthright.  We returned to what we were initially.  It was an individual game.  People could help you, like I do, but they couldn’t do it for you.  The notion of initiation was basically destroyed by religion and the fall story. That created a collective permanent fall…a curse. We must let that curse go to get free. (We discuss this in depth in the Gold Circle. It’s beyond the scope of this particular article.) In initiation, we must let go of personal and collective beliefs.

The occultists (which includes all religion, New Age, psychology and self-help, progressive politics, and pseudo science) kept initiation away from us normal folks by creating special clubs and elite groups.  At first, they did know the truth, that the fall story was a myth that was about gaining power over others. But over time, they got lost in the illusion too. If you lie to others, you eventually believe your own lies. The occult leaders divided us into classes and castes.  They also made knowledge greater than our natural wisdom.  This wasn’t natural; and so we became emotional.  We got sick and hurt ourselves in accidents; we suffered. Our True Selves are all connected; and we don’t need to learn the truth (we are born knowing it). But in the illusion, our truth is rarely valued. People learned how to fix the effects of this fall problem. But they never removed the cause. So we could never get back to what we were INITIALLY.

We all got lost in the collective illusion; and we’re driven at the core to find our way back to that perfect mental state without leaving our bodies.  We all want Heaven on Earth, but we don’t know how to get it. But notice, I didn’t say that we’re drawn to a heavenly afterlife or a better life next time.  I didn’t say that we’re drawn to greatness, heroism, or the expression of a particular talent.  I didn’t say that we are drawn to God or nirvana.  We aren’t even drawn to world peace.  We want the feeling you get when you unconditionally love others.  We want that with everyone.  And in initiation, you don’t get to change the other people’s minds in order to achieve that end goal.  You only get to change your own mind.  It sounds impossible…I realize that. What I’m suggesting is so far outside normal thinking, even New Age concepts, that people think I must be insane.  I assure you that I’m not.  Letting go is powerful…more powerful than you could ever know. It’s hard to understand that until you do it for awhile.  And you do have to do it for quite awhile to get free. When you start letting go, you realize just how many beliefs you held in mind. You realize how programmed you really were.

Initiation, and the full-circle story, wasn’t designed to be a quick fix or a weekend workshop. It was designed to be the story of your life. If you get done early, then you can just enjoy being a creator.

The film, “Working Man” was about Allery, a small-town guy who worked in the same factory all of his working life.  The details in the film were phenomenal if you’ve ever known any real-live factory guys.  Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I knew a lot of them.  The factory gave meaning to their life.  It provided for their family, which they saw as their role in the family.  Allery had a daily routine.  He carried the stereotypical silver metal lunch pail with a bologna and cheese with mayo sandwich on Wonder Bread.  For dessert, he had one of those powdered-sugar Hostess donuts.  He also had the metal thermos filled with hot coffee.  He walked the same way to work in his freshly pressed uniform.  When he got home, the wife had dinner on the table…usually meat, potatoes, and a canned vegetable.  He went for the same walk every night.  It seems like a boring, meaningless life until you bring it full circle.

Where Allery was in life is completely irrelevant for initiation.  That’s true for all of us. It’s what he does with his mind within that life that counts.  Does he let go at all? In addition, he can let go whenever he wants to let go. You don’t have a time limit on initiation; you just have to be alive and breathing.

Allery, however, is hard wired to hold on to his beliefs like most people are.  His routine and his beliefs are all he knows, and everyone around him shares the same beliefs.  His beliefs are never challenged by other people.  But life challenges Allery’s beliefs; it always does. Initiation is a drive within us. We will push ourselves to let go. Sadly, we often misinterpret difficult experiences as punishment, random events, or bad breaks. But they’re actually a push from our True Self to let go; and if we know how to let go, and we’re willing to let go, we step on the path of initiation for awhile. Allery, and most other people are programmed for learning, not unlearning. Most believe that the only way to change our mind is education.  But that’s not true.  That’s the beauty of initiation; it’s truly equal for all. In fact, the less educated have a bit of an advantage.

The writer, director, and actors of this film did their craft perfectly.  They let the film show us the daily life of Allery, but without too many words; more important, they let us into Allery’s mindset.  Then they created events which pushed Allery to see that his beliefs were false.  He didn’t want to let go…not at all. He fought hard to keep things the same. These events looked horrible to Allery, like punishment; but they caused him to face his biggest inciting incident, and to step out of his normal routine.  Allery had to stand up for himself and others.  He had to expose lies.  Suddenly, Allery started to feel like a man. That’s exactly what happens when we let go. The writer got it right.

It wasn’t actually the factory job that made Allery a man.  That belief was false. It was standing up for the truth, and exposing lies, that made Allery a man.  It wasn’t holding on that fulfilled him, it was letting go.  Allery became a happy man after shedding those false beliefs…not perfect, not walking on water yet, but happier and more content.  He was alive again.  He had the energy to play the earth game for awhile longer. A part of his life came full circle; and it was so endearing to watch. The final scene was him dancing with his wife like they did when they were young.

The movie had minimal drama, no sex, no violence, no superpowers, and no therapists.  There was one ineffective visit from a pastor.  Allery was as common as dirt. But you loved him, and you wanted him to get free of his past. The film had real normal thoughts, no political correctness or superficial conversations.  If was all about the fact that our jobs tend to define us.  But we need to let that go to get free.

For these men, losing their job meant losing their manhood.  But that was their belief, and their belief was false.  It truly was one of the most true-to-life movies I’ve ever seen.  I’ve posted the trailer below.  At this point, it’s just in film festivals.  But I hope it gets distribution.  Many of my friends growing up had Allery for dads, he was also my father-in-law who I liked very much; and I think this movie would be very special for those people.

I have to admit that I was concerned that this film would take some heat in the very liberal-minded group of highly-educated people who attend film festivals.  They tend to judge people like Allery as worthless.  They don’t understand the working man.  But the film seemed to open their hearts.  They gave the director and the lead actor a standing ovation. It proves another point that’s key to initiation.  We stop judging people when we take the opportunity to understand them.  Film can help us do that.  Film can get people to let go.

Technology and too many awards, glamour, and politics have ruined Hollywood.  But hopefully, people will speak up and support films like “Working Man.”  Then Hollywood will come back around full circle too; one day, they will again be about great stories well told…maybe even an initiation story.