Everything in your life is a choice. What you have created in life is what you have attracted to you, by virtue of your own choosing. The unconscious or ‘unenlightened’ state is one of being unaware of this fact, and believing instead that you are a victim of the world. For many of us, it is difficult to come to terms with the idea that we have chosen all of our suffering. We often feel like victims, and indeed we wonder ‘why on earth would I have chosen that? No one in their right mind would choose that!’ Let me offer an example to help reconcile this paradox. Imagine you are in a car with some friends and you are driving. Your friends tell you to drive faster, and you do. They continue to egg you on to drive faster and you comply. Then, a cop pulls you over. Who gets the ticket? You do. You are the one who pays the consequence (endures the suffering) because you are ultimately the one who’s foot was on the accelerator and thus it was your decision. However there is another point of view that would say that your friends are to blame, because if they had not told you to go faster, you would not have. This is also true, however your friends are not the ones who suffer the consequences. From this perspective, you look more like the victim. There is also a way in which you are both. Yes, you should not have listened to your friends, but your friends should not have been egging you on either. You and your friends co-created the situation, but you did have a choice. In this analogy, your friends are the larger influence of the unconscious world driven by ego. We are here to learn to stand up for our truth and say to our ‘friends’ ‘no – I’m not going to drive faster. This is the speed I want to go, this is my truth.’ It can be very difficult when you friends are yelling in your ear and if you believe your friends are the final authority on everything, i.e. if you believe the power in the world is greater than the power in you, you are very likely to go along. It is only when the consequences start showing up that we begin to learn that we need to stand in our own truth, even if it takes us out of our ‘comfort zone’ at the time. When you learn to do this, it will be uncomfortable for a while, because you will have to withstand the ‘friends’ onslaught while standing by your truth. However, you know that they are not the ultimate authority, and this gives you the strength to do this.
The world (by which I specifically mean the illusionary world which is driven by ego) will try to push you in directions that do not feel right to you, it will try to convince you that it is the ultimate authority and the ultimate reality. It can be very convincing. You could decide to blame the world, as in the above scenario you would blame your friends. You can decide that you are the victim. That decision is not entirely untrue as in the example above, from a certain perspective yes, you are the victim, however that is also the position in which you negate your own power. If you focus on the power the world has over you and decide you are the victim, you give away your own power. At the end of the day, you – your essential, highest self – is the one who has the power. You are the only one who can stand in your truth, you are the only one who can control your perception, your reaction, your inner state. The key is finding your inner knowing, the part of you that is capable of withstanding peer pressure is also the part of you that knows your own truth and knows your own power. It is the part that knows you are the one in control, no matter what the rest of the world is trying to convince you of.
There is a very real way in which the human race is like a teenager who is finally growing up and realizing, “hey, I know who I am, I know what I’m about, I don’t need to give into pressure from others, from the outside world, or from the ego, I do have my own power, within me.” We are waking up from the ‘victim’ mode of being and beginning to find our power, which we had the whole time we just did not realize it. We are like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, who had the power to go home the whole time, she just didn’t realize it. However by the same token, if she had realized it and gone home immediately, she would not have learned the valuable lessons that she needed to – about her own mind, heart, and courage – reflected back to her by her friends the scarecrow, tin man and lion. So, we needed to learn some things, and we found the perfect reflections in each life to learn what we needed to, but we have had the power to enlighten ourselves (go home) the whole time, we are just finally waking up and growing into it.