Close your eyes and imagine yourself to be a character inside the video game of life…
A character with a body, thoughts, emotions, relationships, businesses, bank accounts, worries, desires, aims, fears, doubts, problems, taxes, and dreams.
Now continue the visualization and imagine yourself to also be the player OUTSIDE the video game of life…
A player holding the remote control which guides and observes your character inside the video game.
Open your eyes now and realize:
This isn’t a “nice little visualization” exercise.
This is the truth of what’s really going on according to advanced mystics, spiritual gurus, and enlightened beings.
But before you use your character’s conditioned mind to label this as ‘woo-woo nonsense’, the good news is this isn’t something you have to take my or their word for…
(That would be NO FUN!)
Instead, we can do a simple exercise to prove this.
The Witnessing Exercise: Getting In Touch With The Player Inside You
Step 1 – Take Note Of Whatever You’re Doing Or Feeling Right Now
Maybe you’re actively reading this newsletter. Maybe you’re lost in thought. Maybe you’re thinking about all the shit you got to do. Maybe you’re wondering if what you’re reading is the truth or woo-woo nonsense. Maybe you’re thinking about the fight you had with your girl last night.
I don’t know. I don’t care (unless you really were stressing about a fight you had last night… in that case… hope all is well bruh).
Simply come back to your experience.
Step 2 – Are You Aware Right Now?
This is the second question to ask yourself. It sounds like a dumb question because the only way you can notice what you’re doing and feeling right now is because you’re aware of it.
(In other words… there’s a part of you that is doing x and there’s another part that is watching you do x.)
If you weren’t aware of reading this newsletter, for example, then you wouldn’t even know you’re reading this newsletter.
But that’s not the case.
You’re aware of what you’re doing and experiencing – are you not? From the thoughts inside your brain to the emotions you’re feeling to the worries to the frustrations to the sensations in your body and everything in between.
[Normally this is collapsed into one and we don’t notice that there’s experience and awareness of experience, but right now we are ‘separating’ the two to bring attention to this.]
Step 3 – Who Is Aware?
To this question, you may say:
“I am aware…”
But what do you mean when you say I?
Most people, you see, associate this ‘I’ with the character they see in the mirror, but is this the real I?
I don’t know. All we can do is investigate, so let’s continue the investigation with the following question.
Step 4 – Has This ‘I’ That Is ‘Aware’ Changed Throughout Your Life Or Remained The Same?
If you sincerely sit with this question, you’ll realize that although the character that you are has changed and keeps changing (baby → toddler → child → teen → adult) and the contents your character experiences have changed and keep changing (new experiences, setbacks, wins, losses, trials, tribulations, new relationships, loss of old relationships, whatever)… the ‘background’ aka part that is aware of all these changes has not changed, but simply remained the same.
This isn’t something you have to blindly trust.
Simply look into your own experience:
Do you notice that regardless of what body you had (a teens or an adult’s body) or what experiences you’ve gone through (highs or lows) or what age you’ve been (16 or 67)… the underlying sense of you has stayed the same?
Do you also notice that in order to perceive change, you have to be in touch with a part that hasn’t changed? Otherwise if everything was changing, you wouldn’t have any ground to stand on to measure and notice the changes?
With the above understood, we can use this ‘logic’ to conclude that the “I” that is aware is NOT the familiar I of the character that you take yourself to be for the character is changing all the time.
The “I” is a deeper part that is changeless.
I personally call this self-aware ‘I’ the ‘PLAYER’. Other people call it: Awareness, The Witness, God Consciousness, Being, Presence, Essence, Life.
Call it whatever you want. These are all just fancy names, so no need to get caught up in terminology. We want to go a few steps deeper and conclude what exactly does all this mean (practically speaking).
So the next question is…
Step 5 – Where Is This Awareness Located?
After you’ve defined the part of you that is aware to be changeless and the real player, the next question is:
Where is this player/awareness/witness located?
And to this question, we can’t really say because this awareness is not really a thing that is located in time/space. It’s sort of everywhere and nowhere. Simultaneously.
[Some scientists argue that ‘awareness’ is in the brain, but mystics have long laughed at this stating that the brain is IN awareness, awareness is NOT in the brain and now it looks like some scientists are slowly, but surely catching on]
This, in return, is why I call it “The Player” because it’s outside the time/space of the video game of life.
Just like when you play a video game, you’re holding the remote control OUTSIDE the game – same is happening here. The Awareness doesn’t belong to this world. You can say it is in the world (kind of), but is not of this world.
Step 6 – What Exactly Does All This Tell Us (Practically Speaking)?
It tells us a few things.
#1) You Are Both The PLAYER And The CHARACTER In The Video Game Of Life – The character lives life. The awareness watches the character live life. The character is fallible, but the player is indestructible. The player is who you truly are and have always been. Meanwhile, the character is just a temporary ‘avatar’ the player is using to experience this life through. This doesn’t mean the character isn’t important, it just means the character isn’t all there is to you.
#2) All Problems, Worries, Fears, Limitations, Stressors, And Traumas Belong To The Character – NOT The Player. All problems are character problems. You (the Player) have no problems. All fears are character fears. You (the Player) have no fears. All limitations are character worries. You (the Player) have no worries.
And again we can use the video game analogy to prove this… if you’re playing GTA with a character who is shooting people, punching prostitutes, and running away from the police… Do all these problems belong to you in ‘real life’ (the one that is aware of the GTA character and all that he’s going through) or do they belong to the character inside the video game?
Obviously the latter – right? Same applies here.
Although the awareness/Player is ‘aware’ of all the character’s problems, issues, limitations, and stressors (including the eventual death of the character) – it is not touched by any of these and is free from them all.
This is why spiritual masters kindly poke fun at man.
They tell him to recognize his true nature (the Player) and become free, but man is SO ABSORBED in his character that he thinks that’s all there is to him, so he takes on all those character problems and walks around with a forehead in knots.
[This is like taking on the problems of the GTA character in real life and walking around with stress over getting arrested by the police for taking them on a car chase/shootout]
It’s quite funny when you see it through this perspective, but obviously when you’re going through it…
It fucking sucks (because the character is who you falsely think you fundamentally are).
So continuing on…
#3) The Player Is Always With The Character (And Never Abandons Him/Her) – The character cannot be without the Player. This is reassuring for many characters (who take themselves to be solely the ego/character/personality) because ‘Awareness’ or the ‘Player’ is often classified as ‘God’ in various religious texts.
This means that no matter what your character is going through in the video game of life (cancer, heartbreak, business failure, extreme evil), Awareness/God/True Nature/Being/Player is always with you (because you cannot experience x event without Awareness).
More you move deeper into your real self (the Player), the more you get to experience the peace, bliss, compassion, joy, strength that is always intrinsic to the Player/Consciousness/God.
[IMO: This is what people who say: “I feel the Presence of God to be with me” are really meaning]
More you move deeper into the character, the more stress, worry, anxiety, fear you may feel due to your character’s circumstances (and the demands/pressures of the world).
Regardless, it doesn’t really matter because “The light of God surrounds you, the love of God enfolds you, the power of God flows through you. Wherever you are, God is, and all is well.”
[Fun Fact: God cannot ‘abandon’ the character, but the character can forget about the ‘Player’ and feel ‘abandoned’ – this is the current state of a lot of characters]
Despite all this…
#4) This Player Is Not A God In The Sky (In My Humble Opinion). The Player Is The Real You (Awareness). The part that was never born and never dies (in the truest sense – not you as in the ego you/character you).
There’s only ONE PLAYER [God] outside time/space giving rise to all the CHARACTERS inside the video game of life.
The one player is your ‘True Nature’ (everything that exists in the video game of life shares the same nature)
#5) At The End Of The Video Game Of Life, You’ll Realize You Were Not Only The Character Inside The Video Game, But Also The Player Outside The Video Game With The Controller In Your Hands. How You ‘Played Yourself’ Was Entirely Up To You.
What is death?
The cessation of the character (it was always temporary, but YOU as in the ONE PLAYER are eternal/forever).
What does the cessation of the character involve?
Complete end to all the character’s worries, stressors, limitations, fears, problems, traumas.
What can the complete end of the character’s circumstances bring about?
A recognition of the Player.
What does the recognition of the Player lead to?
A realization of how you were always the Player and how you played yourself (the character) was entirely up to you.
Quick break: Let’s take a breath to let this all digest. Quite a bit is unfolding here. Deep breath on 3.
Okay back to it…
Now that you’ve completed this exercise and have come away with the practical nitty gritty details, the next question you’re probably thinking is:
I Understand I’m The Player (Awareness) And How Incredibly Freeing This Is, But My Character Still Has Worldly Problems And Goals… What Am I Supposed To Do?
This is as it should be and you’re not ‘supposed’ to do anything. But what you can choose to do is recognize that you’re not just the character – you are also the Player…
… and more specifically:
All that the character seeks from the video game of life and needs to better play/beat the video game of life actually comes from the Player (not the world/video game).
This is a huge insight, so please reread it: All that you need to better play/beat the video game of life actually comes from the Player (not the world/video game).
In other words:
- Guidance for how to live comes from the Player
- Intuition of what is right for you comes from the Player
- Knowing of the truth comes from the Player
- Authentic expression comes from the Player
- Truth of yourself comes from the Player
- Fearlessness comes from the Player
- Strength comes from the Player
- Gratitude comes from the Player
- Intelligence comes from the Player
- Discernment comes from the Player
- Creativity comes from the Player [Read Rick Rubin’s latest book on creativity to see this clear as day]
- Joy comes from the Player
- Reverence comes from the Player
- Action comes from the Player
- Support comes from the Player
- Trust comes from the Player
- Will comes from the Player
- Power comes from the Player
- Compassion comes from the Player
- Love comes from the Player
- Ease and delight comes from the Player
- Peace comes from the Player
- Confidence comes from the Player
- And so on and so forth…
(All the above are qualities and capacities of the Player)
1. Everything that you seek already exists inside you. The ‘world’ has nothing to offer you – meaning it cannot give you anything because all that you think it gives you actually comes from the Player – not the world.
Quick example(s) to illustrate this:
If you fall in love today and start experiencing an ocean full of love – where did the ocean full of love come from?
Did the person you fell in love with open up your heart and start pouring love inside or was that ocean full of love always there (intrinsic to the Player, but cutoff from your character’s direct experience) and now became ‘activated’ aka you received permission to experience it? Obviously the latter.
Same with money. When somebody is broke, they usually feel powerless. When they get rich, they start walking around with more swagger, confidence, and power. Where does this swagger, confidence, power come from? Did the money open up their head center and pour it in or was it always intrinsic to them, but now they feel they have the permission to walk around and experience their swagger, confidence, power? Obviously the latter.
This shows us that there’s a lot of power inside you (intrinsic to the Player) that you’re not currently tapping into because you’re lost in the life of the character/waiting for permission slips.
2. The real you is truly powerful beyond measure (not in a cheesy motivational quote way, but in a real way).
So with that noted, the easiest, fastest, most effective way to actually assist your character in overcoming his problems and reach his goals is by ‘playing’ the character from the real you (the part that is outside the video game and already peaceful, loving, joyful, powerful, strong, willful, and compassionate) – instead of getting lost in identifying strictly with the limited character (and all his goals/problems/issues).
This is the case because: When you take yourself to be fundamentally the character, you become limited and lose power because you’re not only disconnected from your true depths (source of your character’s power), but because:
You’re operating at the surface level and identified strictly (aka taking yourself to be) with your character and his/her thoughts, emotions, preferences, likes, dislikes.
[Such is why meditation is so important. It’s designed to show you that ‘you’ are not the thoughts, emotions, preferences, but the backdrop in which all these occur in]
If your character is feeling good and wants to do x action that is beneficial, you do it. But if your character isn’t feeling good and doesn’t want to do x action, you don’t do it.
Moreover, when your character is feeling lazy, fear, anger, frustration, agony, despair, doubt, and uncertainty…
You give into it. Taking it to be who you are.
BIG problem with all this?
The character that you take yourself to be is a product of conditioning – built by society. This product was always meant to survive at the expense of thriving.
(Reread that again.)
If the character is all you know, you’ll forever be acting in accordance with the programming of society…
… and will continue surviving (leading a mediocre life of quiet desperation), but never will live the life you’re capable of living: a life full of thriving.
Such is the bitter reality for the majority of the population and the path I was personally headed down until I realized:
If I let my character pull my strings (unconsciously), I get ‘safety’ and ‘mediocrity.’ If I pull the strings on my character (by acting from the seat of the Player), I get ‘adventure’ and ‘possibility.’
Completely different life experiences based on…
Where I’m coming from and who I’m taking myself to be.
[Pro Tip: Where you’re coming from is just as important as where you’re going. Majority only focus on where they want to go, but completely neglect where they’re meeting the moment from. This is a huge mistake because where you’re coming from determines what you have access to. If you come from the character, you only have access to the character’s personality traits. If you come from the Player, you have access to all the qualities and capacities intrinsic to the Player as needed]
99% of people (unconsciously) come from their conditioned character and they suffer the consequences: Lifeless, divorced, broke, obese, depressed, diabetic, miserable.
A few meet the moments of their life (relationships, business building, every day and critical life events) from the Player (consciously) and experience a life of: Joy, love, power, compassion, ease, peace, wellbeing, freedom, and confidence.
SOOOO with all that stated:
If you truly want to live an epic existence:
Come from the Player, not the character. In other words: Play the character. Don’t let the character play you.
Question now becomes…
How exactly do you do this?
In other words:
How Exactly Did I Turn Myself Into A GTA Character (And How Did It Change My Life?)
Let’s cover that now, but first: The title is a lie. I didn’t turn myself into a GTA character. I was always the GTA character. What I recognized and turned myself into was the ‘PLAYER’ and from here I learned to better ‘play’ the character.
By following the thread that was running all throughout my life which told me “something was off”. I don’t know about you, but from the jump I felt like I was missing something. My perception of life wasn’t all there was to you and I. Something was wrong. Long story short, I eventually found what that something was and it was the recognition of the Player.
By getting in touch with it, I felt a deep ‘returning home’. This, in return, opened up a second layer to my life.
On one end I was the programmed character (full of thoughts, emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, preferences)…
On a deeper level I was the player watching the character live…
The player was who I truly am and by tapping into it, I could start meeting the moment from this deeper place…
… and unlock a whole new life experience.
So, how exactly did I learn to come from the player and pull the strings on my character (like a video game character) instead of having the character run me?
Through the Awareness Practice.
Let’s dive into that now.
The Awareness Practice: How To Make The Switch From Character To Player
The awareness practice is similar to the witnessing exercise we did earlier because it’s designed to subtly separate the experience of x from the awareness of the experience of x.
Again, we normally don’t recognize the two because they’re collapsed into one and occur simultaneously.
But through the awareness practice, we want to shed more light on the part that is outside the video game of life (who and what we truly are). So we do that by simply being aware of the life you’re living as you’re living your life (as much as possible).
If your character is walking down the street, be aware of the experience of being a character that is walking down the street.
If your character is talking to a loved one, be aware of the experience of being a character that is talking to a loved one.
If your character is building a business, be aware of the experience of being a character that is building a business.
If your character is thinking fearful thoughts, be aware of the experience of being a character that is thinking fearful thoughts.
If your character is trying to sabotage you with destructive behavior, be aware of the experience of being a character that is trying to sabotage you with destructive behavior.
This awareness isn’t something you have to do [if you had to create this awareness, then all this would be bullshit. But this awareness already exists as we proved earlier].
It’s already the case. Happening 24/7.
You just simply become aware of the awareness that is always watching your character live life.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
If it helps, you can even label it verbally in the early days:
“I am aware of Tej writing this email right now.”
“I am aware that Tej is thinking about the event he has at 9am and is wondering if he’ll be able to finish this newsletter in time.”
“I am aware of Tej’s stomach which is growling with hunger.”
This will slowly, but surely separate the experience from the awareness of the experience and put you back in touch with:
As this switch happens, you’ll start to experience the ‘juice’ intrinsic to Awareness and can slowly, but surely start to ‘play the character’ from the seat of Awareness and choose the most optimal behaviors, thoughts, emotions, words, actions for it to take to beat the video game of life [deep down inside you already know everything you need to do to beat the video game of life because this knowledge is intrinsic to the Player. Only issue up till now is you’ve been identified strictly with the character and allowing it to control your life].
Now you’re using your mind, heart, body in service of the Player instead of being run by these mechanisms unconsciously and on autopilot (to the detriment of the Player).
[In addition to the awareness practice, I also recommend 30 minutes of awareness meditation a day. Simply close your eyes and notice all that is arising inside you. Thoughts, emotions, sensations, worries, fears, whatever. Over time you’ll be able to separate the one that notices x from the experience of x and get in touch with the deeper player inside you.]
“Okay, but what’s the significance of all this… how exactly will it change your life?”
The same way your life changes when you’re ‘playing’ a video game. No longer will you be limited to your character’s programming.
Instead, you’ll experience the following benefits like I did:
Benefit #1. You’ll become aware of how you were previously sleepwalking through life. I wasn’t living life consciously. I was simply acting out my conditioned programming. It’s no wonder that every new year always tasted like the prior year.
[When you’re sleepwalking through life, the future cannot help but repeat the past because the unconscious inputs remain the same and inputs = outputs. It’s only after you become aware of how you’re playing yourself that you can consciously start to change the inputs and pull your characters strings instead of letting it run you on autopilot].
Benefit #2. You’ll start tapping into the Player and experiencing the juice intrinsic to it (independent of the world). The deeper you fall into yourself, the more you start to experience the gifts intrinsic to your nature (regardless of what you’re experiencing in the video game of life. The Player that you truly are is very amazing and profound – inherent to it is many qualities and capacities that are indestructible)
Gifts such as a very powerful sense of intuition (of what’s right/wrong for you), a light and playful joy, a firey and alive sense of expansion/bigness, a vast and mysterious peaceful black space, an immovable and unshakeable presence of support, and so on and so forth. More you experience the qualities intrinsic to the Player, the more you can live your character’s life from this place and turn your life into an expression of x (instead of trying to use the world to get x which doesn’t work).
Benefit #3. You’ll start experiencing more and more freedom (from the character) while simultaneously being more and more engaged in the life of the character. When you change where you’re coming from, everything changes. You become more and more free from the drama of your character while also becoming more and more effective at guiding the character.
All this, in return, will allow you like it allowed me to:
Better play the character of You – leading to a completely different life experience: more money, more success, more creativity, more juice, more power, more adventure, more magic, more awe.
And this isn’t something you have to blindly trust. You can again prove it to yourself by simply asking:
If somebody with 10x more power, confidence, intelligence, strength, love, compassion, willpower was playing [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE] – how differently would my life look and feel
Radically different, right?
Such is what can happen when you shift from the ‘limited character’ to the ‘all powerful player’.
You’re no longer limited to the life experiences, personality traits, and reactionary behaviors of the character. A whole new world opens up for you that supplies you with all the juice you need to better play and beat the video game of life.
So, I hope you apply this.
It’s the single greatest shift anybody can make and the more you engage it, the more you discover the Player inside you and the more you are able to play your character…
… instead of having your character play you.
In the end, this makes all the difference.
Not just in this life. But every life.
Thanks for reading! (Always a pleasure writing to you)
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