A True Story
- Realization: A True Story
This is based on a true story.
A young boy mysteriously fell into a coma. When he awoke as a teenager several years later, he could not recognise himself in the mirror. Neither could he recognise his parents and the world he found himself in. He did not lose his memory- there were just too many changes to reconcile with. His parents now treated him with extra love, though they felt like total strangers. He felt totally lost- a stranger in a strange world, looking for answers to endless questions. He did not know anyone- including himself. In fact, he felt disheartened, depressed and suicidal... He found himself struggling against the tide of the world, which pressured him to be "normal", to follow the crowd. However, he managed to ignore his existential crisis to live an ordinary life.
After a few uneventful years, the boy had a sudden relapse. Upon waking up a middle-aged man, he found himself right in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Once again, he had to struggle to fit in a new world. His struggle seemed pointless as he dreaded another relapse. What, he wondered, was the point of trying so hard to live a normal life when he might just suddenly lose it all again? It was infuriating that he could not truly hold on to everything he loved. He began to feel increasingly detached from the world, convinced that nothing truly matters in the long run. In the following years, he lived like a ghost, flitting aimlessly through life.
As he expected, he fell into coma a few years later. When he awoke in the "prime" of his life, he had a realisation... It is exactly because everything is here and true only in the moment, that he should treasure everything in this very moment. He should never had detached himself, hankering on the fact that everything only comes to pass. Doing so is living in the sorely missed past, and in the anxiety of a coming future; not living here and now. Yet at the same time, he should not be attached to anything- also precisely because everything here is only here for the moment. From that day onwards, he lived each day to the fullest. Looking at the world, he realised many live life as he did- first being lost and afraid, followed by being detached and purposeless. Out of a newfound but overwhelming compassion, he tried his best to share his newfound wisdom to the world by sharing his story and the following verses-
To be happy,
treasure everything in this moment
as everything is transient.
At the same time,
be unattached to everything in this moment
as everything is transient.
The best example of one who perfected this is the Buddha, who has attained True Happiness, who loves and treasures all beings without the taint of attachment. This is a true story because it is an accurate analogy of the way many of us live our lives. We fall into coma-like situations whenever we forget to live life mindfully. Our spiritual coma is the non-questioning of life, not realising the truth of constant change (impermanence), not knowing how to treasure everything we have without attachment. The boy dreaded his recurrent coma like we all dread impending death (which is also recurrent in the cycle of rebirth). Failling into coma unpredictably is like dying- death is always threatening to "erase" and restart our lives- over and over again. What we need is to truly wake up once and for all. So... are you in coma? If not, how fully awake are you? What are you doing to wake up?