Imagination of Imagination

We all live life as we imagine life should be.  This construct has been shaped by the world around us since birth, formed first and foremost through the interaction with our caretakers.  They too were living life as they imagined it should be.  They were also shaped by the world around them since birth, their behaviors and personalities formed first through the interaction with their own caretakers.  And so it goes, on throughout time.

Some people's imaginations are much more far reaching than others.  For millennia, skillful, creative writers have shaped our view of how the world could be through carefully crafted screenplays.  They create worlds in which everything is seemingly perfect, or perfectly imperfect. Either way, the more time we spend entertaining the notion that the scenes in the pictures are desirable, or how reality should be, the more we unconsciously desire our own lives to resemble that of actors and actresses acting out someone else's imaginations on a big screen.

Have you said, or ever heard anyone else suggest that a real life story "sounds like it was straight out of a movie"?  Are we measuring reality by how much it resembles that which we see in tv and the movies?  How much are the interpersonal relationships we have, or the relationships we seek, being informed by how others have imagined they should be?

For instance, since childhood we've seen and heard stories in which the main character finds the love of their life and lives happily ever after.  Is it any wonder that this theme, one that was shared with us repeatedly from our youngest years onward, remains the single most important resolved (or unresolved) part of our lives?  And by now we all know that intimate relationships are far from easy, and are hardly on their own an instantaneous guarantee of living happily ever after.  Yet that seed, planted and regularly watered early in our consciousness, has greatly informed what we think we are to desire, and has motivated us to seek it out (this of course being but one example of an infinitude.)

It's quite the ride down a rabbit hole when we consider how much of life was we imagine it is actually based on the imaginations of others.  We spend our lives to trying to realize the imaginations of others.

So what's real then?

Watching ourselves act it out.  Catching ourselves in a moment reacting in a way that's "perfectly scripted", the collectively accepted expected reaction.  What's the standard reaction for when someone cuts you off?  Throw your hands in the air?  Form your hand into the perfect middle finger and shout an obscenity?  Why?  Because that's what we've seen, it's been repeated over and over again, and now it's what we do.  So long as it remains the standard accepted reaction, the behavior will be perpetuated throughout future generations.

Unless we break the chain.

Each time we catch ourselves in the midst of a knee jerk reaction and question "what am I doing right now?" and "is this really how I want to be in the world?" we begin to reshape our own imagination of how the world could be.  

If we look out into this world, and yearn for a more loving, kind, compassionate, peaceful existence, we ourselves must become the actors and actresses acting out the screenplay as we imagine it could/should be.  We cannot wait for others, nor expect that "they" should create a world we don't yet know is even plausible. Instead, we go about the business of proving first to ourselves, through the transformation our own thoughts, words, and actions, that it is indeed possible, and an endeavor worth undertaking, for our own wellbeing, and that of the world around us.
The key lies in being able to see, and that in-sight is gained through the practice of meditation.