Posted by Amanda Gray on March 22, 2013
Here’s my latest video creation – an INTERACTIVE video. YOU choose how you want the story to go!
I began with an interest in exploring cause and effect ideas from A Course in Miracles. It was, simply, the topic that was showing up with the inspiration for a film. I also wanted the project to be light, fun and easy to video. The interactive aspect arose because I’ve always loved old school text adventure games, like Zork, and the next generation graphic interface games, such as Myst. For EVER, I’ve wanted to create something along those lines.
In my last post, I said that the project encompassed more sides of my abilities than I ever thought possible. The plot, acting, filming, editing… sure… but then, as the simple 4 part story expanded to 22 parts (ACK!), I referred to my past programming experience to flow chart the scenes. It’s been a long time since I put on my programmers thinking cap! But it was SO MUCH FUN! I forgot how much I love solving logic problems!
I don’t claim to have ‘figured out’ the ACIM passages I contemplated for the film. I looked long and hard at:
- Chapter 2: The Separation and the Atonement, VII. Cause and Effect, and
- Chapter 28: the Undoing of Fear, II. Reversing Effect and Cause
I got a few extra tips from David Hoffmeister and Adyashanti along the way too. (I love how the dream witnesses to whatever’s bouncing around in consciousness. It was apropos for the project, that’s for sure!)
As far as I can understand the theory: the ego view is that there’s something that happens out in the world that’s interpreted as a ’cause’, and then a correlating reaction – emotions, thoughts, etc. – that would be the ‘effect’. Reversing the ego viewpoint for the Holy Spirit view would recognize the ’cause’ as the MIND (fear thoughts or love thoughts) and the ‘effect’ as the witness (to fear or love) that’s projected out to the world. So this is the understanding I worked with in the film.
The Course also says:
Actually, ‘Cause’ is a term properly belonging to God, and His ‘Effect’ is His Son.
This is, currently, outside of my experience. I include this quote in the film, because it’s such a clear, absolute statement, and somewhat startling to the ego, but I doubt one could develop much of a story around it. That, or it would be a very different film from the one I made. Haha!
So, here it is! Click the link below, watch, click your choices in each section, and enjoy the journey! (And keep an eye out for the hidden Easter egg too!)
Oh, one other thing – you can’t use the links from your tablet or phone – they only work on your PC or laptop. Sorry!
Posted in Creative Expression, Uncategorized | Tagged: ACIM, create, funny, philosophy, spiritual, video | Comments Off
Posted by Amanda Gray on June 8, 2011
I’ve been on retreat as much as possible this week. On Monday, June 6, I experienced a lot of generalized anxiety throughout the day, although it abated in meditation. As I got into bed that night, I addressed the anxiety. I asked it:
What are you afraid of?
I’m afraid of myself.
Hmmm… that didn’t make any sense to me. Perhaps I heard wrong, or asked the wrong question. I tried asking different questions, but I was only getting confused, so I gave up and went to sleep. Around two in the morning, I woke suddenly with the thought:
…because I did it to myself.
Then I understood (speaking as the fear/ego):
I’m afraid of myself because I did this to myself – but I don’t know how I did it and I don’t know how to stop doing it.
I got up, wrote in my diary for a while, and went back to bed.
In the morning, I woke from a significant dream:
- It’s afternoon, and I’m visiting the Varscona Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta. I meet The Improviser Guy and we chat for a bit. Suddenly, he has a big idea and asks if he could use me in his improv skit that evening. I agree. He says that we need a third person, and runs off. He returns shortly with another talented actor, I’ll call him ‘George’, who asks me why we chose him to work with. I tell him enthusiastically, “You were hand picked, baby!”
- It’s evening and the actors are gathering at the theatre for the Improv show. I meet The Improv Guy downstairs and sit next to him at a long table. I whisper something in his ear. His wife suddenly comes around the corner. She lunges in, sits down almost on top of me, and asks jealously, “Do you even know who his two favourite teachers from school were?” I genuinely want to assure her that I have no designs, whatsoever, on her husband. I reply, “No, I have no idea. Really, I never listened to a word he said when we went out.” The Improv Guy is completely unconcerned with the interaction between his wife and I.
- It’s time for the show, and the actors line up backstage in order of their skits. I stand anxiously with The Improv Guy. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any improv and I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it. I ask The Improv Guy how he wants to start. He says, “Just go onstage and walk around. Walk like you’ve been walking forever. Then I’ll come out.”
- There’s a family of guinea pigs backstage. They’re more like guinea ‘teddy bears’. The mom is taking care of her babies, licking them. I pet the mom guinea.
- I’m at the improv. This means that I’m surrendering the idea that I should have some sort of script for my waking life and I’m willing to get involved in the moment-to-moment ‘improvisation’ of the journey again. ‘George’ is someone I did improv with, once upon a time. I had difficulty working with him, and I found myself regularly blocking his suggestions onstage. It was this experience, partially, at least, that led to a loss of confidence in my improv abilities. Ohhh… wait, I remember now… I was also angry with this guy for making me uncomfortable to attend the improv as an audience member. I haven’t attended a Theatre sports show since. So, it’s a forgiveness issue, and that’s why he was ‘hand picked’ for the ‘dream team’. (Sigh… letting that go now.)
- I understand that The Improv Guy character represents the ‘Holy Spirit’. The ‘me’ character in the dream is willing to work with him, so it means I’m interested and willing to work with the HS in my waking life. I understand that the wife character represents my ‘Shadow’ or ‘ego’ side. The ‘me’ character doesn’t have any meaningful relationship to the wife, so it indicates that, while I’m not preoccupied with the shadow-ego of my consciousness, I’m still sensitive to its various difficulties. The attitude shown here is one of compassion. In my experience, a dream shadow is usually annoying to the dream ‘me’ character, so it’s curious that this wasn’t the case in this dream. The shadow-wife thinks she loves the HS-husband, but really, she just wants to own and control him. She’s totally terrified of losing him and she immediately jumps to conclusions and projects guilt. It’s my understanding that a dream shadow character generally shows up to indicate aspects of self that have been repressed. So, I gather that there’s a desire to possess the HS and use it for selfish/narcissistic ends – or fears that it could happen. The dream puts the shadow-ego and the HS in a married relationship, which indicates a move in consciousness toward whole being. (The wife asks about ‘teachers’, but I’m not getting any specific understanding about that bit.)
- So, here’s the ‘me’, about to go onstage with The Improv Guy-Holy Spirit. I’m completely willing to go forward, even though he’s giving me very little guidance, I’m facing the complete unknown, and I’m worried that I’m not as capable as he thinks I am. I’m willing to face my fear and do it anyway! Gung HO! I’m also willing to play the ‘straight’ role, allowing the HS to swoop in, land all the punch lines, and get all the glory (indeed, as it should be). I’m told to ‘walk like I’ve been walking forever’. Well, that pretty much sums up most of my existence to this point, now, doesn’t it? Ha ha. Funny guy.
- About that guinea family… well, it was later discovered to be prophetic. During my day, I visited a pet store and, completely unexpectedly, got to pet some guinea pigs (one that was the exact colour of the one in the dream – reddish-brown) as well as petting a mom cat and her brand new litter of kittens. Awe! (Dreams have a tendency to moosh things together in weird ways.) But, see, that’s the thing with prophetic dreams, at least the ones I have – I don’t know they’re prophetic until the event plays out, and it’s usually rather meaningless anyway. So what’s the point of them? Hmmm… perhaps that’s a good question to pose to spirit.
So that’s an example of the way in which dreams can provide information into the development of conscious awareness. I didn’t make any effort to remember the dream, or to analyze it intellectually, I simply asked the HS to show the meaning to me. I sincerely love the truth and anytime I’m allowed to glimpse it, in whatever way, I’m extremely grateful and happy.
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Posted in Spiritual Practice | Tagged: actor, Alberta, attitude, audience, cat, compassion, Dreams, Edmonton, existence, fear, funny, glimpse, glory, guidance, guilt, guinea pig, Gung ho, husband, Improv, improvisation, Improviser, Interpretation, kittens, life, moment, play, relationship, role, script, Self, skit, spirit, theatre, truth, Varscona, wife | 4 Comments »
Posted by Amanda Gray on May 18, 2011
I’m sure that most people have heard this riddle, often asked by a child:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
I might, at first, take the question literally, and answer with the first thoughts in my mind:
- Because there was food over there.
- Because it was going to get hit by a truck.
If I know it’s a riddle, and that the answer is often obscure, perhaps I’ll stretch my mind a little farther:
- To go bock, bock, bock in time.
- To get away from the Disco Duck.
But by then, I’m tired of the mental exercise. I give up, and ask my young friend to reveal the answer:
To get to the other side.
The obvious. Boo. How disappointing. I could’ve come up with that. Ha ha ha, so funny… NOT. The child, on the other hand, is delighted, and goes off to find more inane questions with which to bother people.
Rarely does anyone look more deeply into this riddle. Don’t be deceived by the elegant simplicity of the ‘question’ or the obviousness of its ‘answer’. It’s a riddle with two parts, and they are inseparable. The riddle, as a whole, is asking to be completely seen:
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.
Dismiss it as a silly joke, or, hold it, lightly, in the mind. Percolate upon it, and perhaps it will reveal a truth at the heart of human experience.
Give up? At a later date, I’ll post Part 2, and discuss the solution as it was revealed to me.
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Posted in Riddles | Tagged: answer, chicken, cross, elegant, funny, heart, joke, obscure, question, revelation, riddle, road, simple, solution, to get to the other side, truth, why did the chicken cross the road? | 2 Comments »