The Self Gets in the Way

In the movie “Birdman”,  Michael Keaton’s character is an aging celebrity movie star who has lost what he once had in terms if stardom and desires to return to it. He goes about creating a theatre production about love in New York City hoping for a positive response from people. Possibly there is something of a desire to be a true artist that is inflUencing him as well but I think even he is a bit confused. He encounters numerous barriers along the way to achieving what he desires. He finds himself in crisis at  times throughout the movie that take him to the edge of collapse into nothingness . He can’t seem to see beyond his extremely focused plan of becoming something and how he will achieve that. Out of the crashing of all that he thought himself to be into nothingness something compassionate, loving and creative emerges however short-lived it may be. The Birdman,s self quickly kicks back in, in a most habitual way and things begin to fall apart again. His ego is perpetually destructive and he id aware of that at moments but at the same time its delusions are immensely seductive to him. He imagines happiness where there is none, mostly out of his return to celebrity status, public attention and success and in that striving and pursuit relationship is not a priority.

Consciousness is not dependent on self as the self is to consciousness. These days I am more aware than ever that much of what human kind declares to be meaningful or truthful is a product of the self and I am as well so aware that the self is so often mistaken. The deeper connection to consciousness seems to be something that is generally suspect in our collective ways. Peter Ralston writes in his book “The Book of Not Knowing” that “although the truth is already so and is profoundly simple, it is not accessible within the world as we know it.” We have come to know the world through the “self”.  It seems to  be extremely focused in its perception to the point that it is at times blind in it,s seeing and at times it seems to filter out  fundamental aspects of connection to the perceived. Perhaps in its development it has in some way become cut off from consciousness that is whole and its capacity for a more encompassing seeing has become limited. In moments that the self is absent there is a deeper seeing, being and discovery of meaning that is absent of the doubt that is the self.

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