Awarding the Self: Life as a Movie and the Art of Self-Awards
Life is like a movie, and just like the Oscars or music awards, there are a host of self-awards that you can bestow upon yourself to recognize your worth or calibre. If you think you don’t deserve these awards, don’t worry. Keep working towards it until you reach the point of “I do.” It’s like marriage, but with your ‘self’.
But let’s take a deeper look at the concept of self-awards. On one level, it can be seen as a way of recognizing and celebrating our accomplishments in the physical world. However, on a deeper level, self-awards can also be seen as a way of recognizing the growth and development of our spiritual selves.
Of course, it’s important to note that self-awards are not meant to be an expression of ego or selfishness. The ego, or the sense of ‘I’, is the biggest obstacle in realizing the true nature of the self. Instead, self-awards should be seen as a means of acknowledging and celebrating one’s journey toward self-realization. It is a recognition of the hard work and dedication that has gone into reaching a particular milestone in one’s life.
Our journey towards self-improvement and personal growth is an essential part of recognizing the divinity within ourselves, as we strive to overcome our limitations and connect with the deeper essence of our being. The process of self-improvement can be challenging, but it is worth it in the end. And what better way to celebrate our victories than by giving ourselves a pat on the back in the form of a self-award?
But how do we know which self-award to give ourselves? Well, it depends on the attributes we develop and the purpose we align ourselves to.
Let us examine some of the award categories –
The best director award
This award recognizes individuals who align their life’s philosophy and practices with their purpose. They guide and direct others to overcome their ego and understand the illusion of the self. You know, like a guru or spiritual teacher, but cooler. The director is like the Gandalf of the movie of your life, guiding and directing you through challenges and obstacles. And who wouldn’t want to be compared to Gandalf?
The best actor award
Life on earth is a series of acting gigs, and this award recognizes those who can curate their behaviour to meet the expectations of those who feel a sense of entitlement. Satisfying the expectations of those to whom you are related in these characters makes it easier to focus on what matters and that is the growth of the spirit. It recognizes the importance of empathy and the ability to understand and connect with others. Actors are like chameleons, able to blend in and adapt to their surroundings. Good actors make better husbands, parents, children, and corporate leaders. So, if you’re a good actor, you’re basically a superhero in disguise.
There is a red flag here though. Acting is an art form that involves embodying a character and portraying their thoughts, emotions, and actions convincingly. Actors immerse themselves in their roles, sometimes to the point where it becomes challenging to separate themselves from the characters they are playing. This phenomenon has been observed in various actors, and some have even required psychiatric help to transition back to their real-life personas like Marlon Brando in Godfather.
This immersion in a character can be seen as a temporary state of Maya. The actor is creating an illusion, which they will eventually have to transcend when the performance is over. However, in some cases, actors may have trouble separating themselves from the role, leading to potential psychological issues.
It is important to understand, the goal is not to reject maya entirely but to transcend it. In the context of acting, this means that actors must learn to step into and out of roles without getting lost in the illusion.
The best editor award
This award goes to someone who can delete what is not of value, see the big picture, and make tough decisions. The best editor award recognizes individuals who go above and beyond themselves. The editor is like the Marie Kondo of your life, helping you declutter and get rid of things that don’t add value.
The concept of getting rid of attachments and desires that are not necessary can be found in the practice of detachment or vairagya. One must have the ability to let go of one’s ego and put the greater good of the cause first. One must possess the ability to detach from one’s emotions and circumvent negative self-opinion.
Limiting sensory pleasures is another concept that requires to be worked upon. The practice of Pratyahara involves turning inward and withdrawing the senses from external stimuli. This practice helps to cultivate inner peace and clarity of mind. One must be able to separate themselves from distractions and external stimuli to make objective decisions that serve their life story.
The best music director award
This award recognizes individuals who understand that the background music of one’s life is one’s destiny. It’s like having your personal DJ or creating the perfect soundtrack for your life. Accepting life’s circumstances that do not align with one’s expectations can only be possible with a clear understanding of destiny. So, turn up the volume and let your destiny jam out with you.
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states, “You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” This quote emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s desires and will in shaping one’s actions and ultimately, one’s destiny.
The best producer award
This award goes to someone who acts as a mentor and helps their mentee climb the ladder of life, producing a better and more enlightened person.
Guru Vasishta is a prime example of the best producer, having evolved Ram’s consciousness to the extent that he became recognised as a God (Paradoxically so, considering Ram knew that there is no God).
To qualify for the best producer award one must be able to unveil the limitations of ignorance. Be persistent in training, testing, correcting, and re-correcting. A mentor must have the patience and perseverance to help their mentees overcome their limitations and achieve their full potential. This involves providing constructive feedback, challenging their mentees to push themselves beyond their limits, and helping them develop the skills and knowledge necessary for success. One must have the ability to sacrifice and put others before oneself. You are like the Yoda of their life, guiding them towards the light side of the force. And who wouldn’t want a Yoda in their life?
Best screenplay award
A good screenplay for the Best Screenplay Award should have the following elements: knowledge, shedding negative samskars, and a scriptwriter who possesses an ethereal sense of humour and knows how to laugh at himself. It’s like having your own personal J.K. Rowling, creating a magical world that educates and enlightens you.
And finally, the lifetime achievement award
This one goes to the exemplary volunteer. This award honors individuals who have made a selfless commitment to serve their community, giving their time and energy to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
I recognised that living outside the concept of Maya daily, is beyond general human endeavour. I wondered how we could achieve that. I received a response in the form of the following statement:
‘Live the lie but be aware of the truth’
Understanding consciousness is critical because it defines who we are and everything around us. Therefore, we need to explore consciousness deeply and try to shift our conscious awareness to other forms of life to see things from their perspective. In recognizing that consciousness exists in every lifeform, one will slowly be able to accept the oneness in all living entities further realizing that we are all one. It is the concept of the drop of water makes the ocean and the ocean is the drop of water. So making yourself aware of and empathetic to the perspective of all other living beings, not just other humans, is the first step towards recognizing the divinity in yourself.
So, celebrate your growth and development, both in the physical world and your spiritual self. Go ahead and give yourself an award, because you deserve it! And who doesn’t love a good award show?
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Hingori works in the service industry and is a teacher of spiritualism who started 35 years ago as a student of Gurudev. His books chronicle his personal journey of transformation and are full of real-life experiences and spiritual insights. The Hingori Sutras are a series of easy-to-read books that collectively distil the spiritual wisdom of the ancient Indian siddh gurus. www.hingorisutras.com