I've been watching this TV show called The OA, and it's pretty interesting and enjoyable. Interesting as in the archetypes play out in an unusual way, and the whole plot tends to explore the metaphysical aspects of reality rather than the typical materialist narrative.
Usually, TV shows or movies include the main character/hero, a love story, struggle, an eventual transcendence of the struggle, and finally a union of lover and beloved.
Within this narrative, and similar to the reality we live in, life is a race against time as the body will one day perish, so the desire to live, love, find freedom and be happy fuels us as conscious beings. Desire is tricky though, and that's because at the root of desire we usually find fear, the fear of not being loved or understood, or the fear of loneliness or disconnection.
Total identification with the body, as in, I am a personality/bodymind, tends to come with a decent amount of fear and suffering. Eastern traditions and abrahamic religions have examined the suffering of human beings countless times and from many perspectives. Either one suffers here on earth and finds peace at death, death of the body usually. Eastern traditions, and the mystics of religion like the sufi's and christian contemplatives for example, said otherwise, so the shadow or ego dies (holy war) while one is alive, and an ego death (great death in zen) is ones final liberation, or resurrection (christianity). Nirvana for example, means blowing out or extinguishing. So blowing out the flame, flame being the ego, is awakening, and in awakening, ones identification shifts from bodymind to that which observes and contains bodymind and all objects (world), that being pure or infinite consciousness.
Consciousness in this case, is seen and felt for what truly is, infinite or non localized, so the subject/object relationship collapses, and consciousness knows itself as everything and everywhere, and eternal, so outside of time, or future and past, there is only this boundless present moment. One realizes that time and space are constructs that exist in the mind and nowhere else.
In somewhat relative terms, this would translate into an experience of pure experiencing, so the world is happening within the I, but the I is not personal and limited anymore, the I is non-localized, empty and ever-present. It's not me (personality) that's hearing, its hearing that's happening within me, me as consciousness, and always in the present moment, there is nothing but the presence of consciousness. And the same applies to all senses, sensing happens, with no attachment to what is being sensed. So awareness is not confined to the body anymore, awareness is literally everywhere and everything. That which seems to manifest as matter is seen for what it truly is, a manifestation of awareness or consciousness. Awareness is felt as infinite and eternal. I as awareness was never born and will never die. I Am, as many realizers have often said.
Having realized the unity of existence, both fear and desire drop as wholeness is who I am. The separation ends, the suffering ends. Space and time were realities, but now they're concepts within a unified reality.
To contrast this with the relative world, we notice that the realizer has no fear of disconnection or anything of that sorts as the sense of separateness has dissolved. How can I seek love if I am love and peace itself ? The whole drama comes to an end. The unity of being or existence is my direct experience. The fear of death has been extinguished. The bodymind comes and goes while consciousness remains present and as is.
So that's how the relative and absolute play out in the material world. Might be worth delving into the material world for a bit though, and maybe focus on the shadow, or ego. And also, tie the shadow, or its essence, which could be considered the soul, to reincarnation or quantum mechanics/string theory as the show touches on both topics. I think the show is actually a mix of both reincarnation and string theory/multiple realities.
String theory, which is rooted in the physics of quantum mechanics, proposes a universe of 11 dimensions. In my humble and infant like understanding of this realm, life is a movement of infinite potentialities. So as I write this in Jordan, another me, in a different dimension might be surfing in California. A decision I made 10 years ago lead to totally different life. So every decision we make opens up a door to a new reality, and the number of decisions and realities is infinite.
Reincarnation on the other hand, includes one physical reality and within this reality we live, die and live again until the shadow has been purified, and only then do we find liberation from the material world, and transition into a subtle realm.
In the relative, the shadow makes decisions, and the game begins. The shadow seeks its source (pure consciousness), but the shadow isn't always aware of this fact, so the shadow projects its desire for its source onto objects, objects being relationships/other shadows, activities etc ... a never ending cycle of desires and projections. What's lacking within, appears on the opposite side without, in some object. The shadow also assumes it operates under the umbrella of free will. If the shadow is unaware of itself seeking its source, well then the concept of free will holds. But when the shadow becomes aware of the fact that it seeks its source, free will dissolves. Yes the shadow makes its own decisions, but all decisions are conscious and geared towards one goal, the goal being the unity of being. And once unity is realized, things just happen within a state of presence, and there is no doership. The moment does its thing, a kind of (maybe not so obvious though) selfless autopilot.
Back to The OA. In The OA, we're dealing with a reality of many dimensions, and in each dimension, bits of the shadow remain. There's a thread that connects the main character, the OA, original angel, with all her manifestations and in all realites. Also, there are other souls that manifest with OA in these realities, think reincarnation/karmic connections.
Then there's Hap, OA's shadow. So OA is the light, and Hap the darkness, which is interesting because OA is dealing with two shadows, her internal shadow, and an external one, Hap, but also, both shadows could be considered one and the same. Maybe Hap is a figment of OA's imagination, or maybe Hap is a projection manifesting as matter.
Then there's Homer, Homer and OA are in love, but they can't connect as it seems like there are bigger issues at hand. Hap is on a mission to break the code of reality, consciousness and death, and OA is trying to understand herself, reality, love and settle things with Hap. Maybe though, if she would just focus on Hap, and settle things with him, all else would fall into place. So as she transcends her shadow/Hap, she finds the wholeness of being.
Thats whats happening on the surface, on a subtler level, and from a metaphysical perspective, both OA and Hap are searching for the same thing, liberation, unity, awakening, enlightenment or eternal existence.
What they seek though, what we seek, is not found in objects. Wholeness is found right here and now, in presence, but the mind has its narratives and reality unfolds in accordance with fears and desires that are at the root of the shadow/materialist narrative.
The great search for love or unity is as old as time, and how it manifests in this world, others worlds, or our imagination is fascinating, and beautiful at times. The expressions of the soul seeking its source is what we call love, creativity or art. And while the soul seeks and interacts with other souls and objects, a character begins to develop. The development of this character is what we call the story of life. And life is a story, truly. The personality relative to its essence (pure consciousness) is a story. Realization is waking up from the story, and abiding as essene or pure consciousness.
So the OA touches on quite a few metaphysical topics, and when we examine these topics or realities, we realize the physical is actually a manifestation/representation of the metaphysical, given we follow the consciousness model of reality.
And with regards to the materialist model, it seems like physicists these days are shifting their focus to the study of consciousness rather than matter. That said, I believe there will come a day when physics/quantum mechanics/string theory will (kind of) prove that the universe is an infinite field of consciousness, or according to string theorists (and in other words), a universe of 'vibrating strings'.
Finally, a few meaningful quotes from the show:
'It’s not really a measure of mental health to be well-adjusted in a society that’s very sick.'
'You don’t really know something until your body knows it.'
'All great work, important work, comes at great cost.'