Be the Silent Observer

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“Nonresistance, nonjudgement, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.” 

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Darren and I went to see The Great Gatsby on Monday night, and apart from it being a truly beautiful and very wonderful film with an awesome soundtrack, the story also delivers a very spiritual and metaphysical message.

It has taken a couple of days for the penny to drop and for me to process the true meaning of the story, but I joined all of the dots up today and wanted to share my learning’s with you.

At first, when I was watching it, I thought that it was a story about the power of manifesting. That Jay Gatsby had decided to take himself from a life of little and manifest money, property, friends, success and much more, just from deciding that he wanted a better life for himself. And, not knowing the story, I was convinced that it would have a happy ending with him achieving the cherry on the top by winning back the heart of his one true love, Daisy. Alas, that was not meant to be.

What I now know and understand is that Gatsby’s character, as with everyone else in the story, except for that of the narrator, Nick Carraway, is a representation of the ego. And that Carraway’s character is that of the silent observer, or indeed, consciousness.

In Eckhart Tolle’s book ‘A New Earth’ he talks about how there are three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living, and they are nonresistence, nonjudgement and nonattachment. And this is exactly what Carraway’s character represents in The Great Gatsby. When asked by Gatsby if he can invite his cousin Daisy over for tea, he kindly obliges. When invited over to Gatsby’s house for a party, he goes along. When invited over to dinner at Daisy and Tom’s house, he attends. Throughout the story, at no point does the character ever resist what is, nor does he judge the behaviour of others, neither is he ever attached to anything or anyone. All he does is constantly and silently observe. He is always there, aware of what is happening, but in the background, watching.

In F.Scott Fitzgerald’s book Nick notes,’ I’m inclined to reserve all judgements, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me…. [although] the intimate revelations of…men or at least the terms in which they express them are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.’

In ‘A New Earth’ Tolle also talks about awareness and that it ‘implies that you are not only conscious of things (objects), but you are also conscious of being conscious. If you can sense an alert inner stillness in the background while things happen in the foreground – that’s it!’

He also talks about the conscious choice that we have in awakening. And that when we realise that we may at times, slip back into a dysfunctional state (for example caught up in our emotions, the past or the future, or indeed our ego, all of which get in the way of our true selves shining through) we are able to choose to step out of identification with thinking and emotion and enter the state of Presence. He says that in that moment you can ‘relinquish resistance, become still and alert, one with what is, within and without.’

And there is a quote in the Great Gatsby that mirrors this perfectly when Nick Carraway is at a party surrounded by people drinking and behaving carelessly (once again a representation of the collective ego), ‘I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the park through the soft twilight, but each time I tried to go I became entangled in some wild, strident argument which pulled me back, as if with ropes, into my chair. Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.’

Furthermore, Gatsby is fixated and obsessed with the past. He is convinced that by recreating the past, he can win back the love and heart of Daisy and they can be together, just as they planned before he went away to war.

Unfortunately, his character doesn’t understand that you cannot repeat the past, because the past does not exist, as all we have is the present. And his crazed obsession with the past and creating a life of wealth to attract Daisy, is actually the thing that repels her from him in the end.

So I guess the thought for the day is, consciousness is a choice, just as it is a choice to become the watcher of your thoughts and how they manifest in others.

When we choose to stop judging ourself and others, allow ourselves not to get attached to things or people and allow everything to be as it is, we create a space for us to be present.

And, according to Eckhart Tolle, ‘the joy of Being, which is the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person, or event – through anything that happens. That joy cannot come to you – ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and this is one with who you are.’ 

Sending you lots of love, hugs and light,

Kat x x x

Inspiration for this post

The Great Gatsby – the film

The Great Gatsby – the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Eckhart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth – Create a Better Life.’

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