Your life is a metaphor. It’s difficult to discuss, but I really mean it literally, in that your life is a representation of what you think it is. It is not that literal interpretation you have running in your head. I’m not saying it’s not real, or is a delusion, or other “Reality-denying” mystical rhetoric, I’m saying it’s a metaphor for something greater-bigger-richer and it is true what you see, but there is so much more actually there.
I’m saying it’s a simile. It stands for something more than what you see and describe. You may feel that greater thing, you experience it, but you will think of it as something else entirely.
What you are responding to as if it is the entire picture is a surface imprint that you can process and that your interface (the 6 senses) can perceive, react to, and reflect upon.
Our minds are processing millions more bits of information than we can handle consciously. So as your conscious thought floats by there’s a sea of processing going on beneath the surface of what can be perceived. You can think only what you are capable of pulling out of that soup/ocean, but it’s not a true reflection of what is going on beneath. The thought is slow and pulls “up” what one can determine in that moment. But what's more, it’s all based on the broken record of conditioning.
So our conscious awareness boils down to blips of info from an ocean of data. From there we create our metaphor and live it like it’s the full story and complete, or “it.” That metaphor take shape over time as you grow and take on experience and are conditioned to think in your groove. This groove of thought, conditioning, limits your thoughts/feelings/experience and slowly but surely you use that filter to create your own custom metaphor for your life. All the while the ocean of experience and feelings ride below the surface and all around us. You don’t so much willfully ignore those inputs, but can’t process or integrate them so they go unnoticed.
One of the advantages of meditation is that it allows you to slow down the process above the waterline enough to allow your conscious mind to dip below and have a look around. This is somewhat counter-intuitive. You’d assume that one would have to speed things up to get more data, but really it’s a matter of slowing down the broken record to get new input. Think of it like consciousness scuba diving. You have limited air and can only be down so long. The challenge is that once you go below the surface you are now subject to non-verbal space-time: space curves and time may go backwards, so there’s only much linear information you can bring back to the surface.
So once you breech back out, you are left with fragments and images. Words describe and therefore can lock it to memory, but since you didn’t have a lot of words underneath the surface, what you bring back from below is impossible to pin down— but you are conscious of it. This allows you to see that what you experienced is an exact mirror of what your conscious thought-mind is doing. I would say they are reflections of each other but it’s like comparing a star-filled sky with a coral reef. So mirror doesn’t really describe it. One is the expression of the other. And there we have our metaphor. On the surface world we are expressing in a verbal interpretative dance of the 14,000,000,000,000 year-long cinema verité of reality that is burgeoning below. What we call our life is a sketch that is trying to depict an epic opera that contains all operas, its songs can never be fathomed by the conscious mind.
This is because that is how rich Reality actually is. Our gift as humans is to have this experience of seeing it. Because when we look below the surface of our conscious mind, we aren’t just seeing our unconscious, we are seeing ALL unconscious. Everywhere. Through all Time. Of course our conscious mind can’t process it. But amazingly our mind can see it, experience it, if only for a moment. Upon reflecting on what it has seen, itself in its totality, the singularity is complete— it has realized itself. It is its own gift to itself. I see me. I see everything at once.
So our personal metaphor is one of the myriad expressions of the totality. My life is a poem representing the all, as expressed by this one.