The ideal we seek is losing ourselves in the excitement of existence, aligning with life, flowing, ever in the zone. It’s like playing a video-game and becoming the character — his quest becomes our own, his hands are extensions of our hands. Or it’s like watching a movie when we surrender our emotions to the protagonist — his plight becomes ours, we wince when he’s struck, feeling his journey as he does.
Yet we can be lost in life, lost to our fear and frustration. If we’re too frightened then we fail to participate, hiding away because we’re worried about what’ll happen next. It’s like never picking up the game-controller or never turning on the movie because we’re scared we won’t like it. And with frustration, if we don’t like how the story or game-play is proceeding, we might sit still, stewing in anger.
Being mindful of the game itself helps us to realign if we find ourselves lost in a bad way. We do want to be lost to the game, but only in the good way. Realizing the illusionary nature of existence helps create the distance necessary to deal with our fear and frustration. It’s just a game, just a movie, just a simple story set in place to amuse us. Then like any activity, the only outcome that matters is whether we enjoy ourselves while performing it.
The protagonist will always struggle before his triumph. Life is supposed to appear hard, as if we could lose at any minute. Teetering on the edge of victory is the most exciting condition we can experience, so the theme is oft repeated. We need to appreciate this condition and embrace the narrative before us. And if we find ourselves lost to fear or frustration, we need to readjust our perspective until we perceive the fiction before us.