Being asleep means being lost in painful or unwanted thoughts
Living a Life of Constant Total Amazement
By: Dave Cole
In the movie, Joe vs the Volcano, Joe Banks played by
Tom Hanks is a loser. His life is despicable and the news is:
Joe is selling his soul to his boss for a measly 300 bucks
Joe is also a hypochondriac which leads him to a doctor
that tells Joe he has a terminal brain cloud and only a few
months to live.
So this is the wake up call Joe needs to start living. He
quits his job then runs into an eccentric billionaire played
by Lloyd Bridges who promises to give Joe the lifestyle of
a king if he will end up jumping into a volcano.
Joe agrees and it's fun to watch him go on the shopping spree
going around in the white limo. Then he is transported first
class by air to Los Angeles, where he meets up with the
billionaire's daughter Patricia played by Meg Ryan, who is
going to transport Joe to a remote island on her yacht.
One night on the yacht with the breeze gently blowing, Joe
and Patricia are talking and Joe says that Patricia's life.....
and life..... seem so unbelievable to him.
"My father says almost the whole world's asleep.
Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk
to. He says only a few people are awake. And they live in
a state of constant total amazement."
The whole world's asleep.....think about that for a minute.
Why was that put in there?
If you watched the move, did that strike you as being
unbelievable it was even there?
What being asleep and what waking up means is what we are
going to explore for the rest of the article.
Waking Up that's what it's about. It took a death sentence
for Joe to begin waking up. When he did, he found himself
entering into a world that was unbelievable and a world
that most folks don't even know exists.
Let's flash forward in the movie to the scene where
it's night and Joe is on a raft and the moon begins to
The moon seems so huge and awesome to Joe that as a movie
watcher you become so caught up in the vastness of the moon
and the drama of the movie that you almost become one with
the entire experience.
Before this in the movie he is asking himself and others
the question does God exist. Joe is awestruck, and in that
moment of realization, he just knows that God exists and
becomes so grateful for his life. The moment is one of total
amazement for Joe and the movie watcher.
In that moment when Joe becomes one with the experience,
he now understands.....the need for questions to be answered
isn't there.....he wakes up to the present moment and all
the present moment is trying to convey to him and finally
the understanding he has been seeking comes.
Most of us are lost in thought. Now we're not talking about
practical thought, those thoughts you need to drive a car or
solve problems, we're talking about all those thoughts which
aren't needed for life - thoughts that are painful to us.
Being asleep means being lost in painful or unwanted thoughts.
The best way to explain this is for you to begin watching
your thoughts. You'll see that some of these thoughts aren't
very nice at all. You may be having a fight with your boss
at this very moment while reading this. You may have found
yourself a thousand miles away.
Many of these thoughts we have are unkind and detrimental
to our well being. How many times have you found yourself
putting yourself down for something you didn't do right,
or found yourself getting angry or upset over some event,
or even found yourself in a mental fight with someone?
Someone cuts you off on the freeway and you immediately
go spastic and begin to shoot mental bullets at them.
Those thoughts put you in a state of sleep and prevent
you from being fully aware of the present world around you.
In the beginning of the movie, Joe was in a constant state
of psychic slumber. He had no amazement, no awe, no wonder
of life. His life was despicable.
When Joe began waking up, his life began to turn to a state
of amazement and awe and wonder at what was happening in the
present moment around him. Just watch the scene where he is
with DeDe at dinner and you'll see the difference between
a man at sleep and a man that is awake.
In fact DeDe says, "What's happened to you. This morning
you were like a lump, now..... You're So Alive."
It is in this state of amazement that you often find children
playing. They are having fun with life because they are not
lost in thought about some fear, they are totally within
and alive in the present moment and awake to what they
These unkind thoughts we have draw us farther away from
the awe and amazement that life really is.
And as you begin to wake up and live in the present moment,
amazing things can and do happen.
Which way would you rather live?
In a world where you are lost in painful thoughts or a world
where you are in a state of constant total amazement?
Go watch a cat. Cats are fully awake and aware in their
own present moment. What creature is there that more lives
a life of amazement than a cat?
Cat's don't get lost in thought like we do, they are fully
aware of themselves and their environment all the time. Now
a cat may stare intensly at a predator, but it is not lost
To be fully awake to the present moment, begin to watch
your thoughts. Some of them may be ugly. When you practice
watching your thoughts, you'll begin to see yourself going
off in all different kinds of directions over nothing, it's
these thoughts that keep us asleep and away from a state of
wonder and awe.
Don't try to change them, don't begin to put yourself down for
having them, for now, just watch them and see how you react
Next work on being present in the now. Watch yourself
as you do everything. Become aware of where your arms are,
where your legs are, what temperature is it. As you read this,
watch yourself reading and be aware of where and who you
are doing this.
Become fully awake to you and the experiences of this present
moment and you will begin to see the amazement and wonder of
your life as it should be.
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