What If…

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What if enlightenment is inevitable?

What if the Dalai Lama were a news junkie?

Would he be as sanguine as he is, seemingly without stress and judgement? He says he doesn’t keep up with any earth-plane events. Doesn’t watch television or movies and is unaware of the news. Perhaps that is the most useful advice for all-around good health that there is. The news is show business disguised as information. Like everything else on television, it is all about the ratings. If war didn’t get ratings, there wouldn’t be any. According to the Dalai Lama, none of it matters anyway. He says he is secure in his inner peace. I’m sure he is. The two weeks I spent with him in Rio de Janeiro, at the World Peace Conference in 1992, were very revealing. He spoke in front of crowds of twenty-five thousand people and never had a note in front of him for reference. His script came from somewhere above. Somehow he always managed to speak on a subject the collective mind wanted to hear. He was funny, profound, and seemed way ahead of the twenty-five thousand people in front of him, who presumably kept up with current events. Every now and then, out of the blue, he would begin to laugh; no one knew why or at what! He laughed with one astonished crowd for about ten minutes, never explained the reason, and never apologized. Soon the crowd began to laugh, too. Twenty-five thousand people left that event happier than when they came in. Maybe that was the point. And the audience didn’t have to pay; he did it for free.

Once, as I was coming out of a ladies’ room, he took my hand, which was still damp from washing. ‘Very nice’, he said, laughing. For once in my life, I was at a loss for words! Later I saw a clip on YouTube where he was asked to discuss the conflicts inherent in differing religions, philosophies, and political points of view. He raised his hand, leaned forward, and said two simple words: ‘Fuck it.’ I play that YouTube clip whenever I’m worried that I ask too many questions about things other people take for granted. If those two words are good enough for the Dalai Lama, they are good enough for me.

‘What if raising one’s consciousness is really about upgrading the Divine in ourselves?
– Shirley MacLaine from What If…

What if each of us could remember our untapped origins in the cosmos?

What if we gain weight when we diet?

Since everything we are is a result of our thoughts, imagine what happens when all we think about is how fat we are. It’s happened to me and many people I know. The body has its own intelligence, and if it thinks it’s starving, it will hang on to those calories as long as it can. With every diet I’ve tried, I’ve found myself in a battle to the death with my body. It wanted one thing, and I wanted another, because of how I thought of myself, which affected how I saw myself. I met a Buddhist lama in Bhutan who lived at eighteen thousand feet and ate a little something every two weeks. I climbed to his mountaintop abode. It was a cave – no heat, no running water. His furniture consisted of six statues of Buddha. He sat before them, his legs overlapped in the lotusposition. He said he lived on air. He was a ‘breatharian’. He absolutely believed this. I used to watch him descend from the mountain. He seemed to literally float above the ground, using the earth only to propel himself forward. When he reached the frozen lake below, he lowered himself into a hole in the ice and proceeded to meditate until I saw steam rising from his body. He was smiling and serene. When he emerged from the hole, he sat beside the lake in a silent lotus position meditation and levitated a foot or so off the ground. He told me later he had learned to reverse the polarities in his body so that he actually repelled earth’s gravity. When he ‘floated’ back up to his Buddha cave, I wondered if I’d dreamed what I’d seen or if I’d seen what I’d dreamed. Such is the show business of life . . . fat or thin, light or heavy.
What if Mother Nature could perform for an audience?

Does anyone really believe that she doesn’t? I knew a woman who loved to attend symphony concerts just to ‘see’ the colors the instruments were making. What if drought is Mother Nature’s way of teaching us that we need to drink more water and yet we are polluting it everywhere? What if falling snow is to remind us of the protection of white lights?What if flooding occurs because it is time for us to wash our environments clean?What if mud sticks to us because that is what we have become?Maybe our unquenchable interest in dinosaurs is equal to our unquenchable thirst for oil? In their first time around, they were destroyed. In this second time around, they will destroy us. What if the speed of Nature’s show is accelerating in a way that is meant to beckon us humans to accelerate our consciousness? What if we are holding her back and that is why she is shaking us off?What if the ‘violence’ of Nature is simply her way of saying ‘hurry up’ or you’ll be left behind? Nature’s violence is probably the most devastatingly dramatic and disturbing thriller to grace the screens of life – and we haven’t even assigned it an X rating.

What if Jesus was an astronaut?

What if the body is merely a vehicle for souls to act out their parts, lifetime after lifetime, until they finally get it right?

Is each life an audition for the Big Director in the Sky, everyone choosing the part he or she has come in to play?

From What If… © 2013 by Shirley MacLaine, published by Simon & Schuster.

WHAT IF…
by Shirley Maclaine

n this cheering and enlivening book she speculates on a wide range of matters, spiritual and secular, humorous and profound, earth-bound and high-flying, personal and universal. This is Shirley MacLaine at her most funny, acerbic, imaginative, and irresistible.Click here to buy.