We are all taught how to drive. How to brake, how to reverse, how to manage close quarter traffic, drive long distances and most importantly, learn how to drive safely without hurting others. If this is the case, then I could compare vipassana as being a the ‘beginners driving tutorial’ in how to live a fruitful life, free from misery. You are given insight and emotional understanding in the human condition. You are taught the first principals of our human misery – which stems from our clinging attachments to our own egos and self identities.
We have a sense of this identity of ourselves. I am peter etc. This is my life and this is what I do. This is how I should be. Our ego is what differentiates us all. The details of our life, our relationships, our belongings, our belongings – these things are part of the ego identity of who we are. It is what it is. We are simply the result of ‘state change’ after state change, applied to our genesis state. The problem is that we don’t know how to manage the records of our states which is actually what outputs the concept of our ego. And to clarify, when I mean ego – I don’t mean being arrogant or such but instead I refer to the concept of our own identities as well as the roles we pretend and play in our life. Without learning how to manage this ego, we become lost to it. We are consumed and controlled by it. And when we do, our ego generates cravings and attachments that we are unable to escape.
Like quicksand, we slowly sink deeper and deeper into the suffocating pit of misery and suffering as a result. We are unhappy about most things because we are overpowered by the ego. But it is how it is, human nature or ego nature. The source of suffering is not the existence of the ego but rather the lack of ability in understanding this paradigm and our inability to keep our consciousness at a safe observable distance.
Vipassana teaches how to handle physical pain and suffering. But as you progress, you will understand that there is no such thing as emotions or pain or anything. Every sense that you have is simply a sensation. And when you can control physical sensations, mental ones are simply the same for there is no difference. By proxy, you will become observing and will be able to detach from your ego. Rather than being wrapped up and smothered by it, it lays there on the ground with you looking over it without judgement.
The final scene here from matrix is the perfect analogy for what vipassana teaches you