Feeling hunted


I watched Bourne Ultimatum earlier today, and noticed how it brought up feelings of being hunted and memories and scenarios triggering that experience.

It is a nice illustration of the difference between relative and absolute truths, and between having a story as information and taking it as substantial and real.

As a human being in the world, we can of course be hunted in different ways or not. That is just information.

And when we add beliefs to that, such as I shouldn’t be hunted, or even I am hunted without seeing the truths in its reversals, there is drama. It creates a sense of pressure, of an I here hunted by something Other, of separation, discomfort, something being off, fear, anger, frustration, and much more.

Without those beliefs, it is just useful information. With those beliefs, it is pressure, intensity, and maybe even suffering.

And to go from stories as belief to just information, we can either explore the belief itself, or fully be with the experience and emotions around it. Through investigating the story, the belief falls away and information remains. Through being with the experience, the emotions are revealed as something entirely different. They initially appeared as pressure, tension, fear, discomfort and so on, and now are revealed as something we can’t even put a label on.

This is the difference between taking the story as real and substantial, and as just information. And it also mirrors, in a small way, the difference between the absolute and relative. The relative truth is that this human self is hunted. A truth closer to the absolute is the reversals in that story (we are always also not hunted, in other ways) and the reversals of the story that we shouldn’t be hunted (we should be, because that is what everything has led up to). This intermediate truth, holding and allowing the grain of truth in all of the turnarounds of any story we have about it, gives a sense of release from drama and struggle, even as we are active and engaged in our lives and the world. And the absolute truth, which is not really needed for this release from drama and suffering, is that there is no I and Other there.

How does this feeling of being hunted come about? Whether we are hunted in a conventional sense or not, the sense of being hunted comes from an interaction between beliefs.

As soon as there is a gap between my beliefs about what is and what should be, there is a sense of being hunted.

And what is hunting me is several things.

First, it is the truth in the reversals of the story I take as true. I am hunted by these truths, because somewhere I know there is a grain of truth in each of them, yet I try to put all truth in the initial story and none in these reversals. I try to deny the truths in the reversals, yet they are there, I am reminded about them, and I am hunted by them.

I am also hunted by what is, because according to my stories about it, it should not be. I try to hold it at bay, but am not able to, or if I am able to now I may not be in the future, so its presence or possible presence hunts me. It is or it can be, but should not be, so I am haunted and hunted by it.

In the case of Jason Bourne, if he beliefs that he shouldn’t be hunted, and that he shouldn’t die, he will feel pressure and intensity. And as viewers, if we have the same beliefs, we will feel the same. If he is free from those beliefs, he is also free from the drama around it and the stress and discomfort, and also free to act with more clarity and decisiveness. (Not that he seems to lack the latter!)

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