James Eaton: The Real Signalman

It’s amazing the places that the perennial wisdom turns up. Whilst watching an episode of Thomas the tank engine with the family we came across this little gem…

Gordon: (boasting to the other engines) I’ve pulled expresses for years and have never once lost my way. I seem to know the right line by instinct.

Narrator: Every wise engine knows of course that the signalman sets the switches to make the engines run on the right tracks. But Gordon was so proud he had forgotten.

In the story, Gordon with much noise and blowing of steam, glides out of the station, proudly pulling his newly painted coaches full of important people. “Look at me now! Look at me now!”, he puffs. However, he then gets switched off the mainline and has to go all around the island and back to the station again, making the passengers very cross, the other engines laugh and Gordon feel miserable and dejected.

When we really believe we’re in control of life, if things go well we can become very pleased with ourself indeed, but how we suffer when the switches change and we run on the ‘wrong’ track. But that suffering is a call back home, a call to recognise that what we really are is not exclusively a separate little engine, but life itself, the fizzling firebox, the bubbling boiler, the smell of smoke and steam, the passing countryside, the waving onlookers and the passengers waving back, a call to recognise that there is no ‘wrong’ track, that it’s life/pure Knowing/Awareness/God that is the real signalman and always was.

– James Eaton, The Real Signalman

It’s all life living itself – the universe, the Earth, ecosystems, social systems, people, thoughts, emotions, and the evolution of it all. It’s all life living itself, in a myriad of ways. Life exploring, experiencing and expressing itself through what’s here now. When life (as mind) identifies as a human being, taking blame or credit for it’s own life, that’s is also life living itself.

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