Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shared Stories

Much of this blog has been devoted to pointing to a place beyond stories, to what Peter Fenner calls "unconditioned awareness." When we are in that space, we don't know where we are. We are aware of that which is aware, which has no boundaries or characteristics, which cannot even be said to exist or not exist.

We have also talked about personal stories, those assumptions that we bring into our lives, which in fact create much of what we view as the world. That people are inherently good, or bad. That the world is inherently just, or cruel. That life is easy, or hard.

There might be a third category. I'm not sure. But it seems to me that some stories are deeply personal, and some are shared. When we look at books, or our storytelling traditions, or even back to the original stories that have since become myth, we see the same plots over and over again.

Boy gets girl. David beats Goliath. Man faces temptation (or temptress). Ambition leads to a "deal with the Devil."

These myths shape our lives as well. When viewed backwards, we often reform our experiences into one of these myths. We can come to view our lives as a heroic quest, whether that quest is a search for honor or wisdom or treasure.

But to know ourselves, it seems that we have to step beyond these stories, too. What are we that is beyond our childhoods, our relationships, our mythical quests? Who is it behind our eyes?

In our quests, we are saying that what we are looking for is not this, is not here, is not now. And there is joy in experiencing that journey.

But wherever we go, we are still right here. We can travel the world over and never leave our front doorstep. We can see our stories, and see beyond them, too.


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