To practice the living of one’s life as “storied,” it may first be necessary to experience the idea as a meaningful one. The beauty of stories, their telling and living is an art coming from more than the deciphering of meanings, moral lessons, endings, or truth – as influential as those things may be. As I hope to show, they’re not the whole story. All stories, and especially the story we tell ourselves, need a willing participation, an immersion into deeply lived characters, especially to see our life in story form.
Stories speak to the heart and soul through the primary language of symbol and image, and what Hillman, Jung and others referred to as personifications, meaning the voicing of archetypal qualities speaking through and around us.
Whether we see or believe in it or not, personifying goes on in and all around us. It is human nature to experience the world through the animating vehicles of voice and sound and through the physical senses of hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and seeing. But we moderns are not all comfortable with the notion that something other than “me” speaks through me. Sounds too much like possession which we associate with evil powers. We counter that fear by believing that we are the god; the sole voice and agent of our being. We’re carrying a lot of weight around with that belief. Perhaps that is why we seem desperate at times for ideas about, and ways to move beyond, this world. We are perhaps uninitiated, yet to be born.
Persona to the Greeks referred to the voicings that came through the masks used in drama. These voices were known as the powers that be, the gods that transcend us, or speak through animals and natural powers like the wind and the sea. They enter us through sacred feasting of sacrifice and communion, where they then speak through us, giving us a bit of their power. For us moderns, especially those who believe we come into this world as a blank sheet of paper, an open book waiting to be written on, this idea may seem archaic, animistic, distasteful, unscientific, ridiculous, or just unnecessary. We tend towards notions of purity and innocence, blank slates, especially in our young and the vulnerable we care for.
Although we fear going backwards in time to a world we moderns view as less “enlightened,” favoring the idea that we need to progress, I believe the fear is unwarranted. Our hostility towards the idea of animistic and superstitious thinking has thoroughly landed us in yet another fantasy we refer to as “reality,” which does us a disservice by dividing all our experience of the world into either the real or unreal (imaginary) – categories that more often than not shrink our view of the world while burdening us with the hubris of believing we know more than we do. If ever we were to regain a sense of the world as being alive, it would not come about by a fall backwards in time, which is impossible, but through regaining an acute sensitivity and embodiment of human experience in this world through a deeper, more expansive imagination.
If some affinity with the natural world is not regained, our modern conviction that we now live in “reality,” freed from superstitions of an animistic past, renders the soul meaningless, if not incomprehensible, cutting us off from experiencing the aliveness of the world, oneself and others. The consciousness that imagines itself to live in “reality” is slowly imprisoning itself, alienated to a dead hostile world that we have either lost, killed, or must fix, or transcend altogether. Nature, as other – cute, innocent and cuddly, is outside of us, especially our human nature. The jungle once outside, has shifted to inside of us and we live forever taming something we can’t quite rein in without a continuum of sensory overload, medication, busyness, hope, purpose, work, shopping, meditation or worship of one kind or another. The bear in the woods is now our friend, the one in our dream, if we dream at all, wants to kill us.
It is common, especially in the west, to think of babies and children as innocent and untouched by the harshness of life. It is this idea that Hillman says leads us to placing undue blame and focus on family and society for who we are. Perhaps as an inverse reaction to the Christian notion of Original Sin, we go full circle in rebellion against its claim of an indebtedness we no longer feel or acknowledge. The burden of history as solid and real facts is just too great. Guilt is a sin.
But not all cultures imagine our entrance into this world in the same way. For other cultures, in other times and place, we come into this world from another world beyond us – a world that includes the ancestors, angels and other powers who already know us. Our birth then, is a “sleep and forgetting,” as Norman O. Brown puts it. Our initiation marks the beginning of a remembrence of who we are.
Persons, or personifying are very primary ways to experience the world and make sense of it all. We do this naturally, through the telling of stories within the family circle, watching movies and television, fantasy, imaginary friends, or enjoying a good book. We look to the characters to re-member ourselves, finding our unique character through attraction and repulsion to them. But in making hard and fast distinctions between the story we tell ourselves as the one and only real story, to stories we deem as fiction, we obligate ourselves to think of truth as something fully comprehensible by us. Here is where we may lose the beauty of story by failing to understand its ability to move us through many levels and layers through which we receive the gift of a multi-dimensional experience.
At another level, what is personified in us, is an expression of ideas and feelings, bits and parts that speak and live through us, that in varying degrees we are aware of as not entirely ours. Some, if not most of these parts, as Jung pointed out, are very collective in nature; ideas and feelings shared in the culture, or our cultural past, but whose source goes far beyond that. I take Jung’s idea of Individuation to mean coming to over time, an acceptance and appreciation of the fathomless dimensions of the possibilities of what he called the Self. I believe we are each a unique expression of that totality without being the totality ourselves.
If we accept and expect that our thinking and feeling comes through imagination then the way we tell and hear stories also matters. Do we fear the loss of what we keep calling reality? Don’t the many revisions of your life show the shedding of your snake’s skin, and yet, not bring you any closer to total comprehension of truth of the nature of world? Perhaps through awareness of the many revisions we have already made in our reimagining of the world, we allow ourselves to live each vision more fully immersed and alive in acceptance of our very human nature, which begins with a fantasy, a dream, an idea, a story.
Then we may ask, what is it that makes our sense of reality ring true? If we listen to ourselves and others with an ear for story, rich and layered, we may bend ourselves, inclined to listen to the voices of the powers that be.Addendum: If you’ve made it this far, I apologize for the lengthiness. The last several years I have been giving much thought to how it is we perceive and define the nature of the world, ourselves and others through image, story and language. If many of the ideas here seem repetitive, perhaps there is something at root trying to take shape. Repetition is not only compulsive habit, but may allow us to see the same things in a new way. I want to state clearly that all I am ever capable of saying or knowing, comes through my own limitations and expansions. I say this perhaps to ward off the notion that I am somehow above the ideas I am writing about. Much credit goes to many who touch me, that I am most grateful to and hope to honor here. The ideas then, although I take responsibility for, are both from and for them, including the ancestors, angels and all the invisibles who have graced me with their presence, some of whom I hope have enjoyed these glimpses at the shared and vibrant mystery of our existence. DK
42 thoughts on “The Next Chapter”
I takes a lifetime to be, and discover who we are, and the reason we are here, sentient beings, and I am afraid most people embrace their role, as they landed on it by circumstances given, like place of birth, family, and all those things that seem we did not had a choice, we just walked into our role, put on the mask and acted it.
Of course, they are those who seek deeper, and question themselves, and go on a quest as Joseph Campbell aptly put it as the Hero’s Journey.
Another teacher later put it as growing as the seed of a tree, an avocado seed, as it grows cannot turn into anything but into an avocado tree, as how successful it will be, that all depends, on the environment it grows, as how well nurtured it will be?
But even as a young child, not even ten years of age, words spoken by an elder friend made me question, my role on this life, and new then a conventional given life will not be for me, like perusing a career, getting married, have a family, and just living life as everybody else, and my inner quest started that same day, not that later had to worry about all those things to, but their were not my primary goal, and in fact a sudden crash of all those things, marriage, family separation, work, homelessness, in 1995 brought a crisis within myself, and made me start a new from practically zero, sort like the famous opening line of Dante’s Inferno:
“Midway upon the road of our life I found myself within a dark
wood, for the right way had been missed. Ah! how hard a thing it
is to tell what this wild and rough and dense wood was, which in
thought renews the fear!”
Well after all that suffering, struggle, confusion, and what not, finally the light come from within myself. And I was able to transform myself into who I am today, the same seed who grew up as the tree from the seed, it was.
As usually your writing evoke in me different thoughts, this post, what I just stated.
Best wishes to you Debra.
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Thanks for sharing so much of your life story with me, Brigido. Sounds like you had just the right kind of struggle that led you onto the path that fits.
Interestingly, 1995 was a turn around year for me too. I had broken up with a man that I had moved from New York to Oregon with. I was a long way away from family and old friends and not sure what the next step would be. But surviving that time was a much needed reset. Looking back, I’m grateful.
Thanks, as always, for reading my posts and especially for sharing so much of yourself with me.
After I experienced such deep crisis, I coined a phrase:
“In the Spiritual realm, unlike the material realm, you gain by losing. The more it affects you deeply, by suffering, and pain, the more you gain Spiritually!”
Therefore the burningheart.
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Beautiful! So wise. Thanks for sharing with us.
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In honor of Ajay, please celebrate Xmas in August:
Finally a short minute free to read!
I studied story-telling, I would say, through theatre (acting) and writing (short stories, etc), but for many years my interest in these areas has waned. When I started consuming books and experiences toward the longing for awakening, I found myself bypassing the fiction and play section in the library, altogether. Yet, I do find your question, “Don’t the many revisions of your life show the shedding of your snake’s skin, and yet, not bring you any closer to total comprehension of truth of the nature of world?” gives me pause. I think I long for the story that sheds itself, the one that begins with a story and ends with the clarity of nakedness beyond the story. Sometimes great story-telling seems to be leading this direction, I know a few such examples, but otherwise, I often feel I don’t have time for fiction. I have no patience for the never-ending loop used by many to convey their outlook through stories of their pasts. Why not go straight for the big reveal, as directly as possible? Hmm, how does one do that? As to whether this leads to comprehension of the truth of the nature of the world, I do not know. The longing that leads me away from stories becomes silent and attentive when the story rings of truth. I seem to only be able to discern when this is occurring with my spidey senses – I get shivers, chills, goose-bumps upon hearing or reading truth close to the bone. Thank you for the space here to ramble next to your lucid writing.
I hope you are still enjoying your august days. Very nice to imagine you taking in some games and treks into nature! My flow is ever shifting, but I am learning how to balance it better – getting the legs to stand on the life surf board a bit. Kowabunga 🙂 xo! m
I was struck by your saying you don’t read fiction anymore – neither do I. I think though, that I see fiction everywhere, or at least in the sense that the stories we tell, even when we’re “telling the truth,” seem arbitrary, or at least incomplete, to me. Maybe I am reaching the depths of madness, but it feels good and pleasurable to have a sense of my own imaginings throughout the day and be unburdened by the idea of a hard and fast reality or truth. No summary of any given moment that I could offer would do justice to the bigness of the world or even that moment.
I am sure that there is, somewhere and somehow a reality and a truth to our experience, but it seems impossible to grasp it all with some sort of declaritive finality. Tomorrow is another day, more opportunity to discover another element of the mystery to add to the soup. That mystery ingredient though, may be the bellringer of truth!
Perhaps reality is layered enough, or stratified, to enjoy those spidey moments where some new layer peels away to reveal only another layer. But, not only another layer, for each one shows up revealing beauty and knowing, shaping us into living, breathing characters, better suited for the story we find ourselves in.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful inspirations here! Yes, it’s been a good summer, sunny and beachy! Surfs up!
Reblogged this on LIFE PATHS for Better Endings and commented:
Dear Better Endings readers: Here is a wonderful post from The Ptero Card that reltes very well to our duiscussion this week and next about how our lives are “storied”, and “peopled” with archetypal impulses from within the dynamism of the unconscious…
Thank you so much for reading my writing on my new blog. It means a lot to me. It has taken me several months, but I have found my way back to my writing roots, approaching the writing of narratives from a Jungian perspective. And as always, I enjoy reading what you write.
I am happy to see you back here and glad you have found a writing voice that fits.
Thanks too, for reading my blog 🙂
This post was so rich it required me to sit with it for a bit, to really let it ruminate. I so appreciate you taking the time to share so many complex thoughts and rich ideas with us here, and may I just say I loved the images you chose so much!! They really heightened your language for me. Since you’ve given me the green light (many times) on long comments before, here goes….!!
As far as the length of your post, can we ever really say too much about the power of stories?? 😉 They sort of magnetize our consciousness don’t they? Firmly arresting us…because…what are we if not a story??? Don’t you think on some level, we all respond to that??
The idea that we come into this life as something other than a clean slate (perhaps even with a “backstory”….) is one I resonate with deeply, evidenced by a love of the idea of the collective unconscious and even dabbling in the idea of karma. I agree thoroughly with Hillman that this idea of a reality larger than ourselves can help us to forgive our own family, our past, our history.
One of my favorite parts about listening to life with an ear for story, is that the ego quiets. By thinking in stories, life almost gets bigger, grander, more beautiful, more full of life, it makes me feel so much more connected to humanity, take myself less seriously, I guess it just helps me love life more to see that we are all interconnected by the timelessness of story – a common bond we all share – it makes the heart sing.
The idea of “angels and ancestors and other powers that also know us” can deliver a real sense of belonging as well, if we can surrender our white-knuckled grip on materialist thinking and the “Truth” of our own limited perception. To think we are in communion with other, older, bigger voices is a warm, appealing idea to me, and to be quite honest, I am seeing a big return to these ideas in my current existence, both within myself and people around me. At drum class, we often talk of “letting the drum speak,” when I hike in nature we talk of “listening to the rhythms of nature” and in my painting circles there is a lot of talk of “letting what wants to emerge, emerge” and letting guides, and angels emerge onto the canvas, gifting us with messages we are not consciously aware of. This type of receptivity (a return to what I perceive as a certain femininity of consciousness) is POWERFUL and freeing. I see people around me being really open to all of this, I think as a result of being somewhat betrayed by the experience of what I call “Reality #1” or what you call Reality as “we moderns” see it.
And then of course there is the gift of dreams. When we begin to watch our dreams and see wildness emerge (who knew I had a red octopus back there???), that same sense of wonder and humility emerges…a sense of questioning, what is “Real”? My memories of dreams are just as real and vivid as waking life, reassuring me that life is total dynamism….the Dance!! (PS. I love the quote you left Linda in the comments…”Reality is what you can get away with.” Love!!) I also really love the observation that there was a time when all the sounds one heard were sounds of nature, and life itself was a meditation, the dance between the waking and the dreaming.
To return to a reverence for making time for that dance of consciousness is where I find my deepest, deepest love and wonder for the experience of life. Creating a life where I have the time and slowness to honor imagining, sleeping, and experiencing life awake, (awake!) is a huge priority for me, and when I shifted to that way of “living” I noticed I had so much less desire for material things, even less desire for more experiences, because each moment seemed so infinitely BIGGER.
It may be worth mentioning that of course, everything has a shadow side, and we must be careful to acknowledge the power of things “moving through us” without letting them serve as a scapegoat for personal responsibility, but as always, balance is key right??
Lastly, I have to say that I love the dance we do here together, Debra. I love watching your ideas intermingle, our ideas of individuation, storytelling, dreaming, “reality” and all weave in and out between us as we cross-pollinate and walk in wonder together. Our angels hold hands somewhere together for sure. 🙂
Deep, deep love for all the ways you’ve helped your readers expand,
Oh and PS. Thank you so much for giving the Fairy Tale Fridays series a shout-out here!! It is so much fun! 🙂
Thank you for your heartfelt reply here. It’s such a joy to get to know you and others here with our writing adventures. I feel richly rewarded by the entire experience in ways that are deeply meaningful to me.
“I noticed I had so much less desire for material things, even less desire for more experiences, because each moment seemed so infinitely BIGGER. ”
Bigger, that is a perfect word for it!
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Thanks Debra, you’re totally one of my writing heroes. 🙂
I don’t see any lengthiness — only important points being lovingly explained and reiterated. Nicely done as always, Debra.
Thanks so much Chris!
I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it.
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Such beautiful thoughts, Debra. I am a lover of both image and language and I have placed them on equal footing for a long, long time. This is why I LOVE coming back here and take my time reading all your wonderful narratives.
Thank you so much Monika for your kind words!
I am thrilled that we are able to share our love of language and image here.
Writing is a great teacher and brings the writer her own rewards, but sharing it with others who show so much love and appreciation is even more rewarding.
Am I not a piece of clay and my responsibility is to continue to mold this clay, that is me, to become the piece of clay that I am meant be?
We have threads that run through our lives, times, eras, events, that make us look to different tools to help make this piece of clay change into what it is slowly supposed to be.
I walk along on this journey
Only seeking to see
that which lands
from I know not where,
but which works through me
it helps me learn
to make this clay
into the best pot, plate, urn
or whatever else
it was meant to be.
So lovely Jim!
“that which lands from I know not where…”
Thank you dear friend!
Once again a wonderful post – thanks Debra.
“Although we fear going backwards in time to a world we moderns view as less “enlightened,” favoring the idea that we need to progress, I believe the fear is unwarranted. Our hostility towards the idea of animistic and superstitious thinking has thoroughly landed us in yet another fantasy we insist calling “reality”…”
Debra, I warm to going backwards. I try not to think in linear or cyclical terms, but rather in terms of the spiral which allows for a going back in order to transcend. In the going back we always go back with a different consciousness and perspective which enables us to see whatever it is we are going back to, in a new light which in turn energizes moves toward transcendence. T S Eliot puts it beautifully and I constantly live with his words which have become the stuff of my own life:
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
No doubt, a going back, and a reassessment of what we have left behind.
Again, great post Debra.
Thank you so much for your kind words and insightful comments!
I love your idea of return as spiraling rather than just circling back. Love the Eliot poem too! Thank you!
Debra, what an amazing and insightful read this has been.. Have you ever read the book by Ken Carey.. The Bird Tribe? I found this a fascinating book which for some reason your post brought back to my mind.. For it was in the 90’s when I read it.. And it took some understanding back then.. But We are so much more than just ourselves..
And we have lost our way on so many levels as we have forgotten who we are.. And our capabilities
I look forward to the next chapter of our lives.. Nature is always in charge and no matter how we have upset the balance it will always right itself, even if it takes another millennia to do it… it has before and it will again..
We are travellers stuck within our perpetual wheel and its time for some to jump off as they lift themselves up beyond that which they see..
Thats why I have decided to retire early.. I am not worried I will have no income.. When you know and trust in the process and finally understand and let go of the material needs.. All things suddenly become clearer ..
I am looking so much forward to the next chapter of my own life Debra..
And I so thank you for this wonderful insightful post..
Thank you so much for reading here and for your kind words and wonderful insights. The book sounds like it needs to be on my ever-growing list!
How wonderful that you are ready to take a leap into the next chapter of your life. I wish you many happy days of doing what you love and hope you continue to write and share your art and photos with us on your blog.
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This is a wonderful article Debra, and I have come back this morning to read it a second time after first doing so late last night. One might say the thrust of the piece centres on the concept of ‘reality’:
‘The consciousness that imagines itself to live in “reality” is slowly imprisoning itself as alien to a dead, hostile world that we have either lost, killed, or must fix, or transcend.’
I have just responded to a commenter on my own site suggesting that ‘reality’ is possibly the most useless word in existence, along with ‘existence’; though perhaps one might also add ‘Truth’ – capitalised to denote some absolute knowledge. Perhaps you would disagree with these assertions, though as always, it soon becomes futile to argue over the representative efficacy of word-symbols, as distinct from richer modes of symbolism: iconography, narrations and so forth.
Your writing inspires me to read more of Jung’s works, and I confess I have only read one of his titles previously, and that, so long ago I cannot even recall the title.
Many thanks for this eloquent and erudite article Debra.
Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts here. I share your concern in the use of these big words. I think you are spot on to take notice of the problems they bring when we use them. They’re much bigger than us and tempt us to think we can know things that we’re much better off acknowledging are beyond our ken. Thanks for bringing that important observation into the conversation. My thinking has very much been influenced by an understanding of my own smallness in the midst of a very big world. I think too that letting go of a need for these bigger than life ideas to be within reach allows the mystery and unknown to continue to bring us gifts and treasures.
I have not read too much Jung recently, but have read quite a few of the collected works in years past. I’ve been thinking it may be time to read his book on Alchemy to enrich my recent studies.
Thank you Debra; much love and tranquillity to you too.
It is fun to realize that I started writing in the blog world from a place of appreciating how sharing of our human story(ies) had so definitely helped me with insight, perspective shifts, growth and celebration of wisdom hard earned.
I really enjoyed this post for the reminders of the whys in my particular writing roots now at an especially challenging time as the life story is once again shifting in my home at the moment. We are each alone in this together here and that can bring me great comfort at moments which ask much to be felt through living experience (my cat is looking like he is preparing for his physical exit at the moment 😦 ).
Also, really you kick me in the pants to be more direct about sharing what filters to the forefront of awareness (when I have ignored the inspiration to do so) as I find it so often seems to be so “independently” similar running in the same themes for us all. I have been dipping into some cultural anthropology again after my neighborhood tree story share and have been dancing around a post that speaks to many of the things you are sharing here. I guess I should go write it up.
Thanks D. -x.M
It forever amazes how my life synchronizes with so many others. You would think we’d stop being surprised by it, but I am grateful that it still touches me deeply and brings me comfort and a smile.
I am sorry to hear about your aging cat. My oldest cat will be 14 in October. He is showing signs of poorer health and has always been a bit delicate. I can appreciate the pain of losing these angels of comfort and joy. My cats continue to teach me so much about life and love.
Looking forward to your writing, as time and circumstance allows.
Thank you Debra, all kinds of things here that triggered a sense of meaning, maybe because I’m a Western migrant, living in the East for the last 30 years, and looking at my origins and conditioning in the light of being part of the Eastern culture. The problem is that the narrative requires you to ‘believe’ in it before it begins… “once upon a time”, hypnotic opening – and if you can’t accept that for whatever reason, the story is meaningless. It took many years to see we believe in the story because we are ‘the story’. We are ‘personified’, there’s a commonly held belief in personification. God is a personification… you have to ‘believe’ in it to get it to work.
But that kind of story is seen through right away… it’s a construct. The self is a construct, language is a construct, everything is invented. Pretty scary, but that’s life isn’t it? The constructed ‘self’ fails to see that Truth is inexpressible. We’re aware of being on shaky ground. We can see the things we believe are permanent are not really permanent, but the truth of it continually disappears because there is no solid enduring self that sees it like this. There’s just a deep sense of things not being there. It drives us towards consumer goods (supports the economy) and we’re not able to let go, caught in adversity, a burden of guilt – it’s ‘bad’ to feel bad about yourself.
No way out except to go back in and take another look; regain a sense of the world as a oneness. The ‘one-god’ doctrine is not helpful these days, it creates a separate ‘self’ trapped in a constructed reality. Personification is a shared thing, it happens to everyone. That’s the starting point. That’s how it is for me anyway. Yes so thanks again for this interesting view on the totality of it all: “the ancestors, angels and all the invisibles…”
Hello dear Tiramit,
Thank you for nicely sharing your own contemplation here. I sense we live these dilemma’s with a similar sense of the shifting nature of the ground we stand on. It’s like acquiring sea legs only to fall out of the boat, get back in, reach shore and still be off balance.
It sure does help to have a practice of awareness though, yes? Every birthday I am reminded that in many ways the passing of time offers the gift that living practice brings.
Although I can’t ever “get it right,” I remain so thankful for all the angels and invisibles that pass by in my life, stopping to offer guidance just by showing up. Thank you!
Thanks Debra. You’re right, of course, awareness practice is the foundation of it all. Your post really set me going in an inspired direction of my own, leaving the original behind slightly – the metaphor of acquiring sea legs is appropriate here 🙂 So now I’m drawn back to it, going through it again, revision, repetition, refining all this received knowledge we share…
I am grateful for all that we can and do share.
“revision, repetition, refining” Love this!
As someone who has worked with people who have thought and mood disorders, reality is a tricky concept. Perhaps humans have always known on some level that the physical world is bogus. I am not certain. However, the 3D landscape can be a comforting touchstone when we are overloaded with too much stimuli and burdened with emotional drama. I enjoy returning to the sensual when the world of thought becomes too overwhelming. A great meal, beautiful music, vibrant art, etc,. bring me back temporarily to a place of safety and familiarity. I say this a person who revels in imagination and fantasy, often bored or disgusted with “reality”.
It is a dance Debra and thank you for your contributions…
love and lite,
As the writer Robert Anton Wilson says, “Reality is what you can get away with.”
Thanks for always dancing here with me.
I would like to reblog this at Better Endings this Friday after introducing some more material about archetypes on Tuesday. This is a beautifully evocative introduction to archetypal personae. Linda
Sure, I’d be happy to have the post reblogged on Better Endings. Thank you!
“We obligate ourselves to think of truth as something fully comprehensible by us. Here is where we may lose the beauty of story by failing to understand its ability to move us through many levels and layers through which we receive the gift of a multi-dimensional experience.” Love this!
Thank you Ka!
I really enjoyed this, Debra, and the return to ideas you’ve been writing about since I began reading here is helpful. Returning to them deepens them, as in the meanwhile I begin to carry the feelings and thoughts and realities perceived elsewhere in light of what I learn here.
I have just finished reading Reality by Peter Kingsley, which MT introduced on her site a few weeks ago, and was struck by one point made there regarding the utter lack of distinction between dreams, thoughts and “reality” in Parmenides’ teaching. I think it echoes a part of what you said above, the way we divide the stories from the “real” is a needless exercise, and the insistence on there being such a division, perhaps as a result of thinking one is more real and significant than the other, does indeed cut us off from the gifts of a past, or an ancestry, or a realm of angelic beings from which we have arisen. Instead, we are left utterly alone, caught holding the empty bag of what is “real”…
It has taken some time for me to hold, on the one hand, knowings hard won through other personal experiences and on the other to place into the same bag the vocabulary and viewpoints I find here, but I am finding the effort is well worth it. My experience of both and of “all of it” is expanded and enlivened. In some sense, all there is, is story– a grand, great and majestic story. And if this is so, we would do well to be enlivened by its power, no?
Thanks so much for leaving a note here.
It is ever challenging to make and maintain these bridges between us for meeting the other where they are. Language, referents, and our usual notions of how we understand the world enough to say anything at all about it, are slippery, and yet, who can resist?
Our conversations here and over at your place, Embracing Forever, certainly inspire me to keep at efforts to articulate the heart stuff. There seems to be a pace, much like our breathing that expands and contracts, to what makes sense to us and the particular way we find to express it, yes?
As time goes by, I think more about keeping the doors open, meeting the other where they are in recognition of how at some level, beyond our language and referents, we can hear what each of us is saying and needs to say. Practice, that’s a word I am trying to remember to use more and more!
To think in terms of stories is very helpful to me and breaks the spell in which I must know and tell the truth. It’s too much of a burden to expect such big, all-encompassing deliberations from my weak and fragile fragmented perspective in the big sh-bang. And that’s okay.
Stories reveal so much, some of which might be true! Our part is perhaps just to listen to each other more closely, more slowly, and savor the opportunity to share like this, an open breeze in the midst of a hot summer’s night.
A grand story enlivening us, indeed! What a blessing to be in it and on occasion, to feel loved by it.
Much love and gratefulness for these mutually adorned bridges between us Michael.
So many beautiful sentiments here, Debra, I couldn’t resist a few resounding echoes. I loved what you wrote about loosing the burden of telling the truth, and about practicing the art of keeping the doorways open. You are onto something important I think– the need we have to hear and be heard, to offer our unique vantage points that we may experience the joy of sifting through one another’s particularity to uncover our shared universality. We need the simultaneous looseness and richness of story so that there is enough fertile landscape for us all to find our place in this Great Garden of Being.
Savoring the opportunity…
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