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What Stories Shape Your Life?

  • November 4, 2011
  • 11:01 am
  • 1 of 2
What Stories Shape Your Life?

Every creature has a story. A beginning, an arc of a life, and then an ending. Not just animals, of course. Trees, flowers, butterflies, spiders, rocks, planets, and solar systems all have their story.

All come from life, are infused and animated by life to become a particular life form, and then return to the pool of life. Along the way there are small and great dramas, crossroads of destiny, and surprises both wondrous and horrific. Some stories end very quickly and some go on and on. There are countless dramas within this leela, which I define as the entire theater of life and all its forms.

We are a species that learns by stories. Our families, nations, religions, cultures, and sub-cultures pass on knowledge through story telling, whether in prose or poetry. From first learning how to read to seeking truth and freedom, we look to stories to show the way. And they do.

When we evoke the story of Christ, or Buddha, or Harriett Tubman, or Ulysses, or Wonderwoman, or Harry Potter, it changes our state of mind (as well as our physiology.) When we follow the arc of their lives we see a mirror of the blessings and curses of our own lives, and we gather nourishment and/or learn essential warnings from their stories.

We are inspired and cautioned by stories. From leaning to be on time by hearing our mother read The Pokey Little Puppy enough times, to realizing the great follies of our vanity from the classic epics of all cultures; from the daily headlines of the tabloids to the tragedies and comedies of Shakespeare and the latest super-hero, we learn what failure is, what perseverance means, how the choice of an instant can change a person’s or a country’s life. (In our times, how the choice of an instant can threaten all life forms.)

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Gangaji

Gangaji is the author of Diamond in Your Pocket, You Are That, and Freedom and Resolve. She offers online and teleconferencing meetings as well as retreats in the U.S., Canada, Europe, England and Australia. Contact www.gangaji.org for more info.

24 comments

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5:46PM PST on Nov 11, 2013

I miss reading bedtime stories to little ones. Great memories :) Thanks for sharing.

1:01PM PST on Nov 16, 2011

thanks

6:01PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

very good article--- thank you.

12:13PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

Fun article, thank you - and reminding me of wonderful childhood memories!

10:14AM PST on Nov 6, 2011

We can be inspired by stories, but we must not forget that we are the authors of our own stories. We each are the Hero in Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces." We often hear the call to adventure, and meet those who help us along the way, but all too rarely do we follow through to the return.

5:28AM PST on Nov 6, 2011

That's particulary true when you read "Never Look Back",by Lesley Pearse. This is the one. This is the one and only one that made new roots, new tears, ... A Great Story.

8:41PM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

Very interesting. Having just finish reading Tom Brown Jr.'s second book "The Search" it reminded me of his abilities to read the story of a creature in it's tracks, and the more of the story he reads, the more connected he becomes to the creature and his environment until he becomes one with all.

My point is that we need to read the "tracks" we're making with our own stories and learn of their connection to the stories being told all over the world.

4:14PM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

thanks.

2:03PM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

What an excellent post and what a story. For most of my life I lived in stories and they were not always great, especially the one about my drug addiction and alcoholism.I am delighted to report all of those stories, including the loss of two families, are over now and I have been clean and sober since 1986. Old relationships have been patched up and I have made amends to all required. However the stories persisted as I clawed and scratched my way into the long process of awakening to a conscious awareness of who I am. Amazing Grace! Now at the beginning of the Autumn of my years, I am delighted to look back and simply say Ìt`s over`! I meditate and enjoy my life in the Now! My story is that I do not believe in the end of life. I know that I was never born nor will I die. There is no such thing as death. There is an evolution into a different dimension, much like a caterpillar when it metamorphoses into a butterfly, Thanks for reading. Sat Nam!

9:52AM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

Thanks!

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