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.)