Are You Your Story Or The Story Teller?
The Gospel of St. Thomas
What does this cryptic, age-old conundrum actually mean? What is our mystic trying to tell us? What is it we are supposed to recognize before our eyes? What is going to be revealed?
Is there some hint that can help us begin this process of bringing what is hidden into the light of our awareness on a daily basis – and not just while in deep meditation, prayer or contemplation?
The most stunning and awesome clue rests in being aware, moment to moment, of your story as a story; being aware of the difference between the reality of the situation and your personal interpretation of what it means.
This ability is crucial in unraveling this mystical guidance. The skill of distinguishing between the sensory reality of an experience and the meaning and significance you give it via your interpretation is an amazing life-changing event – day after day after day.
Example: Your boss (husband, friend, significant other, parent) has their attention focused on something other than you and is not listening to you even though you are talking to them. Your interpretation of this event is that you are a failure once again, accompanied by feelings of anger, sadness, embarrassment, shame, loneliness, abandonment or betrayal, concluding there is definitely something wrong with either you, or them.
Recognizing your story as an interpretation of what is actually happening, and not an ultimate truth, is like lifting a veil, or parting a curtain. Then, quite suddenly, what was hidden from you appears.
The phrase “what is” becomes clear as you view what is on the other side of your analysis – regardless of whether you decided it was right, wrong, good, bad, beautiful, ugly, or even a message from beyond.
The paradox is being able to see through your story’s meaning and significance as a final truth while simultaneously perceiving the more universal and intrinsic meaning and significance just on the other side of your interpretation- that being that you are intrinsically more than your story.
From the mystical perspective, recognizing your story as a story is an exit from hell and an entrance into heaven. It opens the door to looking at life from a completely different point of view. And most importantly, this point of view is based on your own experience.
It is the action that will carry you through your seemingly substantial personal drama to the experience of the seemingly insubstantial substance of your soul, spirit, divine self, or any language that fits your understanding.
This is a complete 180-degree turn around from the personality perspective which perceives personal drama as the substance of who you are. Your story IS your identity. When you hear yourself say, “I’m the kind of person who ….”, you have momentarily bought into the notion that you and your story are one and the same.
Yet, paradoxically, you are not being asked to give up your story. Nor are you being asked to diminish its significance in your journey of growth and evolution. To do so would be to disrespect your humanity and your Hero’s journey.
Instead, our mystic is guiding us to see through our story as a final statement of truth about who we are.
When we are free to perceive ourselves from both points of view, we can begin to enjoy the dance of being both human and Divine.
Once you have the knack for perceiving Life as it is, without being completely blinded by your mind’s creation of meaning and significance, you are able to taste the incredible lightness of Being (God, Truth, Consciousness, or whatever words work for you).
Imagine as if you could suddenly perceive the air itself and not just the effects of its temperature on your skin – or perceive the wind itself and not just intuit its presence through the movement of the leaves on the trees.. Ahhh….lovely stillness and movement in harmony.
I invite you to explore the difference between your story about what is unfolding and what is actually happening in your world of sensory experience. Here’s how to start:
- What are you seeing in terms of light and color and shape and size?
- What are you hearing in terms of tempo, tone, pitch and volume?
- What are you feelings in terms of sensations – tight, hard, cold, soft, heavy, light?
- What are the actual actions unfolding?
Seeing through your story to what is behind it – not psychologically but via your senses – will pull back the curtain and perhaps allow you to catch a taste of the incredible lightness and wonder of Being that is the force behind it all.
Until we meet again, may your eyes adjust to seeing what is before you. The ability is there – just like walking into a dark theater. At first, you see only the screen. Yet, within a few moments, you know and trust that your eyes will naturally adjust. And then you will be able to see all that is actually before you – an aisle and rows of seats, either empty or full.
From my heart to yours,