Seeking refuge in stories


A simple process, and it has a profound impact to the extent it is recognized – as it happens.

I tell myself certain stories are true, so I can feel more safe. Whenever I take a story as true, there is fear, so I take more stories as true to feel more safe.

Taking a story as true creates fear because it is a lie (no story is true), and the world can at any moment remind me it is a lie.

It is a precarious situation. I have do defend the story and its viewpoint and the identity that goes with it, and somewhere I know I can’t since it is a lie. And for the same reason, I mislead myself when I take a story as true, including in onventional and very practical ways. 

After a while, and especially if I look, I may recognize these dynamicss. I can notice the dynamics around taking stories as true, and not. What happens when I take a particular story as true? What happens if I don’t? 

I may also recognize that I don’t know. Even for the stories that initially seem most obvious, I really don’t know. And this is really more safe since there is no story to defend here, and I don’t mislead myself by telling myself a story is (absolutely) true.

I can still use stories as guides for attention, exploration and action, but that is all they are. They are tools of limited and temporary value, each one useful in some situationas and less so in other, and there is no truth inherent in them. Just as a hammer is useful in some and not in other situations, and there is no truth inherent in a hammer. (It is easy to see when it comes to our physical tools.) 

To the extent this is recognized as it happens there is receptivity and curiosity, and less or no need to defend a story, viewpoint or identity. 

This is very helpful in daily life when it comes to the stories easily recognized as stories. And it is even more helpful when our basic stories are investigated, including the story of me + I. The story of a human self with particular roles and identities, and a separate I in its flavors of doer, chooser, owner, observer and so on. 


Initial outline…

  • stories and safety
    • take stories as true so feel more safe
      • but is also precarious, have to defend a story, viewpoint, identity (and can’t b/c is a lie)
      • any belief creates fear, so also here use beliefs to deal with fear (not fully allow, experience, escape into stories)
    • then, recognize that don’t know is more safe (not a safe refuge)
      • can still use stories as tools, of practical and limited value only (situation specific)
      • but no story, viewpoint or identity to defend (receptive, curious, see the limited value in each story)

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