Stepping stones

 

Again, this is very simple, and in many ways obvious. We know this. It is part of our culture.

And yet, there is always more to explore. When I take it as a pointer and explore it in my own life, it can be very helpful. Especially when I find and explore those places in my life where I don’t quite get this yet.

Any story is a stepping stone.

It is a stepping stone to shifts in attention, and to choices and actions in the world.

And it is a stepping stone to other stories which may be more useful or appropriate in this or later situations.

This goes for any area of life, whether it is my everyday life, science, spirituality, or politics.

And it goes for any story, whether it is an image, a personal belief, a teaching, pointers, maps, theories, or world views.

In science, it is obvious that any map, theory, or world view is a stepping stone for something else. It is of temporary and limited value, a set of pointers and filters useful for right now. Tomorrow, or next year, or in a hundred or a thousand years, something else – perhaps something dramatically different – will appear more useful and appropriate.

It is the same in spirituality. Any story is a pointer for own exploration, whether  this exploration is through inquiry, meditation, prayer, or how to live our lives. These pointers may be very helpful for us now, and something else will show itself as more appropriate and useful later on. This goes for any spiritual story, whether it is about practice, reality, or how we life our lives.

So the question then is, do I recognize this story – and any current story – as a stepping stone? What happens if I take it as an endpoint? What happens when I recognize it as merely a stepping stone? How useful is it as a stepping stone? How useful is it in a pragmatic sense?

As mentioned above, this may be obvious. And yet, it may not always be so obvious. I may find myself in a situation that triggers fear, fear of fear, and I – often out of habit – seek refuge in beliefs. I may cling to a story out of familiarity, or out of fear of what may happen if I soften my grip. Fortunately, life is kind. It tells me, usually through a sense of unease, discomfort, or stress, when I seek refuge in beliefs. And that is an invitation to notice. To examine the story I hold onto and what happens when I hold onto it. And explore how it would be to hold it more lightly. How it would be to recognize it as a stepping stone, here now.

P.S. I found this great series of images of stepping stones. Interesting how they each have their own quality, their own feel, just as stepping stones in life.

Note: Everything is of course a stepping stone. Any experience, any manifestation. It is a phase. It leads into something else.

Trigger: A BBC article on the Higgs Boson:

But today, many physicists regard it as incomplete, a mere stepping stone to something else.

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Better beginning….

But today, many physicists regard it as incomplete, a mere stepping stone to something else.
– from a BBC article on the Higgs Boson and the Standard Model in physics.

Any story is a stepping stone.

It is a stepping stone to shifts in attention, and to choices and actions in the world.

And it is a stepping stone to other stories which may be more useful or appropriate in this or later situations.

[etc]

…………..
…………..
…………..

Initial draft….

Any story is a stepping stone.

It is a stepping stone for shifts in attention, and for choices and actions in the world.

And it is a stepping stone for other stories which may be more useful or appropriate in another situation.

This goes for any area of life, whether it is our everyday life, science, spirituality, or politics.

And it goes for any story, whether it is an image, a personal belief, a teaching, pointers, maps, theories, or world views.

In science, it is obvious that any map, theory, or world view is a stepping stone for something else. It is of temporary and limited value, a set of pointers and filters useful for right now. Tomorrow, or next year, or in a hundred or thousand years, something else will present itself that will turn out to be more useful and appropriate.

It is the same in spirituality. Any story is a pointer for own exploration, whether it is inquiry, meditation, prayer, or how to live our lives. These pointers may be very helpful for us now, and at some point in the future, something else will show itself as more useful.

It is obvious at a general level. And yet, it may not be so obvious when we are in the midst of it. We may end up clinging to a story out of familiarity, or fear of what may happen if we soften our grip. Fortunately, life will tell us when we hold onto a story too tightly, usually in the form of discomfort or stress. And that is an invitation to notice, examine the story we hold onto and what happens when we hold onto it, and find what is more honest for us.

………………

As mentioned above, this may be obvious. And yet, it may not be so obvious when I am in the midst of a situation that trigger fear, fear of fear, and I seek refuge in beliefs. I may end up clinging to a story out of familiarity, or out of fear of what may happen if I soften my grip. Fortunately, life is kind. It tells me, usually through a sense of discomfort or stress, when I seek refuge in beliefs. And that is an invitation to notice, examine the story I hold onto and what happens when I hold onto it, and explore how it would be to hold it more lightly, to recognize it as a stepping stone.

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  • stepping stones
    • stories, teachings, pointers, maps, practices etc.
    • good to keep in mind

– any story, a stepping stone
— a stepping stone for attention/choices/actions
— and a stepping stone to other stories, more useful/appropriate in other situations
— goes for any area of life – everyday life, science, spirituality etc.

………..

initial draft….

Any story is a stepping stone, whether it takes the form of everyday stories, images, teachings, pointers, maps, or theories, and whether they happen in our personal everyday life, in spiritual traditions, politics, or science.

They are pointers for our attention, choices, and actions. They are of temporary and practical value only. And they are stepping stones, not only to shifts in attention and choices and actions, but also to new stories that may seem more appropriate and useful in the next situation, or at some point in the future.

It is perhaps obvious. And yet also good to keep in mind.

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