Earlier today, Jen and I walked around the Saturday & Farmer’s market downtown, in the beautiful spring weather. We waited for green light at an intersection, and a man came walking down a sidewalk with his dog.
During the few seconds we waited and I watched him and his dog, I saw again how stories play themselves out.
First, there was the story of him being either mentally ill and/or a drug addict, yanking the leash of his beautiful and patient golden retriever. I felt a great deal of sadness for this dog, and also for him for the misery of his life.
Then, it shifted fluidly into another story. This one of the beauty of their relationship, how nurturing it is for them both, and how lucky they are to have each other.
Then, a shift into an absence of any (obvious) story. And here, there is just a man and a dog walking down the sidewalk in the spring sun. Without even this overlay of stories, there is just life happening – in a particular form.
There was a clear sense of how each of these stories functioned as an overlay to the situation, as colored glass I saw it through. And also of how fluid they are when they are not believed in. As Byron Katie says, they function more as innocent questions than as any solid statement about the situation. And then noticing the clarity and presence when the stories are allowed to drop.
There is a beautiful fluidity here between the various stories functioning as questions, and then also coming to what is without the overlay of stories.
Deepening into absence of stories
There is also a deepening into the absence of stories.
At one level, there may not be a belief in any particular story about the man and the dog, but still a belief in the story of there being a man and dog – with all the associations I have around those ideas.
There may also be the belief in the story of I and Other, of me as an I – placed on my human self or the seeing, and of Other placed on everything else.
Without a belief in even these more fundamental stories – of the ideas of man, dog, spring and sun, and of I and Other, something else is revealed. And this is Spirit forming itself into all these temporary forms, the ground appearing as these forms, God’s play, emptiness dancing.
As the belief in stories fall away, everything is revealed as God.