Exploring from the inside and outside of stories

Another revisited topic:

We can explore any situation from the inside and outside of a story.

When I explore it from the inside of stories, I investigate the stories I am most familiar with, and also the genuine truth in the reversals of these stories.

This invites in a release of identification with any of these stories, I get more familiar with the truth in the reversals of stories I took for granted, and I am more free to use any of those stories as tools of practical value only.

In short, I harvest the nutrients in each story and its reversals. For my human self, it allows for a greater fluidity in playing with stories, identities and roles, and a wider terrain.

When I explore it from the outside of stories, I can notice what appears in each sense field, and see thoughts as just thoughts. I see that it is all the play of awareness, emptiness temporarily appearing as form, and as substantial and real if not recognized as awareness itself.

This comes up for me again when I hear or read different teachers who operate within the context of Ground awakening (so it seems), yet also seem a little stuck in certain stories.

They realize all as Big Mind, as Ground appearing as form, inherently absent of any I with an Other, all perfect as is, all the play of God. Yet at the same time, they talk as if they are attached to certain stories, and don’t see the truth in the reversals of those stories.

There seems to be at least two possible reasons for this.

One is that they are familiar with the truth in the reversals, but choose to emphasize a story to get an effect. It is a play only, and they are free to emphasize the reversals in another situation, or a view that holds the truth in all of those stories.

The other is that they actually are not familiar with the truth in the reversals, and may even – at their human level – have some emotional reactivity around it. Something is not quite resolved at the human level, so their human self replays patterns even within the context of awakening.

Specifically, this came up around dark nights.

For me, having worked on my own dark night within and outside of stories, I now find a genuine appreciation and love for the dark night, both for its own sake, as play of awareness, and also for its effects at my human level, and in inviting what I am to notice itself. There are a great deal of nutrients in the dark night, maybe more or less proportional to how dark it is.

If I could go back and chose to have it or not, I am not sure what I would chose. Either way seems fine.

Yet, I just read a teacher talking about his own dark night, and dark nights in general, as if he did not have much appreciation for it. Something to avoid if possible. Something with not so much value.

Again, it can of course just be a teaching tool. For himself, he knows the genuine truths in the reversals of those stories, and he does have a great deal of appreciation and gratitude for the dark night. Yet he choses to present it differently, to have a certain effect on his students. To shake them up, invite them to go through it faster and with less pain.

But there are wrinkles even there. If he wants them to go through it faster and with less pain, it is probably out of kindness. None of us wants others to suffer, and we will do something about it if we can. But it could also prevent the students from harvesting the abundance of nutrients in the dark night, which is not so kind.

Still, what happens happens. A teacher may say and do things with a certain intention, and something quite different happens for the student. Infinite effects, infinite causes.

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