Why Tell a Story?

Recently ran into a great article on Why Tell a Story, by Gina Lake.

“Every experience we have ever had is in the past. It’s gone, and will never be here again. All we have left is a memory, and a memory is but a shadow of the actual experience—a weak, faded remembrance with lots of gaps. A memory, in fact, is not an experience at all but a thought, which is why memories are not fulfilling, like experiences. As soon as we put that memory into words and tell a story about it, we are no longer in the memory but in the story of the past, which are two very different things. A memory is information stored as an image, while a story is a point of view. The story is much narrower than the actual memory, since it includes much less information than the memory. Certain pieces of information are selected from the memory to include in the story and the rest is left out, including the various perspectives of those present. A story about the past can only be one point of view.

When you tell a story about the past, that story is your point of view, which then seems to be the true story (because we like to believe that our perspective is true). Telling a story about the past solidifies the past and makes the story seem true. And the more you tell that story, the truer it seems. The actual memory it was based on fades or is forgotten, and all you are left with is your story, which you remember because you’ve repeated it so often. [I’ve talked of how revisionist or history is] You become convinced of your story (you have convinced yourself of it) and attached to it because it’s yours, so then you feel compelled to repeat it, defend it, convince others of it, and make sure it remains true, even if it causes you pain. It becomes your “truth,” which really just means your ego’s truth.

The trouble with stories is that they aren’t neutral, at least not for long, because stories are told by the ego, and the ego always has a personal agenda. It wants you to come out on top, and it likes to create drama and problems to solve…”

“So, here’s the problem: When you tell stories about the past, you are bound to be creating feelings, and since it is the ego doing the spinning of these stories, the feelings aren’t going to be good ones. People struggle so much with the past, not because the past was necessarily so awful, but because the ego’s story about the past makes them feel bad about themselves, others, and life, and that feels like a real problem.”

I’ll let her close with how happiness dawns when we give up our stories.

BTW, if you’re wondering how a channeler can be non-dual, you may enjoy her commentary on the question. She certainly aired my own concepts when I first ran into her through Nirmala. There are some unique paths home.

Nonduality, No Self, and Channeling

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