We all love a good story. As humans we seem hardwired to hearing a series of events unfold in sequence from an authoritative voice steeped in the complexities of life’s dramas, mysteries and surprises. For centuries we listened, spellbound, fidgety or sleepy. Then we advanced to reading, taking control of the pacing and emphasis, if not the actual details, for ourselves. Then we arrived as observers of moving pictures, where the seeming reality almost overwhelmed us, making us forget, for a couple of hours at least, that we had a life outside the theatre, a life that would resume when the escape was over.
But when we touch soul and embrace the spirit within we can begin to feel inner directed. We can know the plan behind the outer confusion. We can sense direction and purpose, even in the break downs and false starts. We can begin to grapple with the notion that we are telling ourselves a story, a story to keep us entertained while we are educated. A story steeped in mysterious turns and twists, a story with so many plots and counter-plots it might almost seem plotless. A story draped in sadness and disappointments that magically morph into resolution and chirpy ease. A story with seemingly insurmountable challenges that suddenly capsize into carefree oceans. Stories where you find yourself standing at the edge of a mountain only to chop it down with the edge of your hand. Stories in which failure and success are assessed by us, both by the hour here on earth, and later in the heaven of our choice.
Was joy our playmate, sadness our ally? Did envy trump compassion, or vice-versa? Did we allow desire to stimulate growth, or ambition to stifle empathy? Did fear embalm us, anger inflame? Did we reach out to embrace, reach in to understand? Did we wallow in addiction in the pursuit of pleasure? Did we cripple ourselves with wounds so that we could not walk? Did we suppress emotion to deify the intellect? Did we repeatedly dumb down to disappear from public view? Did we champion the ego and construct mirrors for its cravings? Did we inflate our personality and obscure our soul?
Such are the issues we weigh and resolve in the life that is after. The life that comes before the telling of the next story. The life that is in itself another story, another chapter in the ultimate narrative.