What story are the Russians authorities telling about the Americans? And what story are the American authorities telling about the Russians? What about the Ukrainian, EU, Syrian, Iraqis, Egyptian authorities? What story are YOU telling about all the above? These stories have many names: history, truth, reality, the right and the wrong one, the stories of victims, perpetrators, the stories of saviors and heroes.
What most stories have in common is that they are generated by the mind. They are tunnel-vision interpretation of events. Because a heart-disconnected mind thinks in terms of right or wrong, it interprets events through a polarized tunnel-vision looking at events through the lens of victims, perpetrators and rescuing heroes.
An event happens in the moment. A story is the perpetuation of the event by the mind with its obligate twist, turns and distortions. Just try to play the game of stating “what happened” to one person, then go around the circle, and listen to “what happened” according to the last person: a whole new story. When this is done in an innocuous setting of a game, it is entertaining. When it is done on the world stage, it is devastating and to this day we continue to see the ruinous results of story-telling at a collective level.
Nations and countries themselves are sustained by stories of villains that the “other” deems heroes, and stories of heroes that the “other” deems villains. These stories often become over time ungrounded and illusionary tales of a perceived reality: inflated, deflated, idealized or demonized events created by the adversarial mind. The result: war in its many forms.
Stories – in a mind-based society – hold great power in the forming of the collective identity. With a story we define who we are, our assumptions, beliefs, rules, conclusions, expectations and our worldview. We are constantly telling stories: to ourselves, our family, co-workers, our neighbors, our buddies, our organizations of choice and so do politicians, religious and spiritual leaders, the media and the corporate world. We are used to believe that stories are important and true because after all they are the only sounds we ever have heard. Thus, we continue to tell them and interpret whatever happens through the lens of the same story, over and over again. The result: these stories create the world we see and we see nothing more than what these stories are telling us. A dog chasing its tail.
A collective story is not wrong or right. It is just a desperate attempt of the mind to make sense of what cannot be captured by stories, i.e. the complexity of life. Life cannot be captured by the mind. It is like trying to catch a butterfly with a nail. A collective (and individual) story will always fall short to hold the essence of the multidimensionality of events. At their best, stories are means to tap into what is story-less. They are slices of the essence of life, exhilarating, brutal and all the many shades in between. Stories are symbols, cryptic language to describe what is beyond words. If we recognize the limitations of stories rather than spending our days identifying ourselves with them and pretending that they are the ultimate holder of truth of what happened in the moment, than we have liberated ourselves into a heart-intelligent society.
Who are we as a nation without our collective story?
Surrendering our belief in our stories frees us into heart consciousness. In the frequency of the heart there is no story, only unlimited potential to create a new story-less moment, each moment. When we let go of our collective story we have found our way into the “holy grail” – a symbolic story of the womb of unlimited options readily accessible each moment. Within a story-less container, different cultures can move from a child-like finger pointing to creative exchange with adult level responsibility.
Do we have the courage to stop entertain ourselves with stories in the belief that they are so important and true? This is the power of stillness. Stillness is the gateway into heart consciousness. This gateway is open even in the midst of the story of the events in Ukraine. It is always open. Let’s have the courage to be still and listen to the sound of our collective heart. Feel its story-less truth.
Practice: for a minute, for an hour or for a day, observe the stories you are telling others about yourself and your world? For a minute, an hour or a day, stop telling stories…notice any differences?