The Presence is silent and conveys a state of peace. It’s infinitely gentle and yet like a rock. With it, all fear disappears, and spiritual joy occurs on a quiet level of inexplicable ecstasy. Because the experience of time stops, there’s no apprehension, regret, pain, or anticipation; the source of joy is unending and ever-present. With no beginning or ending, there can be no loss, grief, or desire–and nothing needs to be done, for everything is already perfect and complete.
David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., describing his enlightenment experience in his book, Power vs. Force
There was a story on NPR about a man who became an artist after a stroke. Before the stroke he’d been a chiropractor who occasionally doodled. Now he was a collectible artist with something over 70,000 art pieces and counting. The stroke had destroyed part of his left-brain, leaving him incapable of most linear thought. He now lived fully in the moment. Every day, every experience was absolutely new to him. Fresh, but also without context. He had diminished capacity to build a history of experience. The compulsive art-making, he said, was his brain’s way of trying to explain his life to himself. Trying to make sense of it all. Taking the same materials, day after day, and re-ordering them into a story that fit the facts as he knew them.
This is what the mind does for all of us. We all are telling ourselves stories all the time. We each have a personal mythology that explains for us why we behave the way we behave, why we are the way we are, why these shortcomings, why these strengths. How did I end up here. Where do I belong.
We are, none of us, victims. Things happen. Life happens. We have strokes, accidents, illness; people come into our life, people leave us. All without our permission. But what do we do with these happenings? What is our point of view on these facts of our life? Are we living in lack and limitation because we don’t deserve abundance, or because someone cheated us out of what was rightfully ours, or because our parents didn’t love us? Or…
Are we successful because God loves us more than someone else, or because we’re lucky, or because they haven’t yet figured out who I really am?
Our mind moves the facts of our life around, making different stories, or the same story, day after day, sometimes painting with the clear, pure colors of our true self, sometimes with the muddy pigments from our childhood, and sometimes a bit of both. What story are we telling ourselves today? What is our personal mythology?
The Veda says we are all unique expressions of the one, divine whole and we have taken these individual forms in order for the one divine whole to experience the joy of reuniting with itself through us. We humans call this experience love. Self looks into the eyes of Self, recognizing Itself. When we know ourselves as this one divine wholeness, all these relative things, all these ‘facts’ of our life, pale in their power to define us and we can begin to see all of these bumps in the road simply as challenges and opportunities to help us in our growth toward our full capacity for love and unity.
This is the background story, then, to every other story we tell ourselves–there is one thing, this one thing is love, I am this one thing. Knowing this as the overarching Truth of our universe, our stories can change, easily, almost effortlessly. And as our stories change, we will change. We can do this today. We can change our mind today.
Today I will rearrange the facts of my life into a story of joy, opportunity, abundance and success, making sure to include the ingredient that I have been given life by a loving Totality that wants nothing for me but the best there is, and nothing from me but all that I am.