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Borrowed Mythology

Photo by Lyn

I've been thinking about what it is to have a story, a genuine story that belongs to you, that is given to you as a gift as you move through the many seasons of your life; a story that links aspects of your experience with a spiritual understanding of your physical world. Maybe it is simply connecting to phases of the moon, or animal, mineral or plant, through stories which give you a deep reverence and connection to all life forms; a story that grounds you with a sense of purpose, and a clear place in existence.

Lately, I have been thinking about the kind of stories that I grew up with, realizing that much of the stories that I learned were very much borrowed, and taught to me in a detached way, as to be sure that they wouldn't stay with me long. They were stories that belonged to other peoples and other eras of time, who apparently had access to sacred wisdom that I did not. So, even if I felt some resonance in the rich personification of the moon, the stars, or the animals, the stories were naturally reduced to folklore, relevant to a time and place that no longer existed, and something that belonged in a museum or better yet, a dusty textbook. Well, this is what a child deduces--consider how hard it is to get them excited about something that is relevant.

So, the moon was just a place to get to. Wild animals were something to be controlled and paraded in zoos and circuses, rivers were to be dammed and harnessed for power, and all life was game to be dissected, or to be put in tiny cages in research centers, in the name of science. I remember fondly my little white rat, who I taught to do a little dance, and then press a little lever for food--in the name of science. Dance, little lab rat, dance! So, I guess what I am saying is that any reverence I had, any resonance for the sacred spirits of the earth, was reduced by my education, to an interesting perspective, a literary component, a fact, a chain of commands, conditioning, pyramids, hierarchies and unbending theory. Nature was named, classified, and outside my glass window. And the rest was a mystery to be conquered, to go where no man had gone before, to get there FIRST, and to stick a flag in it; unfortunately, it was all very two-dimensional, even Star Trek--nothing I could really hold as my own.

And something always felt missing.

But there was God, you say... and I say, yes, there was the story of God prevalent around me, but it was a fearful story. I can hear you who grew up with me, say no, it wasn't fearful, it was loving, and I say that the stories crossed my intuitive understanding of my God regularly. Elite few return to God. Round up the lost sheep and decimate their cultures. Make them like us. One path to God. Join us or be left behind.

Go ahead and argue that it isn't true, but these were stories born out of fear. Part of me sensed that no one around me really believed any of it, even if their words told the opposite, but they were afraid to question. Too much fear, plus the consequences of not believing were pretty harsh. (Did I just lose half my readers? Remember I have promised you plant hand dream). This is not to say that this wasn't a valid path, it was beautiful, except for the fear. I am sure there were those who found ways around the fear...

So, yes, there was that mythology, but it wasn't one that helped me to connect with my world, and my present moment. Mostly it was about getting to the next life, and about doing my best to control my actions and those of loved ones around me, in the here and now, so, that I would be certain to be reunited with them in the next lifetime, otherwise I would be screwed. Although, I do remember many telling me fondly, that I would be happy to be screwed. Hmmm, call me crazy, but that just couldn't be my God talking. Rather, it was the perfection of the physical manifestation of the ego. Fear this, fear that, fear not, fear for all. For to fear those not like us, was to keep them at bay, and strengthen our fear of the boogie man that lurked in the shadows of the Godless people (said in dramatic whisper).

So, my dear little girls, who drive me very crazy much of the time. What do I give you in the way of a story, something that can live deep within you, give you a sense of purpose and connection to this life here and now; something that doesn't say do this, even if you don't feel good, or else! Something that isn't borrowed; something that will help you to unlock wisdom of the universe that lives deep within all of us?

I wish I could say that I have the perfect story for you, but it seems that my story is so new for me, that it will take some time before I have integrated it enough within myself, that I can give it to you, without appearing a hypocrite!

So, what stories have you? What stories will come to you whether I want them to or not? I dare not speculate...Some of the stories I hope are pretty harmless so far. The Hungry Caterpillar. He was just hungry. He ate the leaves. But he was still hungry, so he ate through an entire smorgasbord of delicacies that, frankly, I've never seen a Caterpillar eat. And he counts it all, on top of that. Whoa, does anyone see this coming? Is this a baby-sized dieting book? He does end up overeating, and he does look rather grim...Is his reward for stopping his gluttony butterflyhood?

Moving on...You like Dora. Although, she never really seems to have any spontaneous fun. She runs around in perpetual learning mode in fear of Swiper swiping something of value. That has no ego-ology, dear child, oh no.

Your latest favorite is Little House on the Prairie. Wow, now this is some pint-sized conditioning, but you love this one! You love Pa. Hell, I love Pa. Is there anything as beautiful as watching Ma and Pa tame the prairie together in matrimonial bliss? Here is what a broken home doesn't look like. You could have had it all, just like them. Dresses sown in a day, wheat threshed in an afternoon, one episode to get over the death of a baby, Mr. Olsen moving out and moving back in the next day, town squabbles solved by the children, nobody dying in childbirth, a lot of close calls, but all is well. Well, one guy did get blown up. Didn't see that one coming.

So, is this new mythology of ours a result of a society that has lost its own; distracted by its pursuit of flag sticking, and exploration? Perpetuating myths that leave you wanting, unfulfilled and disillusioned by the fantasy that never seems to realize itself? With the only hope for glory, your ambition, your luck, but always with the frightening message to look out for Swiper?!

But my sweet girls, I see that you want the fantasy. You want happily ever after. I see it in your sweet little eyes. It is magical for you. It makes your little eyes sparkle and you daydream, just like I did.

Keep your eyes starry, little ones, for it is innocent beauty, but perhaps that is what I should tell you now-- about my daydreams. Maybe that is the only story I can give you just yet...

I daydream of a world where the only story is one of living together kindly, without wanting, without needing, without sacrifice. This is an open place, where any thought you have that keeps you feeling separate is questioned immediately. Is it really true? Really? There is no blame placed, because one can understand that he could never fill any one's shoes but his own. He could never presume to know the pain of another, and so he can't find it in himself to judge. He extends mercy to all. In this, he doesn't condone, or hope to persuade, but he sees the innocence of one who has had no chance to be any other way. He sees the miracle in that, as it opens up just the tiniest space for love. Source does the rest.

Then he begins to see the perfect picture of every experience he has coming to him in his life, and how it is an opportunity to see things from another angle. A release from how he thought things had to be perceived, into a freer, more expanded and very lovely moment in time. The very last second of each moment is recognized as the past, and therefore, a mere memory! And nothing exists except the very present moment in time. A light shines over this moment as it holds literal glory and freedom from habitual thought.

And there is no right or wrong in that moment, but only possibility. This is happily ever after, --only we have a whole new set of fairy tales to write before this becomes our story. And to think that this could belong to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. We are all welcome...


  1. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh....(imagine this sung out, in a very high-pitched blissful tone, so the birds way up in the highest treetops could hear). Holy schmolly. You rock, my girl. God, how i loved this post--especially the part about The Hungry Caterpillar, Dora and Little House on the Prairie.

    Sacred stuff here.

  2. Beautiful daydream. A lot of themes that have been present for me lately.

    And, these "missing stories" were a recent topic in our house for our little girl with sparkling eyes. I agree that our society, including our educational system, is guilty for the categorizing, labeling, and eventual deadening of life. We have a real responsibility to change this with our children at our side, but, ooohhh, the possibilities!!


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