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Stories and Data

Aug 24, 2019

I originally created this page for Tolle’s Power of Now, but since that time, I’ve studied Alan Watts and most recently Michael Singer. They are completely different in style but essentially the same in substance. So I’ll be adding content from the other two here.

Our world is not made of atoms. It is built mostly from the stories we tell each other.

Technology is transforming our lives and society faster than we can keep up. Some say technology is the answer; others say it’s the problem. As technology expands the possibilities, dangers are inevitable but there’s also the possibility that we will grow skilled in harnessing the change for good.

Stories not only give meaning to our past but are the inspiration that gets us through the day and the week toward a vision of the future.

Story of Mastery

There once was a student of music who took up lessons and practiced rigorously for years. He became quite good, and had an opportunity to perform for a renowned master.

The master listened respectfully, smiled and after a time, he said, “something lacking.” The student was crestfallen. He grew despondent when nothing he played impressed the master. He left his home town and travelled the country for years. He eked out a living teaching beginners but fell on hard times.

Years later, he came back home and gave a performance for his friends. As he put down his instrument, he heard a voice from the back of the room. “Like a god!” said the old master.

Pain, The Price of Freedom

from The Untethered Soul

by Michael Singer

Your personality traits and behavior patterns are all about avoiding pain [about fear]. You avoid it by keeping your weight a certain way, wearing certain clothes, talking a certain way and choosing a certain hairstyle. Everything you do is about the avoidance of this pain.

You will come to see that any behavior pattern based upon the avoidance of pain becomes a doorway to the pain itself. If you are afraid of being rejected by someone and you approach that person with the intention of winning their acceptance, you are skating on thin ice, all they have to do is look at you sideways or say the wrong thing and you will feel the pain of rejection.

If you are doing something to avoid pain, then pain is running your life. All of your thoughts and feelings will be affected by your fears.

Let’s explore this by first looking at a basic human tendency, when something painful touches your body, you tend to pull away instinctively. You even do this with unpleasant smells and tastes. The fact is your psyche does the same thing. If something disturbing touches it, its tendency is to withdraw to pull back and to protect itself. It does this with insecurity, jealousy and any of the other vibrations we’ve been discussing in essence you close, which is simply an attempt to put a shield around your inner energy.

Once you close, your mind will build an entire psychological structure around your closed energy. your thoughts will try to rationalize why you’re right, why the other person is wrong and what you should do about it. If you buy into this, [avoidance of pain] will become a part of you for years. The pain will remain inside and actually become one of the building blocks of your entire life.

If you relax when the pain comes up inside your heart and actually dare to face it, it will pass every single time you relax and release a piece of the pain leaves forever. Yet every time you resist and close, you are building up the pain inside, it’s like damming up a stream. You are then forced to use the psyche to create a layer of distance between you who experiences the pain and the pain itself.

In truth, pain is the price of freedom and the moment you are willing to pay that price, you will no longer be afraid. The moment you are not afraid of the pain, you’ll be able to face all of life’s situations without fear.