How many stories do we tell ourselves? How much suffering goes on because of mind-stories? How much of the spiritual search is based on false stories?
"I am suffering and want to be free of it through enlightenment."
"I have an intellectual understanding."
"I feel like I'm almost there."
"My life isn't as good as it could be."
"I need something different or better to be happy."
Aren't these little lies we're telling and somehow, long ago, they became our reality?
Isn't our "reality" nothing but these stories?
It starts out very simply... little relative "truths", little "aspects" of reality which are only true from an individual perspective yet are taken to be absolutely true...
"This is white, that is black."
"This is bad, that is good."
"I am right, you are wrong."
What other stories can we uncover as just a story?
"I am a person."
"I am in this body."
"I am this mind."
"I am separate from the world out there."
"I am ME."
What thought could possibly arise that isn't a story?
What remains when all stories come full stop? What is obvious and never requires a story?
How many "layers" of stories have accumulated and built a maze of illusion around what really IS?
"I need to make the stories stop."
"I will be happy when the stories stop."
"I have made the stories stop."
"There are no stories going on now."
"I am resting in pure consciousness without thought, without stories."
Can you make the stories stop? Do you need to? Can you see the illusion?
Once the illusion is seen as illusion, the false is seen as the false, then do the stories matter?
"I have seen the false as the false."
What needs to be done?
"Something needs to be done."
What do you need to be happy, to find enlightenment, to stop suffering?
"I need something."
What are you?
"I am something."
"I am nothing."
If we are devoid of stories, if even the idea of "being devoid of stories" and the "one who needs this" and the "result of seeing this" is seen as more stories, then what remains?
When, not through control or manipulation or effort, but in somehow being dumbstruck, blindsided by this realization, all stories just stop, reality is laid bare without varnish, without the overlay of bullshit, without the pure ignorance of separation stories... when through exhaustion or frustration or the dizzying chase of thoughts around and around always leading back to the exact same place... when the stories somehow come crashing to a total halt...
What can be added? What can be lost? Where can we go? What knowledge can be gained? What experience is necessary?
Who remains, without a story, to need anything, to suffer, to gain enlightenment?
Devoid of stories, what is left?
Just this... and we can never say what THIS is, we can never KNOW what THIS is, we can only describe the CONTENT of THIS in story only.
And it may be crystal clear that the "ME", the "one to whom any of this happens" is just another facet of the tapestry of "my life story."
It may be perfectly obvious that there never was a "ME" - there isn't NOW a "ME" searching, seeking, trying to find or gain or attain something spiritual in order to lose suffering or make life better. The ultimate simplicity is that reality contains no "ME", never did, never will.
Right now the only thing that remains, without a story, is the pure and simple CONTEXT of NOW, the GROUND which allows all stories to happen, unchanging CONDITION which is necessary for change to appear, the BE-ING in which "becoming" has space to arise, the pure impersonal OPENNESS in which the "personal story" appears.
The stories are seen AS only stories, happening to and by no-one. The separate individual was nothing but another story. The "I AM" was the first innocent brick in the wall of illusion, identification.
Devoid of stories is devoid of individual self. What remains may be called the Self, the real "I", the ever-fresh actualization of "I AM", simple Presence, the simple experience of Being or being-experiencing. Indescribable and impossible to avoid, absolutely undeniable, clear and present and obvious and never needing a search to find, never needing a name to be known, never needing becoming because it is be-ING, only seemingly "hidden" because it is not distinguishable AS some "thing", only seemingly hard to find because it's already staring you in the face.
And then the stories don't matter anymore. They never did.