I recently read a book called The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible by Charles Eisenstein. It was an incredible book about humanity, our feelings about the world, and the stories we tell ourselves. He writes of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, you know the one. The world in which we live in close-knit communities and we can truly rely upon each other. The world in which nature is revered and respected and we humans recognize we are a part of it. A world in which we fully inhabit and realize the nature of our interconnectedness. A world of trust. A world of togetherness. A world of love. A world-as he calls it-of Interbeing.
You’ve heard of this world before, we all have. If you’re like me, you dream of that world, but you find it difficult to live in that story.
Oh there’s that word. Story. That’s what I’m getting at here. It’s the stories we tell ourselves that give meaning to our lives. Without some sort of narrative to tie the events of our lives together, it would be a jumbled, incoherent mess. Everyone knows the power of a compelling story. We’ve probably all had the experience of hearing a story that resonates within us with such force that it alters our understanding of the self, the world, and our place in it.
That’s why I’m here, starting this blog. This is something I’ve never done before and I have no idea how to do it. But I hold a story in my heart. A story that I’ve been wishing to share for a long time. It’s a story that is very important to me. A story that is unfinished, and I need your help to finish it. You see, this story doesn’t belong to me- not as a I see it. This is a story about me, of course. However, if you stick with me I’m sure you will find that it is a story about you as well. It’s a story about the humanity itself. Allow me to elaborate.
There are two big stories that humanity tells. There are two competing stories vying for humanities attention. These stories are elucidated very clearly in Charles Eisenstein’s book, I could never elucidate them as clearly as he can, but I will attempt. I will tell the stories from my own personal perspective, the way I tell myself these stories.
Story #1: I am alone in the world. I am a single, isolated being in a world inhabited by other single, isolated beings. All beings are essentially out for their own personal satisfaction and survival. I cannot fully trust other beings because I know that they are essentially self-interested. Even acts of kindness are probably done for essentially selfish reasons. The Universe itself is apathetic to my existence. The Universe has no innate purpose or consciousness. The Universe is random, unpredictable, and doesn’t care about me. It is nothing more than atoms bouncing around randomly like billiard balls. Any meaning I witness is only my own skewed perception. Life is random, people are selfish, and the only way I can survive in this world is by the direct force I apply upon the world. I must control as much as I can lest I be swallowed by the chaos.
Story #2: I am intimately connected to every being in the Universe. Beings are essentially kind, generous, and loving. The only reason people behave selfishly is because of fear. The Universe does have meaning, my life has meaning, I am loved. I am not alone. I have family who care about me, friends who care about me, and even strangers care about me. People treat me with kindness not because of some ulterior motive, but because they legitimately love me and care about my happiness. I can trust other people because they all want to share love just as I do.
I’m sure you can recognize both stories, or at least aspects of them. I believe we all tell ourselves these stories in one way or another, albeit in different ways. I’m sure you can recall moments that support the first story as well as moments that support the second story. If you’re like me, you really want to believe in the second story and fully inhabit that one, but have trouble fully stepping into that out of fear.
At this point in my life, I stand in the space between stories. Fully accepting neither story, but yearning for the second one. I feel that there are many people inhabiting this space between stories who are equally as lost, confused, and frustrated as I am. This is why I am writing. You see, there could be a third story here. The story that connects the two stories. It is exceedingly difficult to navigate things without a story as a guide. So here is the beginning of the third story, as I see it. This story I have opted to call The Bridge Between Dreams. The bridge that connects one dream of the world to the other.
As I tell this story, I intend to be completely open and honest. I will share with you my struggles, my embarrassments, my mistakes- the times when I behave selfishly, the times when I hurt the people I care about, the times when I react with anger or fear, the times when I’m arrogant, the times when I’m mean. I will also share with you my success- the times when I meet anger with compassion, the times when I meet hate with love, the times when I truly understand another person’s perspective instead of projecting my own. I will share all of these with you. I’m sure there will be times when I can’t tell the difference between the two- times when I think I’m being compassionate but I’m actually saying hurtful things to someone, times when I’m insensitive to another’s feelings because I can’t deal with my own. Feel free to call me out on that sort of bullshit. This is your story too. As I stumble through this void space, I will be utterly reliant upon the supportive people in my life to keep me focused and on track.
My hope is that by venturing through this space and writing about it, I might be able to map out some sort of path for others to take. My hope is that by sharing this story with you all, we might all feel just a little more connected.
However, I cannot do this alone. So please, join me in this venture. I will be writing from my own individual perspective, but this is not my story. This is our story. I hope that some of you will stick with me through it. Tolerate my bullshit. Love me through my blindness. Find truth through my words. Share truth through your own.
This blog is an invitation. Join me. Let us forge this path together. We can do it. This is my first step.