ego: Mike, we need to surrender the story of “who” we think we are.
Mike: Uh...what good will that do?
ego: Well, obviously, by surrendering the 'story' you become liberated from the suffering of the self. Besides, transcending the ‘story’ is all the rage in spiritual circles these days.
Mike: Ok, what ‘blog’ did you read that from?
ego: But it makes sense!
Mike: The problem is that “my” story is interdependently interfaced within the stories of everyone else. I can seek to transcend my story till the cows come home, but the moment I encounter a story in another, my story becomes fixed. In fact, the moment I perceive “someone else” a story automatically materializes.
ego: So what are you saying, we have to surrender everyone else's story too?
Mike: Actually, there are NO separate stories, only the "story” of separate stories and we’re all in that together because it's infinite. If I seek to surrender or transcend my separate story, I’m then caught in the "story of separate stories." The moment I assert liberation from my story, but then encounter the story of someone else, I can no longer assert being story-less and my advising another to surrender or detach from their story only makes our story more “real.”
ego: Good grief, Mike! We can't count on other people. We just need to focus on our self for now. Once we awaken to our True Self we can teach others.
Mike: By surrendering the story of everyone we meet, we liberate the 'self' because the self does not exist without engagement with others. However, the moment I try to teach another to transcend their individual story, as if I had experienced transcending my own, I become a fixture of our never-ending story. Therefore, I must be liberated from their story, because their story is mine, as mine is theirs. We are all interdependently interconnected and no one transcends alone (even though many have become deeply mesmerized by the "individual transcendence story").
ego: Wait a minute! Surrendering your own story was taught by the Great Masters of the past, you can’t go trashing centuries of wisdom tradition!
Mike: Ah yes, the “Wisdom Tradition Story.” We certainly love that story! Which, of course, is predecessor to the “non-duality story” and “surrender your story,” stories. The very moment you attempt to detach from an individual story, the individual story becomes "real." Maybe it’s not about surrendering 'my' story, but about surrendering 'theirs' because every judgment I make about my ‘self’ is always and forever in relation to ‘them' and every judgment upon them defines 'me.'
ego: Damn, Mike! It would be so much easier if you could just do it all by your ‘self.’
Mike: Yes, that does seem to be the most convenient "story." No wonder so many faithfully follow it.
(artwork: "Buddha" by Octaviao Ocampo)