Your Mind is Your Storyteller

Adyanshanti in his book, Falling Into Grace, goes into detail about how the mind is a storyteller. Your mind takes facts and turns them into stories. Your mind talks, talks, talks and talks some more – all day long. It never seems to shut up, even if ‘you’ order it to be quiet.

The mind is also quite capable of changing its stories quite quickly. A new thought occurs, a possible new interpretation of the facts, and your mind is off and running again with a new, sometimes completely different version of the same event. It can develop an entirely new plot from the same cast of characters in about two seconds (maybe even less.)

It builds stories on top of the original story. ‘Meta-thoughts’ are thoughts that are about other thoughts (that have already been thought) and meta-thoughts can build themselves up into layers upon layers, until the original set of facts is obscured in a story that could rival a soap opera.

Sooner or later, the mind seems to develop a background story of who it thinks you are, and then uses that as a platform or filter to develop the stories into more detail.  Your mind might decide that all dogs are dangerous, and then choose to notice news articles about biting dogs and ignore the ones about support dogs and dogs who save their humans from great danger. Your mind literally suppresses the news that might not support the chosen story. 

If this were only about dogs, that could be considered biased but perhaps not consequential to your life. But what if your story has become that the opposite sex is dangerous? If you went through your life believing that the opposite sex is dangerous, that story is going to have a major impact on how you live your life.

Adyashanti also raises the idea that there are NO true thoughts; that ANY thought you think cannot be completely true. Even the thought that the sun always rises cannot be completely true; a passing asteroid could knock our planet out of orbit or a nuclear war could do so much damage that the sun literally could not rise on an earth so damaged there was nothing for the sun to rise on. 

From this viewpoint, go back through your life and try to see it as a series of stories – some happy, some sad. Would someone else have a different viewpoint on the same event or set of facts? If so, then you have some storytelling going on in your own mind. 

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