Before going to sleep, many young children want a bedtime story read to them. But not just any tale. Something engaging and enthralling where the child envisions themselves as the main character. It's no longer a story. For a brief moment the plot has become reality - our childlike wonderment transformed into truth.
Enmeshed in the realm of fantasy-turned-reality, we cower in fright at vicious monsters and rejoice with the hero's triumph.
And just like kids, we too are little children, continuously listening to bedtime stories.
But the voice is not our parent. Nor is there just one narrator. There are two storytellers who determine our experience.
One of them weaves the most complex, alluring chronicle. The voice is so scintillating that we are drawn deeply into the drama. While fleeting moments of happiness and peace seem to accompany the tale's journey, pain and suffering and fear and loss predominantly rule.
The other raconteur is quite uneventful by comparison. Instead of dramatic theatrics and much commotion, this storyteller describes only peace and warmth and love. Nothing else.
And in every moment we are choosing one of those two. From that choice comes all our experiences.
As we learn in A Course in Miracles:
In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice; always between two choices or two voices. (C-1.7)
The adventure-laden mournful voice, otherwise known as the ego, always leads to misery. Yet we choose that voice, over and over, because it offers us an identity. It speaks first, speaks loudest, and boldly claims its dominion.
Little do we know that the other voice, with no trace of bombastic overture, leads to far better outcomes. An experience of blissful peace.
It's our choice for the ego storyteller that is the cause of all our unhappiness. But thankfully, we can choose a different option and escape from all pain. Join me in Thursday's class where we'll discuss how. I look forward to seeing you then.