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A good story

I like a good story, just like most everyone I know. I've heard and read a lot of them. Some of my favorite stories were the Grimm Fairy Tails that I used to read to my children, when they were little. For me, at this point, most of the spiritual teachers are telling good stories. Stories that have been re-told over and over again in different contexts, probably stemming from about the time we as a species started communicating with rudimentary language. We all like to tell a version of our own story, if there's is a willing audience. This is why twelve step groups are so popular and helpful these days: we identify with each other and feel connected, for a while. I fell in love with the study of mythology a while back, and still think it a worthy field of study, considering all the various cultures throughout our history, and the common themes that spring up. I've also fallen in love with creative writing recently. I've come across a stripped down formula for creating good readable stories that seems to work for me. There are five basic elements to every good story: want, obstacle, action, emotion, and showing. I think a lot of the spiritual teachers these days revolve around the want, emotion, and showing (by their obvious authenticity), and perhaps mention the obstacle in roundabout ways, and also prescribe various recipes as actions we can take to alleviate suffering. But the fact remains, for me at least, based on my experience, that no matter how much I love stories and good recipes, they didn't work, they didn't affect a permanent cure for what ailed me.

John's story in itself is a good one: dedicated criminal hell raiser turned pretty chill guy. But where he differs from spiritual teachers, in my little opinion, in this little context that I have created here, is that his story comes with laser like focus on the obstacle (fear of life) and the action (the looking that cures it). The action recommended is simple, to the point, and most of all, EFFECTIVE. Once initiated, an interesting horror story may unfold for a time (as was/is the case for me) but the outcome is inevitable--not a happy ending, though there might be some happiness, but more the beginning of a new story that stems from being deeply satisfied and in love with life; where the conversations we have become the best teachers.

Seems to me that John is here to initiate conversations, and that he learns and grows from them, as we all do, and changes the telling of his story along the way to accommodate new information that might help to affect a direct cure for what I see as the main problem we all have in common. I like this fresh and pointed approach. I still do like to be inspired by spiritual teachings sometimes, but I also know that I was to the point of being inspired to death. John's suggestion has allowed me to become more interested in education that comes from the inside out, as opposed to trying to paint the spiritual teachings on my reflection in the mirror. So I agree that he is not a spiritual teacher. I am however, interested in how a dialogue might be opened up with those who attract large followings. but that's a whole other story...smily

 

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