Whose Story are You Living?

There seem to be a lot of churches on Maui. The missionaries did a very thorough job here. As I drive around I often see a cryptic message posted on a sign board outside a church. Little sayings that I suppose are meant to bring one back into the fold.

When I see these messages I often try and look at them from the understanding I now have about the nature of reality and the way the world functions as a whole.

Here is one saying that I pass quite often posted outside a Baptist Church. “Whose story are you living, God’s or yours?

Actually this is a very good question. However, my understanding and interpretation of this message might be different from the one the Baptist church intended.

Are there really two stories? Is there a story that is God’s and a story that is mine; and are they separate? Or is my little individual story included in, and part of, God’s great and total story? I would say it’s the later.

It seems to me that many Western religions are primarily about separation. There is a God somewhere up in heaven, looking down at me, a mortal down here on earth, and I am basically messing up all the time.

However there is another way of looking at God. Perhaps God is, what may be termed, both immanent and transcendent. In other words completely present and manifest in everything, as well as running the entire show. If this is the case, then how am I in any way separate from God?

If we look at the display of the world of name and form, including our place in it, and all of our thoughts, words, deeds, and reactions, as a manifestation of God’s infinite intelligence, then we have no choice but to see that what we take to be our own personal story is just a tiny fraction of God’s huge infinite story.

And if we really get that, then ‘my’ naturally becomes surrendered to ‘thy’ because in reality that is what is happening anyway. And even if we still hang on to the ‘my,’ the possibility of being able to that is also included as part of the giant display of ‘thy.’

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About Dhanya

Dhanya developed an interest in Hinduism and Eastern philosophy in the early 1970s. In 1973, she traveled to India in search of a guru to guide her on the spiritual path. While there she encountered disciples of Neem Karoli Baba and his teachings of bhakti and karma yoga which influenced her life from then on. She studied Vipasana meditation for some time with S.N. Goenkaji beginning in 1974. In 1991 she met HWL Poonja, whose words sparked a desire in her to understand the teachings of nonduality. Subsequently she met other advaita teachers, including Jean Klein and Sri Ranjit Maharaj, who were great sources of inspiration to her. In 2002 she met her current teacher, Dr. Carol Whitfield, a traditional teacher of Advaita/Vedanta and a disciple of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Having found a teaching and a teacher with whom she has a deep resonance and who clearly and effectively elucidate the means for self-knowledge, Dhanya now lives in Northern California, where she studies Vedanta and writes on the topic of nonduality.