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The Stories of Our Selves
Somewhere in the Zohar, the classic text of Jewish mysticism, it says, "The stories in the Torah couldn't be about what they say they're about because we could write better stories." I suspect that the same is true of the stories in our lives. When we look back, what we see as a simple narrative of what happened, or a single conversation, may actually be elements of something much larger, a bigger story. We play parts that we don't even know we play in other people's lives. A story of mine may actually turn out to intersect with a story of yours, and the narrative of your life is a piece of the larger fabric that joins to my life, too ...

What religious stories are inside of you, bubbling beneath the surface of your public self? I can honestly say that I have gone out of my way to not tell these things in the past. I have deliberately dropped my first college off my resume, for instance; I have intentionally avoided mention of much of my childhood faith in casual conversation; but I see now that that has been a big mistake. I think that I now see a bit more clearly. I can now see that my early religious experiences were essential to me, and that even though I am no longer there - spiritually, physically, maybe emotionally - I can embrace them and I am the better for them.

--from "Born Again and Again: Stories of the Spirit, Lessons for the Soul"
by Jon Sweeney


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