We write our own stories. We make shit up, and then we listen to ourselves say it out loud. We create ourselves over and over again this way. We decorate our houses like hermit crabs, we wear certain clothes, and we use them like props in the play about that time we spent here, once.
That we believe these plays are true makes them confusing, and that we believe they are important makes them holy.
In mysterious ways that we don't always grok, we create ourselves from the stories we tell about ourselves. Understanding this to be true, I set out recently in search of a new creation myth. It's occurred to me recently that mine might no longer be working in the way that I want them to, although I can't entirely be sure. I have tried many times in my life to better understand the stories that form the foundation for the stories I tell myself about myself, and I do not know that I ever came back with anything. Do any of us really know the story of how we got here?
If you read the big bang theory it seems we are each an accumulation of singular but similar energy patterns that just got really attracted to one another. Like high school boys driving by a group of girls, these energies all just slowed up their roll a little and circled back around. And then others followed. The growing thick swarm made a hotter and hotter soup - and then all of a sudden everything exploded...
This all takes a lot of time, of course, and depending on who you read the story is told differently. In my very short reading, there seem to be several instances during the weaving of our collective creation that something really unexpected - something really special - intervened.
Science calls these special things 'random'.
Apparently whatever tipped the scales between matter and antimatter in those first millions of years after the big bang - whatever it was that had matter win - was pretty special. As was the literal spark that started the engine of metabolism for the first life forms on this planet. I understand the development of eukaryotic cells was also pretty special - it's story is told in ancient and modern stories of origin and creation 'myths' as having been precipitated by aliens or star dust. Time passes and some of these eukaryotic cells get together to form the first multicellular organisms (sponges). Then comes the first fish crawling out of the mud.
Not much later, I am 38 year's old in Santa Fe watching existential crises as they hover over my head like sheep. Random doesn't cut it in stories where you have something to loose; and while I leave room for the possibility that the stories I tell myself about my self are not true, I am still holding on to the idea that they are important.
So I try to exert the little influences over the conditions I find myself in that I have at my disposal, paying homage to and appeasing the powerful forces of creation that I think are outside me. I take warm teas and baths and herbs and walks. I eat nutritive food and try to do meaningful work. I exercise. I am introspective. I try hard to be good for the people I love. I try my best to brush my teeth for a full 2 minutes twice a day. I practice breathing deeply. I These are the ways I genuflect. This is my tithing.
My mother sometimes quotes from books she is reading, and at the moment one of her favorite things to tell me is that 'my biography becomes my biology'. I think it's Caroline Myss? Something like that.
To me, in searching for a new creation myth, and trying to be aware of what I am creating in the stories I tell myself about myself, it means that I need to trust the rhythm of these little offerings that I make every day - tea, herbs, whole foods, warmth, honesty, compassion – even when they seem not to be 'working'. That I do not need to be able to take the structure of living apart, and know how it is put together, in order to trust certain things about it.
Like the fact that when I am aware of putting good things into my body, they nourish me. Or that when I treat something with reverence, it becomes worthy.