There are many differences between functioning from Big Mind or as exclusively identified with the small self. In the first case, I am space for this small self and whatever else happens to manifest in the present. In the second case, I am an object in a world of objects.
Another difference is how we relate to thoughts and abstractions. In the first case, they are taken for what they are – merely useful tools of temporary and limited value. In the second case, we take thoughts as the gospel truth, often as even more true than our immediate experiences.
My immediate experience
For instance, in my immediate experience, I am capacity and space for the world as it arises in the present. I am nothingness for all the things arising. I am empty of any characteristics apart from what I acquire from the world in the present.
When I take abstractions and conventions for gospel truth, I create an “identity” on top of this. I see myself as a separate human being, an object in the world facing other objects. And I act, as well as I can, as if this is accurate and true – creating a good deal of drama and suffering for myself.
Sanity of Flat-Earthers
It struck me how those in the Flat-Earth Society (to the extent they take it seriously) actually have good point. Why believe anything people tell you, especially if it contradicts your immediate experience? There is a soundness and sanity in this.
Insanity of Flat-Earthers
Of course, there is also a lack of sanity in that particular tradition. Although we can trust our immediate experience in who or what we really are, there are some sound conventions we can use when it comes to the world of form – as temporary and useful tools to help us navigate the world. And many of these tools comes from other’s experiences and from science.
The difference is that I see that these conventions (a) don’t tell me who or what I really am (only my own immediate experience can), and (b) they are merely temporarily useful abstractions.
They are just maps and not the terrain – not 100% accurate or complete even for the world of phenomena. The world is always more than and different from our experiences of it, and even more so when it comes to our abstractions of it.
Ultimately, they are all lies, although very useful and practical lies.