Whenever I experience myself on the inside of a contraction, it is a good indication that there is some identification with it…!
If the contraction is there, but just one part of the landscape, then it is OK. Not a big deal. It is just what is. Nothing to take personally. But if there is suddenly a sense of “I” on the inside of a contraction, it shows clearly that there is a good deal of identification there. The sense of spaciousness goes out the window, there is blind reactiveness, and so on.
Both are of course OK. They are both life manifesting, the play of God, part of the unfolding of the Universe, expressions of Buddha Mind, and so on. But my human self definitely have a preference for the former (the release in realizing it is just a part of the landscape) and a resistance to the latter (the suffering of being caught on the inside of it).
Inside of the bubble
I went to a talk at the Center for Sacred Sciences this Sunday, and as usual the topic was selflessness, realizing no “I”. At one point, the speaker mentioned new and popular practices that aim at “integrating the small and the big self”, and how this only serves to reinforce a sense of separate “I”.
As I had recently dropped off a Big Mind DVD for possible inclusion in their library, and knew that he probably had either seen some of it or at least heard about it, I took it as a reference to the Big Mind process in particular. At least that was my story.
It was OK at the time, and even for the rest of the day. There was somewhat of a contraction around it, but just part of the landscape. But the morning after I woke finding myself on the inside of the contraction, and with a great deal of annoyance around it – both from what had been said and from being caught up in reactivity around it.
And of course, there is the usual monologue going. In this case around his responsibility as a teacher, that he should know what he is talking about, that the CSS folks leave out the evolution, development and maturing aspect of awakenings, that of course the Big Mind process leads to a realization (or at least a taste) of selflessness, and so on.
From finding myself inside of the bubble, I knew there was a hangup there. Something was triggered in my human self, and there was an identification with it. There was a belief in an idea, and a situation that did not conform with the idea.
So this is a good opportunity for inquiry.
He shouldn’t put down the Big Mind process.
- Yes (as a teacher, he should know what he is talking about)
- No (just an opinion, a preference)
- Agitated, hurt, confused, angry, contracted, confined, trapped, closed in, need for proving something, need for being seen and heard and understood, lack of clarity, trapped on the inside of the contraction looking out, discomfort, internal monologue, imaginary dialogue with him, loss of perspective, reactive, unpleasant.
- Clarity. Curiosity. Interested. Open. Receptive.
- (a) He should put down the Big Mind process. (Yes, if he does he should.)
(b) I shouldn’t put down the Big Mind process. (Yes, that is exactly what I do when I get caught up in what he said and these reactions to it.)
(c) I should put down the Big Mind process. (Yes, I should sincerely explore its apparent shortcomings and limitations, and so on. This feels the most true. I need to see both sides of it more clearly. Every approach has its strengths and weaknesses, its appropriateness in some situations and not other, and so on. This is something I have known, but also pushed aside. The speaker’s comments and these reactions are an invitation to explore this side of the Big Mind process, to bring it more into awareness for myself.)
The most juicy part of this was the final turnaround, and this is also a clear projection. I saw somebody out there putting it down, and was not comfortable with the same tendency in myself.
Of course, when I explore it more in detail, it becomes clear that what I pushed away – wanting to explore the possible limitations and downsides of the Big Mind process – is revealed as a gift. It helps me explore more aspects of the process, and get a fuller and more inclusive impression of it.
This also reveals the speaker’s words as a gift.
Initially, it triggered reactiveness. This reactiveness served as a “glue” and helped me explore the process more in detail. This revealed an advice for myself – I should put down the Big Mind process – which in turn brought a release and great gifts for me. It serves as a reminder and impulse to go further in exploring the Big Mind process, including its limitations.