Personal and collective

 

One way of exploring what is personal and not, is to look at beliefs. Which ones are personal? Which ones collective?

On the surface it appears that some are more personal and some are more collective. Some are not shared by so many, and some are shared by most.

At the same time, I find that stories are personal and collective. As soon as they appear here, they are personal. And when they are taken as true, their essence and dynamics is shared.

I may believe that Obama is a better president than Bush, and not everyone will agree, so it looks like a more personal belief.

As soon as that story is taken as true, certain dynamics come in. I tell myself it is true. I am right, and others are not. I need to defend this point of view and the identity created from it. And so on. And those more essential beliefs and dynamics are shared, including by those who believe that Bush was a better president.

None of this matters much in a practical sense.

I notice a belief, and inquiry into it.

The process is the same for idiosyncratic beliefs, those shared within a culture, and those shared by (almost) all of humanity.

My cat is smarter than other cats. (Personal.) People should take off their shoes indoors. (Cultural.) Something is right and something is wrong. There is good and evil. (Cultural/universal.) I need love, acceptance and approval. I am a separate I. I am something I can imagine. (Shared by almost all of humanity.)

The process is the same for each of these. I notice discomfort, find the belief behind it, and inquire into it to find what is more true for me.

………………….

Draft….

Again, on the surface it may appear that some are personal and some are collective.

I may believe that Obama is a better president than Bush, and not everyone will agree, so it looks like a more personal belief.

But when I explore it a little further, for instance through The Work, it looks quite different.

[I find that my surface beliefs may look more personal (not shared by so many) or more collective (shared by most). But I also find that any of my beliefs seem personal and collective, equally.]

But what is really going on, and the dynamics of beliefs, are more universal.

Obama is a better president. When this is a belief, I am also telling myself that I know. I am right, and others are not. I need to defend this point of view and the identity created from it. And so on.

All of those are universal beliefs, right under the surface of the one that appears to myself and others.

……………………

Initial outline…

  • personal and collective
    • inquire into beliefs
      • all, personal and collective
        • personal, b/c here
        • collective, b/c shared dynamics

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