Any belief is hubris.
I tell myself I know how things are, and not only that, how things should be. I know better than God, life, the Universe, reality.
Life will inevitably rub up against these beliefs. I can struggle against it and try to hold onto my beliefs and suffer. Or, through grace, I can find some receptivity and allow the beliefs to wear off, or more actively inquiry into them to find what is more honest for me.
In this way, life is a humbling process. A process of friction between life and beliefs, and a wearing away of these beliefs.
Of course, often, they will just be replaced by other beliefs, and then life will rub up against them.
But if that’s where the process is going, there may be a gradual wearing out of all beliefs, including our most core ones such as the belief of a separate I.
There may also be flashes of freedom from beliefs, the beliefs may then return, and then continue to wear out.
In reality, there are two processes going on here.
First, a process of switching one set of beliefs for another, in different areas of life. A process of refining the stories we use as guides in the world, to channel attention and actions, of finding stories that are a little more finely tuned, a little more helpful as guides, and held in a way that is a little more mature.
And parallel with that, in some cases, a process of softening and releasing identification with stories altogether.
If the second one is present, the two go hand in hand. There is a continued refining of the stories I use as guides for attention, choices and actions. And a softening and release of identifications with those stories, recognizing more of them more clearly as simply stories, mere practical tools for guiding this human life in the world.
This softening of identification is a part of maturing as a human being. There can be a softening of identification with stories about the world, others and about me as a human being in the world, and this tends to appear as a maturing in my human life. I become slightly more sane and mature, slightly less difficult for others to deal with.
And if that softening and release of identification goes into my core stories, the stories of a separate I as a doer and observer, then there is an opportunity for what I am to notice itself more clearly. There is an invitation for reality to wake up to itself and out of identification with stories altogether.
So life in general is a humbling process, if there is some receptivity to it. And one of many flavors of that process is the awakening process, including the dark night.
- life – a humbling process
- any belief is hubris (arrogance, set us up for a fall)
- life will rub up against our beliefs, discomfort, wear out if receptive
- beliefs also help focus attention + actions, although that can be done just through stories w/out beliefs as well (no need for beliefs, apart from for the drama, which can be quite juicy)
- (awakening + dark night, just particular flavors of this humbling process)