I heard this story about a fish, he swims up to an older fish and says: “I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.” “The ocean?” the older fish says, “that’s what you’re in right now.” “This”, says the young fish, “this is water. What I want is the ocean!”– Dorothea Williams in Soul
This anecdote also fits discovering what we are.
When we notice what we are, it’s often like water. It’s the ocean but it may seem too simple and ordinary to us. We may have the idea that it should be something grand, majestic, extraordinary, and with fireworks.
Sometimes, it is. But most of the time, it’s just ordinary. It’s water.
And if we look, we’ll find all the other qualities there as well, just not with the volume turned up as much.
I have seen this when people notice what they are through the Big Mind process or Headless experiments. The noticing is real. What we notice itself as all there is. But it’s without the bells and whistles. It’s low key. So the mind may tell itself: “This can’t be it. It’s supposed to be amazing and big and with all sorts of fireworks”.
We have bought into one of the myths about awakening.
So we may leave it and keep seeking for something grand and amazing, and miss the real thing, at least for a while. Or we may continue to explore what they noticed and continue to notice, clarify, deepen, and live from it.
If we go off on an adventure to find the fireworks, there is nothing wrong with it. But eventually, we realize what the older fish did: the water is the ocean.