I notice how careful I need to be when using language to try to describe these things.

In conventional language, we use the word “I” frequently, and that is quite appropriate and functional. We know it is meant to refer to the small self, in almost all cases.

In an integral view – which includes the personal and transpersonal realms – it becomes more tricky. What does “I” refer to here? It could be the small self or Big Mind, or maybe the Absolute, or something else. From this perspective, our identity is like a Russian doll. We are all of these, either of them, and none.

The solution may be to not use the word “I”, other than in casual conversation where it is taken to refer to small self and that interpretation is OK.

I find myself use “awareness” or “mind” instead, to refer to that which we ultimately are. And there is a slight preference to “awareness” as it refers clearly to a function, not a “thing” or entity of any sort. Mind could be taken as an entity, which is more solid than it really is.

So, I tend to write “awareness is identified with small self” or “with big Mind”, instead of “I/we are”… It may seem abstract and impersonal, but it also seems more accurate.

Note: This differentiation of awareness, small self and Big Mind also goes some way in preventing an awareness that is exclusively identified with small self to think of this small self as Big Mind (awareness takes ideas or tastes of the Big Mind qualities and applies them to small self, which gives inflation and a slightly deranged way of functioning).

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