Personal & Universal

When I identify exclusively with a part of my human self, I make it appear very personal and private. I am these parts of my human self and it is personal and private, and those belong to the rest of the world of phenomena, and they are not.

As this identification falls away or becomes more inclusive, the same part now appears less private and maybe even universal. What seemed very private and very much about me is now revealed as universally human, now temporarily expressed and coming alive in this particular human self.


I notice this pattern from the Byron Katie inquiry process. First, thoughts and issues may appear intensely personal and private, to the point of not wanting to reveal it to others or even admit their existence to myself. As I explore and inquire into these beliefs, I see that not only are the thoughts universally human, but what comes out of a belief in them is also universally human. It is not about “me” at all, although it comes alive in this life right now.

Big Mind process

The same seems to happen through the Big Mind process. First, there may be a strong attachment or repulsion to certain voices, and the whole situations seem very personal, private and vulnerable. Then, as I get to explore these and other voices and see how the dynamics play themselves out in myself and others, I see that it is all universally human. It may play itself out in this human life in a particular way right now, but it is also universally human. It is an integral part of human life.


Seeing it as universal helps me find some distance to it. I don’t have to identify so closely with it anymore. I don’t have to struggle with it, through pushing it away and holding onto it. I can allow it to come and go as guests, living its own life. There is room for that too, in the rich tapestry of human life. It is just part of the landscape.

Expanded or no identification

Through expanded and more inclusive identification, it becomes part of a much wider landscape of “I”. This is F6 through F8 in Ken Wilber’s framework. Or it is simply part of a landscape with no “I” anywhere, when selflessness is realized. Nondual awakening.

Personal and universal

So whatever is happening is revealed as very personal, happening and unfolding in this human life right now. And at the same time, it is revealed as universal, as a shared dynamic in human lives at the current phase in our evolution. They are universally human patterns coming to life in this life right now, with their own unique flavors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.