From personal to universal

Often when I explore beliefs through inquiry, or am with emotions, I notice the shift from a sense of it being very personal to not personal at all.

It makes sense. When we believe in a story, it becomes our identity. I am wrapped up in the story, and become the story to some extent. And more than that, my identity becomes wrapped up in the whole conglomerate around the story, such as emotions created by it and behavioral patterns triggered by it. The stronger the belief and identity, the more it all seems intensely personal and private. If people or situations poke at it, there is reactivity. If people probe into it, there is defensiveness. And there may be an impulse to hide it from others and even myself. It is just too personal, too private, too sensitive, to allow it out in the world.

When this knot unravel, through inquiry or being with the emotions, or in other ways, the identification unravels along with it. Now, what used to appear so personal and private, is seen – and felt – as universally human, nothing to hide or protect, and not personal or private at all. Everything around it is seen as coming from merely a thought, and that is all.

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