When I explore a story through The Work, I can have several different relationships to it before I start.
It can be a conscious belief, one that I am willing to defend in conversation and take as true.
More often, it is a story that has a charge, whether tiny or more noticeable.
I believe it somewhere, but consciously know it is only a story and that a more thorough exploration will help me see what is more true for me around it. Inquiring into these stories helps me find what is left of knots and hangups.
With these, I sometimes answer from how it shows up in my life, or I amplify it – taking on the story as if it was a conscious belief to more easily see its dynamics.
It is also possible to explore this through a combination of the Big Mind process and The Work, doing the inquiry with a story that a voice/subpersonality take as true, and answering from the perspective of that voice or subpersonality.
Example: He is a stupid gorilla. This one did have a slight charge to me, although I knew it was a hangup.
It can be a story that is neutral for me, or apparently inconsequential.
Exploring these stories helps me see the dynamics that comes from taking any story as true, and that these come from the story itself and are not inherent in the situation itself.
I may also find that I believe a quite similar story about something else. In these cases, I pretend to consciously believe in it for the sake of the inquiry.
Example: My hand shouldn’t have five fingers.
It can be a story that has a charge for someone else, and I want to explore it for myself. I take it on as true for myself to see what I find.
As in the Big Mind process, I can also take the role of any human characteristic, find a belief from that view and inquire into it. And this can be expanded to taking the role of anything imagined or in the world, find a belief that comes from that role, and inquire into it. (Characters in dreams, movies, books, fairy tales, mythology, or any feature or object in the world.) It is all about what happens right here now anyway.
A variation of this is to take the role of someone I imagine have a belief about me, and then inquire into that belief.
Example: Dread means something terrible will happen. I first saw it in someone else, decided to explore it for myself, and could find where I sometimes believed in it.
And it can be a story that is opposite of views that are familiar to me.
Here too, I get to explore the dynamics that happens when a story is taken as true, I get to see how I have similar beliefs, and I sometimes get an understanding of where others may be come from, and empathy with them based on recognition. We are in the same boat.
I also get to find the validity in their views in a more thorough way, by putting myself in their shoes. And I get to see that even on their side, there is the possibility of shifting out of rigid viewpoints.
Example: They shouldn’t contradict the Bible. This is far from my conscious view, but when I explored it I found where I do similar things around different beliefs. We are not so different there.