As I continue to explore The Work, I keep being reminded of the different “levels” of beliefs.
There are the surface ones, the ones the mind tends to go to on it’s own.
And then there are the underlying beliefs.
A surface belief may be: This pain means…. I cannot do what I want. And one of the underlying beliefs is: It’s pain.
In my experience, it’s helpful to look at both. In most cases, I start with the surface beliefs, the one my mind is already consciously stewing on. And from there, I can identify and investigate underlying beliefs.
Sometimes, these underlying beliefs emerge through answering question #3 – what happens, how do you react, when you believe that thought? And I can also identify some through the questions (a) I am in pain, and that means…. (b) I am in pain because…. And (c) what I fear the most about this pain is… or the worst that can happen because of this pain is….
I often see three “levels” here: (1) The surface thought my mind consciously stews on. (2) The underlying assumptions this rests on. (3) And the thought that this is happening to a me and an I. (Which is a very basic underlying assumption.)
Note: I assume that for many, the underlying beliefs become more interesting with time, as there is more experience with inquiry. There is a recognition that many of the surface beliefs rest on the same or similar underlying beliefs, so there is a curiosity in exploring what’s revealed when these are investigated. For instance, what do I find when I explore the belief it’s pain…?