Aspects of what we are: exploring and using them as medicine

There are many aspects to what we are as Big Mind or whatever else we want to call it. And there are many aspects to who we are as this human self. So why not explore it?

Space may be the final frontier, but this is the ultimate frontier and it’s much closer to home. It’s something we can explore here and now, and it just requires some motivation and guidance.

Aspects of what I am

When I look, I find I am capacity for the world as it appears to me. I am capacity for any content of experience – this human self, the wider world, any sense of doer or observer, any insights, any noticing, even awareness. Capacity allows it all.

I am also awakeness. Not any special awakeness but this ordinary awakeness that’s here for all of us. The awakeness that’s inherent in awareness, consciousness, and noticing or experiencing anything at all.

As this oneness, what I am is also love. Not the love that is or is dependent on a feeling, but the love of the left hand removing a splinter from the right.

What I am is also all of it. Any content of experience happen within and as what I am. There is no inherent boundary. There is no inherent other.

What I am includes this human self and the wider world as it appears to me.

I can continue to find aspects or flavors of what I am, although this depends a bit on culture and orientation and what we look for. For instance, I can find (what we can call) feminine and masculine aspects, dark and light, and so on.

Aspects of who I am

As who I am, the world mirrors me. Whatever I see out there – in others and the world in general – reflects parts of who I am. My inner world is as rich as the outer.

Identities come in polarities and although we often identify more with one end of any one polarity than the other, we have both in us. Both are already here. And both are here as potentials that can unfold and be further embraced and brought into our life.

Unintentionally identifying with some aspects

We typically unintentionally identify with one or a set of aspects of what and who we are.

Many identify as a particular human being and overlook what they are (capacity, Big Mind) and also all the sides of themselves they see in others but not in themselves. This is the typical human condition and there is nothing wrong with it, but there is a lot more to who and what we are.

After having a glimpse of what we are, and early on in the process of getting to know what we are, some may identify more with some aspect of Big Mind – capacity, awakeness, or something similar. Or as it often is, we identify with some ideas about this. In Zen, they sometimes refer to this as being “stuck in the absolute”. It may feel safer than the scary messiness of being a traumatized human. And it’s also a way to become more familiar with what we are and get used to it. It’s a natural part of the process for many and perhaps most of us.

In the awakening process, there is usually still identifications of different types. We may be identified with ideas about what we are, as mentioned above, and also ideas about who we are as a human in the world. Noticing and exploring this, gradually include more of what and who we are, and find a bit more freedom around this, is an ongoing process. It is the exploration of a lifetime. (And if there are several, then several!)

Intentionally emphasizing aspects as medicine

This is all a part of our exploration of ourselves, or life or the divine exploring itself.

At some point, we may discover that we can intentionally explore and emphasize aspects of who and what we are and this can support our healing, maturing, awakening, and embodiment. We can get more familiar with some aspects and bring them more into our life.

We can use them as medicine for specific conditions.

For instance, if we are used to identifying as this human self, why not exploring finding ourselves as Big Mind?

If we are one-sidedly identified with (ideas about) Big Mind, why not also embrace being a human being in the world?

If we are used identify with (ideas about) what’s closer to the “absolute” – capacity, awakeness, observer – why not also include all that’s happening within and as what we are? (The world as it appears to us.)

If we are used to identify with one particular human identity, why not explore the reverse? Why not find it in ourselves? Why not find how it’s already in our life? Why not embrace it more fully?

This helps us unstick from any particular identifications, and it also helps us explore and embrace more of who and what we are.

How can we intentionally explore aspects of who and what we are?

There are innumerable approaches. I like a combination of dialog and parts work (Big Mind process), inquiry (Headless experiments, Big Mind process, Living Inquiries, The Work), energy work (Vortex Healing), and I also love Process Work (Jungian and shamanic) for these type of explorations.

And, of course, the real work and exploration is in our life today and now.

Organic process and intentional exploration

These shifts into exploring different sides of who and what we are is an organic process. It happens naturally in our human life, and it also happens naturally in an awakening and embodiment process.

An intentional exploration of these sides of us complements this organic process. It can clarify it for us, help us explore things more in detail, and it can give us a map that helps us orient and understand the overall process a little better.

–––– DRAFT –––– 


As what we are, we have infinite aspects although some are salient than others for many of us. It can be helpful to explore some of these, and how emphasizing one or a few can be medicine for us for a while.

What we are can be called oneness. And it’s difficult to talk about oneness. Not because it’s esoteric or distant from us, because it’s not. But because it’s everything and it includes all. And one – very important – function of words is to split the world. So words are inherently not so good at talking about oneness.

I’ll still try.

Some aspects of what we are

What I am is capacity for the world as it appears to me. All my experiences happen within and as what I am.

In this sense, I can say that I am void, or awake void, or awake void full of the world as it appears to me. Or that I am awake void in the form of whatever the content of my experience is right now.

I can say I am capacity for the world. Awakeness. Oneness.

I can also say I am love since love is oneness noticing itself as all there is.

There is also a gentle bliss inherent in what I am and existence.

At the same time, to others and in the world I am this human self with a range of characteristics, identities, and roles.

The function of focusing on one or another aspect

All of these are aspects of what I am, and focusing on one or the other can have a function. It can be medicine for a specific condition.

If I am used to focusing on myself as part of the content of my experience (typically this human self), it can be helpful to notice myself as capacity for all my experiences – including this human self and anything associated with it.

If I am familiar with noticing myself as capacity, it can be helpful to notice that I am also all content of experience as it is right now.

If I am a little “stuck” in oneness, it helps to see that I am also a human being in the world.

It can also be helpful to notice that when oneness notices itself, there is a natural love for all there is. This is the love aspect of what I am. This love is the love of the left hand removing a splinter of the right and it’s not dependent on any feelings of love. (As a human, I may think love is a feeling and there is a lot of issues and lack that filters this love so it can sometimes look more like neediness than love.)


The aspects of what I am

Getting stuck in one aspect

Using the aspects as medicine

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