A response to someone baffled by a materialistic view on awakening

Someone in a Headless Way forum shared her disbelief that some who discover headlessness find it compatible with a materialistic worldview.

For me, this is about the difference between the small and big interpretation of awakening.

Here is what I wrote:

I must admit I started out with the more typical spiritual view of all as God, the divine, and consciousness. And now, after three decades, I find myself exploring more the camp you describe.

I find myself as headless, as capacity, as oneness, as love, and so on, and explore living from and as it. And, at the same time, I realize there are two possible ways to explain this.

One is the Big or Spiritual view which says all is God, the divine, and consciousness. My direct and naive experience of all of existence as consciousness – AKA God or the divine – is how existence actually is.

The other is the small or materialistic view of the brain creating consciousness. In my direct experience, all of existence appears as consciousness. But I also realize it HAS to appear that way since I am consciousness, and the world to me happens within and as this consciousness. It would be that way even if the small or materialistic view is correct.

To me, both views are perfectly compatible with what I find when I explore myself as headless. In either case, what I am to myself, in my own first-person experience, is Headlessness and what a thought may label consciousness.

And, to me, admitting this is intellectual honesty. Anything else would be pretending I know something I cannot really know. Admitting this also helps not get stuck in any particular view, and – equally important – it brings me back to direct noticing.

That said, there are some hints that the Big view is more accurate: Distance sensing and healing, research into reincarnation and near-death experiences, and so on.

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