What awakens? What holds a belief?

When I write about awakening and holding a belief, I often write “I” since it’s easier to read and makes it a little more accessible. 

In reality, something else is going on. 


Our more fundamental nature is what all our experiences – of this human self, the wider world, and anything else – happen within and as. And that’s what wakes up to itself.

It wakes up out of the dream of most fundamentally being this human self or anything else within the content of experience. It wakes up out of the dream of being what any mental representation says we are – an I, a me, a being, an observer, a doer, a witness, consciousness, oneness, love, and so on.

And that process is often both sudden and gradual. There may be a sudden shift and recognition. And refining and clarifying is ongoing.


Sometimes, we consciously hold onto a belief. We consciously hold a story as true and create an identity out of it. We identify with the viewpoint of the story and take on an identity as someone who sees the world that way. 

Equally or more often, a part of us holds a story as true. Our conscious view may be quite different. We may not even be consciously aware of the story. And our system still, somewhere in itself, holds the story as true. A part of us perceives and operates as if it’s true. And this will inevitably color our perception and life, whether we are aware of it or not. 

Discovering these parts of us, and inviting them to join in with a more conscious noticing of oneness, is an ongoing and lifelong process. 


As usual, there is a lot more to say about this. 

When it comes to awakening, we can phrase it differently. We can say that it’s Big Mind, or any of the many synonyms, that recognizes itself and wakes up out of taking itself exclusively as this human self or anything else within itself. 

What does it mean to hold a belief? At one level, it means to hold a story as true. And that means to identify with the viewpoint created by the story. This creates an identity for us as well. We create an identity as someone with that view. And this comes with an automatic duality. It creates a sense of I with an Other. “I” am this viewpoint as opposed to other viewpoints. 

That’s also how the oneness an experience of separation for itself. It’s how separation consciousness is created. And it’s what Big Mind – what we are – wakes up out of when it recognizes itself. 


We can say it’s what we are – consciousness, oneness – that notices itself and wakes up out of the dream of being something particular within its content of experience.

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