Exploring identities and finding what we more fundamentally are

There are several ways for us to notice what we more fundamentally are.


We can explore it directly through, for instance, the Big Mind process and Headless experiments. (Via positiva.)

And we can explore what we are not, which leaves just one option for what we more fundamentally are. It brings us to the threshold of noticing what we more fundamentally are. (Via negativa.)


How do we explore what we most fundamentally are not?

There are several ways.

One is to explore subpersonalities.

I can identify and explore a wide range of subpersonalities in myself. Whenever I notice a reaction in me, that comes from a subpersonality. I can also explore universal subpersonalities. And I can use the world as my mirror – whatever I see “out there” mirrors parts of myself.

I can shift in and out of the perspectives of the different subpersonalities and notice how it is to perceive and live from that perspective.

By doing that, I notice that I am not most fundamentally any of those. I am each of them, in a certain sense. And more fundamentally, I am not any of them. I am not any identity because I can shift in and out of the perspective of each and any identity.

So if I am not any particular identity, what am I?

Another is Basic Meditation.

This works in a similar. We notice and allow what’s here in our field of experience, and notice it’s already noticed and allowed. (It happens within and as consciousness so it is, in a sense, noticed by consciousness even before it’s consciously noticed, and it is already allowed by life, space, and consciousness.) We notice it all comes and goes. Any content of experience comes and goes, including ideas about what we are and what these ideas refer to.

I may also notice that in my dreams, I may be either absent or a different character than in my daily life.

If all of this is coming and going, I cannot most fundamentally be any of it.

So what am I, more fundamentally?


These kinds of explorations remove options for what we are. It removes any identity and anything within the content of experience as an option for what we most fundamentally are.

And this brings us to the threshold of noticing what we more fundamentally are.

So what is the remaining option? It may be difficult to notice and accept since it’s a whole different category than what we are used to. It requires a fundamental shift in what we are noticing and looking for.

What I find is that I am, more fundamentally, capacity for the world. I am capacity for any and all content of experience, and any and all identity and what these refer to.

I am what it all happens within and as. I am what allows it all to come and go.

I am what forms itself into all of these experiences, including of taking myself to be something within my content of experience.


I learned the Big Mind process more than two decades ago, when Genpo Roshi first developed it, and I keep noticing how brilliant it is.

In this context, it does two essential things very well.

It helps us explore any number of views, perspectives, and subpersonalities, and how it is to experience the world from their viewpoints. This allows us to notice that we are not, most fundamentally, any of these. Identities are fluid. We can shift in and out of any of them.

And then, it helps us notice directly what we are. It helps us find ourselves as Big Mind / Big Heart.

It brilliantly combines via negativa and via positiva.

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