Fluid Identification

 

I see that my identity, as so much else, is fluid and rich.

I can be identified with/as…

Existence as a whole, beyond and embracing all polarities (Big Mind).

The universe as a whole, through science, art and the Universe Story.

The Earth as a whole, through science, art, deep ecology etc.

Past and future generations, through deep time activities etc.

The human species.

A nation.

A religion or ideology.

A region or city.

A neighborhood.

A family.

A human self (which in this case has the label Per)

A belief (abstract identity etc).

An emotion.

An action.

An organ (this face or a painful arm)

Molecules, atoms, energy waves etc. (through science)

A story (movie, book)

Music.

A plastic game piece.

An animal or plant.

A sports team.

etc.

And quite naturally and effortlessly, my identity fluidly shifts among all these and many more. In one situation, I am identified with another human being, in another as my human self, and in yet another as the music being listened to.

When I look, I see that I really become what arises in the present. In my immediate experience, my identity is what arises.

And I also see how we are all trained by culture to disregard this, or translate it in various ways. I “have” a belief. I “support” that sports team. I “am” a patriot. I am “caught up” in the chess game. I “listen” to music.

All these are interpretations of our immediate experience of being what arises. I construct an abstraction called “Per”, and then see all of these “other” things as happening to or within Per. And my language reflects all these interpretations and abstractions.

In daily life, this is very useful for helping us orient in the world and communicate. It is purely practical and functional.

But if I take these pragmatic abstractions as gospel truth, then I create trouble for myself. Now, the abstractions cloud over my immediate experience. I act as if these abstractions are real, as if they are anything else than abstractions of mere functional value. And through this confusion, I add a layer of drama and suffering to my life.

The release from this is to just attend to my immediate experience. And there are many aids for this shift, including Byron Katie‘s inquiry, the headless experiments, the Big Mind process, and Atma Vichara.

I find myself as capacity for the world, being what arises in the present. And then I add abstractions and interpretations as appropriate for functioning in the world.

Here, I am clear about the difference, and my center of gravity is in the richness, vividness and freshness of the immediate experience.

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