Whenever I use the word disidentification there is a part of me that cringe, because I know it can sound very different from how it is meant.
It can easily sound aloof, distant, transcendent, and all the other words that -rightly so – have associations of escape.
But the reality of it is very different.
The reality of it is that identification – with beliefs, identities, this human self and anything else – automatically creates resistance and ambivalence. We identify with certain beliefs and identities, and anything that does not fit this, whether it happens in this human self or the wider world, is resisted. We cannot help it. There is a great deal of ambivalence about our human self and the wider world, which creates drama, stress, escape, clinging, and resistance. We are part of it, yet also don’t want to be. We appreciate some of it, and want something else to go away. We disown parts of our self and what it means to be a human, and we build cases for how life should be different.
And a disidentification with this – with beliefs and identities and all that comes with it – is an allowing of it all. It is a wide embrace of who we are as a human being, and this life, and the world as it shows up. This is what automatically happens through disidentification.
Beyond this full allowing of it all, there is also an invitation for our human self to actively embrace all of what it is, to actively explore and own all its different parts and voices and subpersonalities. To actively live and become familiar with itself as it is mirrored in everyone else and everything in the wider world. To find a fluidity among a wide range of identities without getting caught up in blind identification with any of them. To engage with a much wider repertoire of ways of being in the world.
Far from being aloof, distant, unengaged, one-dimensional, or living up to any shoulds or identities, a disidentification with beliefs and identities allows and invites for an active embrace and living of all of what this human self is and matures into.
This does not automatically happen, but the invitation is there. And whether or not this invitation is taken depends on the interest and impulses of this human self, and it is really OK either way.
Although I have to say, emphasizing the active embrace of our human self is a juicy addition. Without it, there is just the automatic and passive allowing of whatever happens to manifest. With it, there is an active engagement, exploration and living of always more of the wholeness of this human self, and its unfolding development.
It is more fun. And just in terms of skillful means, it also makes sense. In our culture, the juicy engagement and embrace of all of what we are is more attractive to many of us than the traditional emphasis on transcending and escape. Why escape? This life may be messy, but it is what is here so why not actively embrace it beyond a passive allowing?