Movie analogy and disidentification

 

I wrote a post about movies as analogy for Big Mind, and movies can also be an analogy for the process of disidentification.

Imagine watching a movie over and over. If it is good, it may capture our interest for the first few times. But after a while, it gets less and less interesting. We know it already. There may be slight differences in how we perceive it, maybe some new details we didn’t see before, but overall, it gets less interesting. Eventually, it may still be playing, but our attention doesn’t go there much anymore, and even if it does, it does not get absorbed into it as in the beginning. It is just recognized as the same movie, the same story unfolding, the same drama. The charge goes out of it for us.

And the same is the case for our own stories, the ones we play over and over in our own life. The only difference is that if attention continues being absorbed into it, taking it as real, then that pattern most likely continues. But if we pay attention to what is happening, for instance through mindfulness in daily life, or meditation practice (watching “channel me” for hours!), or inquiry, or even just being with the experiences, then the interest in it fades, just as when we watch the same movie over and over. We recognize it as the same movie, the same story, the same pattern, and it becomes less fascinating over time. Eventually, it still plays, but attention does not go there so much, and when it does, it does not become absorbed into it. It is just recognized as the same story as before. In other words, there is a disidentification from it. My identity is not wrapped up in it so much anymore.

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