Why does mind go into contraction and belief? Why does it identify with thought? How is identification maintained? What keeps it in place?
A few things that come to mind:
As infants, we learn it from our parents and those around us. It’s what we do here. Mind receives sensory input through the infant, it learns to identify as the infant, it learns about fears, shoulds, identities, norms, expectations and so on. And it innocently and from love identifies with much or all of this.
As soon as there is an imagined self, and identification as this imagined self, there is fear. Further identifications come in to protect this imagined self. These identifications are with a wide range of identities, viewpoints, fears, hopes, shoulds, expectations and more.
As soon as these are in place, we think (and feel, perceive) that we are getting something out of it. It feels safe. It’s a way to protect this imagined self. There is fear of what would happen if we didn’t have the identification.
We haven’t thoroughly examined the identification. We haven’t examined……
(a) How it’s created. How it’s made up of words, images and sensations.
(b) The consequences of the identification for how we perceive and live our lives.
(c) If it’s true, and what may be more true to us.
(d) If what we think is here is actually here, whether it’s (i) a physical object or being, (ii) a concept (love, delusion, clarity, awareness), (iii) a threat and someone threatened, or (iv) a need, must or compulsion.
It’s all innocent, and from confused love. And it all seems very real as long as it’s unexamined and not seen through.
One way through is to welcome the identification that’s here, and notice it’s already welcomed. Find love for it, and recognize it as love. Examine it, and see through it. And to do so with whatever contraction and identification presents itself here and now.
How do I recognize an identification? By it’s consequences, and these can include stress, tension, contraction, a sense of separation, a sense of something to defend or maintain.
Note: As I write this, I am aware it’s not an easy read. I really wish there was a way for me to write simple, clearly and precisely about this. Sometimes, there seems to be a tradeoff between using an ordinary and conventional language which is easily read, and being more precise. That’s because an everyday language has a lot of assumptions built into it, and the topics I write about here tend to go beyond those assumptions. An accurate and precise language tends to sound awkward and overly technical. And yet, ome people do manage to talk or write simply and precisely, so it is possible.