The hard work of fluid identities

In spite of how it seems sometimes, our identity is quite fluid. That is one of the reasons we have to work so hard at making it appear real to us, real and stable.

When I look, I see that my identity shifts from moment to moment. Right now, it may be as someone who wants to be as clear as possible. A moment ago, it was as someone who didn’t like the current music selection at Earlier tonight, as someone who was willing to pay $7.50 for the current issue of WIE? As I started reading it, as someone happy to see them writing about diksha, taking it as a confirmation of my own identity as someone who benefits from and appreciates diksha. Before then, during a conversation with an acquaintance, as someone who wanted to be perceived as responsible (the topic was on a project I have allowed to be mostly fallow for the last few months, and this could threaten that particular identity). Then during a few minutes of sitting practice, as someone who wants to awaken in all directions – including to all of me as a human being, and in particular the shadow.

There is just the field of awake emptiness and form, absent of I, yet believing in the idea of I, so whatever arises in form is scanned for a good candidate to place this sense of I on. Usually, it is some aspect of this human self that fits our more elaborate identities.

Whatever then comes up as I is where my identity is, and it changes always, from moment to moment.

So as Bhagavan says below, whenever a question comes up, and we identify with the question, we are that question. To ourselves, in our own experience, we are that question. The question “who am I” arises in the field, there is an identification with it, it is seen as I, and everything else is seen as Other. Right there, the field splits itself into I and Other in its own experience.

Questioner: I was so lucky to receive a life review today. At the end of the journey I was asking, ‘Who am I?’

Bhagavan: On a psychological level, you are that question. There is no answer. If the question goes, you go. It is by continually asking that question that you perpetuate yourself. When you become enlightened, the question goes away, and so do you. You are nothing but consciousness, a witness.

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