Disidentification and identification

This came up through the comments to a previous post, and I thought it was important enough to make into its own post.

>> “The moment you ‘identify’ with any quality or substance, good or bad, we then gotta say bye, bye to the nondual”

Sounds good to me. There is a release of exclusive identification with anything within form, which allows Big Mind or whatever we want to call it to notice itself… as this field of awakeness and form inherently absent of I and Other.

Just an additional point: At our human level, we still may have disowned aspects. There are some qualities we are familiar with and know how to shift into a live from in our daily life, yet other qualities that are more foreign to us in terms of living them.

As awakeness itself, there is no separation to any of these qualities. Yet this human self is more familiar with some than others.

So here, it can be helpful to “identify” with some, to shift into them, bring them to life through this human self, to expand the repertoire of this human self. This is of course a quite different form of identification, one that is more of a shifting into it, and is more fluid and temporary.

3 thoughts to “Disidentification and identification”

  1. I’m not sure what you mean by “disowned aspects.” At the “human level nothing is disowned and isn’t that what we’re looking to do? The qualities we “shift into and live from in our daily life,” do you mean shift into from the Awareness or “awakeness” as you refer to it?
    So I think you’re saying that it can be helpful to identify with human qualities like love and compassion thus, in a sense, build a better human. But i’m not sure why you say that. Why would I want to expand that repertoire if I was awakened? or are you saying the expansion is necessary to facilitate the awakeness? Isn’t the awakeness itself the “expended repertoire” in all its totality. And are there really degrees or forms of identification?
    Sorry, I’m just trying to better understand your answer.

  2. Hi Mike, I can’t think of a bulletproof answer to your question, so it is more just a preference or inclination. There are some other posts that go into this more – try following the who and what we are and owning tags for more on that.

    As you say, awareness/awakeness already includes all, so no need to do anything there apart from just noticing it. I am talking more about how it is expressed through our human life.

    I usually say that before awakening, owning disowned parts makes it easier for us to be who we take ourselves to be (this human self).

    And after awakening, owning disowned parts allows for a more rich and fluid expression of awakeness/awareness awake to itself. Our human self is our most important skillful means, in Buddhist terms, so honing that instrument is important in that sense.

    And “owning disowned parts” just refers to bringing more of the fullness of this human self into its active repertoire… not just kindness and love and all that, but also confusion, anger, and so on. All of it has its role and place and gifts, before and after awakening.

    (Of course, the experience and expression of those qualities are quite different before and after awakening. Before, we are caught up in and identified with them, and they seem very real and substantial. After, they are recognized as temporary manifestations of awakeness itself, ephemeral and without being taken as a separate I.)

    My background is partly from Zen where deepening into our human self is often emphasized, becoming a more full and ordinary human being which may facilitate awakening and is certainly facilitated by awakening (even glimpses of it). It goes a step beyond just awakening to look at how it is lived and expressed through our human self.

    In any case, just a preference.

  3. Moe,
    I certainly know there’s no “bulletproof” answer when discussing concepts about the non-conceptual, just a little but more clarity and you provided that well.
    I do believe that if we are in denial of any ‘part’ of ourself then that part may become the heaviest part to carry on our ‘journey.’
    I do have a basic ‘conceptual’ understanding of Zen and some of the other non-dual perspectives (no experience, just intellectual).

    Thanks for the clarification.

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