False identities

Whenever a story is taken as true, I take on a false identity.

At my human level, I have a range of identities including age, gender, occupation, and also how I am and what I like. All of these can be very helpful. They me us function in the world.

Yet, as soon as I take any of these identities as true, I (try to) limit who this human self is. Any identity excludes something else, and what is excluded is very often already here. This means that I need to spend time and energy on fleshing out, living within and defend the identity. Whenever I identify with an identity, it takes a lot of time and energy to keep it up, and it creates stress and tension as well.

And something similar happens at the level of what I am.

As soon as I take an identity as true, I am firmly identified as an object within the world of form. I take myself as within form, so all I see is form. And since stories are taken as true, I am distracted by them so it is not so easy for what I am to notice itself. I overlook the obvious: that which all form happens within and as, which is what I – already and always – am.

This is one of many examples of how the distance between psychology and spirituality can be very short. In this case, the only difference is in what type of identities we explore. In psychology, it is all the usual human identities. In spirituality, it is the identity of an I with an Other, an identity as an object within form, an identity with the story of I.

Through exploring false identities, I also find an appreciation for what they do.

At our human level, they portion out what we get familiar with in ourselves, taking it one step at a time instead of all at once. I have a limited identify for myself, so get to be more familiar with what is inside of that identity.Then, the identity may shift or expand and I get familiar with new territory. And so on.

And at the level of what we are, they make it all more interesting. It is a way for emptiness/awakeness to not only experience itself as form, but to identify as that form. Experience itself as limited. Live the drama of being an I with an other, a vulnerable object in a world of innumerable other objects. Temporarily, at least.

Initial outline…

  • conventional sense, the spy movie version
  • then, any identity taken as true is a false identity
    • for our human self, limiting, leaves something out
      • what is already here
      • and what will emerge, or is already emerging
    • as what we are, creates an identification withing form so what we are don’t notice itself (is distracted, temporarily forgets, is lost in its own content)
  • benefits of false identities
    • at our human level, portions out what we get familiar with in ourselves, takes it one step at a time instead of all at once
    • as what we are, get to experience ourselves a limited, get to get caught up in the drama of taking ourselves as an object in the world of form

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