Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Self Identity

For some reason, we tend to strive for self identification. This may be to fill the emptiness which we are unable to live with due to many self-developed reasons. Most of these identifications are with the qualities we believe as we are having. It may be like I am a kind person, I am an angry person, I am a person of integrity, and so on. We also start identifying with objects and persons, which we believe as we are possessing. I am the owner of this house, I am the leader/member of this team, I am this nationality, I belong to this community, I belong to this culture, and so on.

The sense of pride is the driving force for these identifications. In cases, when we are unable to get identifications which cannot provide any sense of pride, we may tend to identify ourselves with some negative aspects thru’ which we may try to establish an image of some sort of self importance.

Once we establish some identity, we have the urge to sustain that identity. Here the conflicts start arising – Another way for building conflicts within us. In some cases, the very identity itself brings in conflicts with it. If we can understand the mechanism of self identity we may probably understand the worth/worthlessness of self identity. If we find it is worthlessness, probably we may be able to live without having any urge for self identity and the struggle for sustaining it. If we find it is worthy, possibly we can find a method to have self identity, yet untouched by the conflicts.

Possibly our urge for self identification is genetically transferred to us; for our basic survival some sort of self identification may be required – for example to identify the needs and dangers we may need some identification about ourselves. The food we earned the shelter we earned, the money we earned, the job we do, and so on. But when it enters into the psychological level it starts giving problems – it has already entered into psychological level.

Pride and feeling of security must be the factors fueling the desire for self identification. I want to be this and I want to be that are probably due to desire of pride and I need to be this and I need to be that are due to the desire of security.

In one aspect, while we identify ourselves with something, we generally consider just the positive aspect of that thing which we identify ourselves with. This is one of the serious reasons for the conflicts arising due to identifications. For example, when we identify ourselves with certain culture, we generally quote the positive aspects of that culture only. We break the object of identification into pieces and pick up few of those pieces which are suitable for the pride to be obtained from that identification. We just ignore all other pieces of that subject of identification. In our desire for the feeling of pride with the identification, we forget that the identification is complete only when we identify ourselves with the subject as a whole. In any culture there were many scholars and sages at the same time there were many, many ignorant ones. In any culture, there were admirable quality and at the same time there were distrusted qualities as we witness today. When we identify ourselves with the culture, invariably we select the fragment which has only the scholars and sages and consider them as our ancestors. But we fail to recognize the ignorant people of those times in that culture are also our ancestors.

Here is the source of conflict. We tend to believe that the culture we belong was full of scholars and sages and it is we who are ignorant. But the fact remains that there were ignorant people in those days as the culture has it today. Also the culture has scholars and sages today as it had in the past. Due to this basic problem in understanding the reality, we compare the ignorant of today with the sages of those days. With this unmatched comparison, there is no possibility to avoid conflicts with respect to such identification. Probably we are indifferent to such conflicts due to the “thick skin” we got due to our lifestyle.

The problem of identification is almost same as explained above. All our identification limits with only the positive aspect of the subject with which we are identifying ourselves. This is due to the fact that we have immense urge to identify ourselves with something to keep ourselves psychologically alive.

If we identify ourselves with the whole being of the subject of identification, that will be entirely different from the fragmented identification explained above. Such an identification may carry us to a different dimension of perception altogether. At such level of identification, there cannot be any sense of pride. Such identification cannot be due to our desire to be pride or secured. This is because we are identifying ourselves with the whole being of that subject, including the positive, negative, good, and bad qualities of the subject of identification. Under such identification, there cannot be the sense of either proud or shame. At such level of identification, there will not be any conflicts with in us and hence all our actions will be free from conflicts. It will be pure action.

With a fragmented identification, such a level of pure action will be just in our imagination. We may follow any idea, any guru, and any religion, perform any rituals – But the fact remains that we are identified with the fragments of what we are following. For example, when we are follower of a Guru and if some one talks bad about that Guru, the most probable reaction may be loosing our temper. This is the same with our ideas, our religion, and our rituals with which we are identified ourselves. The reason is that we fragment those ideas and then identify ourselves with that idea which is more suitable for our self identification and sustaining that identification. We never try to see the truth or the wholeness of the thing which we identify ourselves. When we completely identify ourselves completely with the subject, we know the truth of it, wholeness of it. At that level of understanding there will not be any reaction with in us. There will be only pure action.

And if we can be away from any sort of identification, that may take us to another dimension of perception. When we have no urge to be identified with anything, a vast amount of our energy is saved. This is because there is no struggle with in us to feel proud, to sustain the feeling of proud. Hence naturally there will not be any conflicts within us and as a result all our energy available for useful purpose than solving our conflicts.

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