Loving Oneness Now

IDENTITY: SPIRITUAL SELF, SEPARATED SELF, EGO AND BODY

[Page E01]

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WHAT IS MEANING OF THE WORD "IDENTITY?" 

Almost everyone knows what an ID card is, even if it is only a driving license, a document that confirms you are who you say you are, complete with a photo. However, if you ask someone to pinpoint exactly who they are, they will usually start with their name and then proceed to describe themselves in terms of various "external" attributes such as gender, age, profession, marital status, family, talents/skills, nation/citizenship, race, clan, religion, education, health, generation (e.g., grandparent), wealth/poverty, rank, political party, and so on. Even my huge Collegiate Dictionary avoids a direct definition of the word "identity" in the sense of a single idea or concept as exemplified in the sentence, "I am a human being."

Yet one of the most common human neurotic insecurities arises from people not knowing precisely who they are, and adolescence is considered the age and stage when most people search blindly for some kind of semi-permanent adult identity. This teenage uncertainty usually ends up being "stabilized" by an adoption of one or more of the attributes mentioned above. Thus a person gets married, has children, and says, "I'm a mother (or father)." They might identify with their religion and say, "I'm a Catholic (or Moslem)." Most also identify with their country and say, "I'm an American (or Mexican)." Very few people will say, "I am me." 

The least valid kind of ego-identity is a counterfeit one. Some people adopt a fake personality and act out a false role like an actor does in a play. Teenagers may do this by imitating their latest pop-idol, but older people, too, may adopt a spurious facade, such as a fixed smile, in order to impress others or to be liked by them. Not infrequently, this insincere front is only too obvious to those around them.

Having an "identity crisis" is becoming more and more popular, and not without reason because many of us are beginning to realize we might be something much more than just a teacher, cop, mother, artist, Buddhist, Democrat or lover. Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am," which places his vision of his own identity as a "thinker," or thinking human being. But what is a "thinker"-- what does that term mean? We will discover that Descartes got it back-to-front; he should have said, "I AM, therefore I think."

IDENTIFICATION WITH OUR BODIES

From an early age we are taught to think we are our bodies. This identification is not confined to direct statements, but is implicit in almost everything we learn about ourselves as children. "How did you get so dirty?" says mother, meaning your body is covered in mud. "How tall you are getting," says Aunt Mary, meaning your body is growing upward quite quickly. In sports and gym activities we see ourselves as bodies that, hopefully, achieve our physical skill goals, and we receive confirmation of this body-identification when parents and teachers praise us. Our egos are encouraged to look to the body as our "real being" and this is most true in our state of health or lack of health. "I am sick today," which really means, "My body is sick." "So, if I take a pill, I will get better," which really means, "This physical pill will make my physical body better."

The only answer to this mis-identification of yourself with your body, is to retrain your mind to think of your body as a temporary vehicle (a Vedic term from India) which you own and use, much like you own and use your car or bicycle. It gets you around, you service it and keep it in good running order. You own it, but it does not own you, and most certainly, you are not your car--or your body. There is much more I want to say about manifesting physical bodies and the symbolic importance of some kind of identity expression for all Beings everywhere, but this is not the place to discuss that topic. I will do so later in another Section.

However, perhaps a quote from A Course in Miracles might be helpful at this point: 

"I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me." (Lesson 202, Workbook)

In other words we are not our physical, material bodies as we currently see them, and therefore any identification with them is a mistake, an error. What then did God create? He created you (and creates you Now) as a Mind-Being within His Own Mind-as-Such, who is exactly "in His Image" and this creation of you as a Mind-Being has nothing to do with physical bodies, even if you own one temporarily. The Mind-as-Such Being, created by God within His Mind as an Individuality, is our Real Identity.

But, before we explore that Idea further, let us examine another false identification we humans make, namely, our erroneous belief that we are our personalities, our egos.

FALSE EGO-IDENTITIES: WHAT IS AN EGO?

Almost every human being on Planet Earth has some kind of psychological ego; there are only a handful who do not because they have rid themselves of their egos. In popular terminology the word "ego" is associated with an inflated, self-important, overbearing person who has "a big ego." In psychology, however, the word "ego" (originally a Freudian term) now includes any and all beliefs and ideas an individual has about themselves--their human self-image or self-concept--how they "know" themselves to be. Thus, someone who is shy and diffident would be said to have a timid self-effacing ego. Most people identify with only one or two (usually "positive") aspects of their ego. Their ego may also include facets of their mind-personality that are unconscious, which while apparent to others, may not be consciously known to that person. Alcoholism denial is a one example.

Note that we each make or construct our own ego out of the beliefs and concepts we have about ourselves, and many of these come from other people telling us who we are, especially our parents and teachers when we are children. This "ego-manufacturing" process during childhood, adolescence and young adulthood is usually somewhat unconscious. However, later we are aware of many of our ego-characteristics, and some teenagers and adult people strive to change them, especially when they become too bothersome and make them unhappy. Most psychotherapists (of all kinds) try to modify their clients' egos into an improved positive self-concept by "eliminating" or reducing fears and angers, while at the same time encouraging beneficial social relationships. Some therapists dive into their clients' childhood to try to achieve these changes to the existing self-concept "identity." Such therapy is much the same as rearranging a house of cards to be more stable and to look more attractive. The only Real transformational therapy is to vaporize the ego entirely and Wake Up to God In God. "My Father and I are One."  "Your Way Father, not mine."

Why, then, do we have egos?  Separation as an act of egoic independence.

Egos were made by us after we psycho-spiritually separated from God. When God created us as individuated Mind-Beings (Spiritual Beings) within His Mind-as-Such some of us intimated to Him that, as we were absolutely Free, we would like to operate completely independently of Him and do our own thing. God pointed out that it was forever impossible for His Creations to get outside His Mind-as-Such because everything (All-That-Is) existed only within His Singular Mind-as-Such as Ideas, including us. Remember, the Mind-as-Such Being, created by God within His Mind as an eternal Individuality, is our Real Identity.   

Then God, in His infinite Intelligence, pointed out that that we could imagine we were independent operators if we wished to fall into a delusional dream state in which we would appear to be "divorced" from His Reality and (as an inevitable consequence) from Real Love. We decided to go with this imagined independence and, in the resulting lucid dream, we became deluded not only about who we are, but also about the True Nature of God, the Real Universe of Universes as Created Ideas, and all Real Knowledge.

In our world of dreams fantasy runs riot. Along the way, during our descent into physicality, we evolved bodies-as-vehicles to facilitate our interaction with the physical world. No harm in that. But, because Love was missing (and still is), pain, suffering, terror, misery, conflict, attack and defense become the everyday norm. It is fear (not Love) that now protects us (because we see ourselves as bodies), just as it is the fear of never having enough that forces us to fight for our rightful share of the in-short-supply goodies. To assist us in this never-ending struggle for physical survival we invented a false dream identity we now call the ego, which, founded on fear, would imagine it directs the flow of any one individual's "lifetime." 

What are the major characteristics of our egos? 

1. Egos are fear-based and know nothing of Real Love. 

2. Egos are artificial thought-constructs made up of a loose conglomeration of shifting beliefs, ideas, indoctrinations, dogmas, feared "objects," projections, etc., all of which are delusions. (To learn about projection see Page R12.)

3. Being fear-based, egos will always attack and defend when threatened, even when that threat comes from someone with whom the ego is bonded for safety-security reasons (e.g., relatives). Anger and attack are only the flip side of fear. When our fear of an attacker subsides we can get angry, attack them, and make them fearful; there are many variations on this theme.

4. Ego desperately fears Spirit, Love, God, Self, Ideas, Light, Truth and Freedom because any of these, if Understood, would result in that ego's collapse and total disappearance into the nothingness from whence it came. Spirit is always seen by ego as a constant threat. (See #6)

5. All egos are tricksters (see Archetypes Section -- E2) inasmuch as they use every illogical, underhand, deceptive, sarcastic, cunning, derogatory, belligerent, affectionate tactic and device to affirm it is right, and to get its own way. Every ego is a master of rationalization and displacement, and it will use its whole bag of tricks to stay in control in all relationships. Not infrequently that control is subtle and covert. 

6. If the ego cannot conquer and divide its perceived opposition successfully, it will "join" the opponent and take over, on the principle that, "If you cannot beat them, join them." For example, once the ego sees its owner becoming irrevocably spiritual, it will climb on the spiritual bandwagon and toot its own horn about how spiritual or religious it is.

7. The ego focuses as much attention as possible on the body and becomes preoccupied with bodily functions, activities and physical survival. Its favorite fixation is the sickness and health of the body. When any conflict or situation becomes too difficult to handle mentally the ego will drop the conflict into the body as an illness, a device that usually also pays off in terms of sympathy and attention. Other ego bodily fixations are diet, appearance, comfort, addictions and sports (not necessarily as a participant).

8. The ego loves polarities of all kinds, and it is actually maintained by these polarities. The ego sees polarities everywhere and lives by them. The primary polarity cycle of the ego is elation and depression, but dozens of others exist, the main ones being: sickness/ health, acceptance/ rejection, submission/ dominance (not necessarily with the same other person), success/ failure (win/ lose), sex/ no sex, anxious/ confident, solitude/ gregarious (lonely/ outgoing), lazy/ industrious (apathetic/ enthusiastic), plain/ attractive (ugly/ beautiful).

9. The ego is actually composed of quite a number of parts, including, but not limited to, 

(a) the Parental Authority System (PAS); the ego's inner PAS is projected by us onto all our institutions including our religions, governments, legal systems, armed forces, media, and schools and colleges,

(b) the persona

(c) the main private ego,

(d) the ego we are ashamed of, and,

(e) the extreme ego emotions (e.g. rage) we try to deny we have. 

Each of these sections may contain varying kinds of "sub-egos" or undeveloped ego-children. Our ego-children also tend to be specific to particular environments. We have one ego-child for the family, another ego at work or school, still another at the beach, and yet another in church, and so it goes. (For more on all these aspects of the ego see: Archetypes Section -- E2, and the List of Ego-Children -- E05)

10. The ego loves to judge everyone and everything, non-stop, including its owner. Whenever the ego perceives any human, animal, or object, it automatically goes into its highly critical evaluation and assessment mode mostly based on a lifetime of past experiences. This is how stereotypes are formed and any individuality becomes buried under a deluge of prejudice, preconceptions, attitudes and anxiety. Most people even stereotype themselves. In many of our long-term relationships the individuals involved may know little about what each other is really like because our ego-blinders from childhood prevent clear perception. I once counseled a couple where the wife told me she was always angry because her husband would not make love to her, and later the husband said he could not make love to her because she was always angry! How tiny can the circle of ego-discontent get?

11. The egos actions and reactions are usually knee-jerk, at least initially, in any situation. This is true even though, occasionally, remorse and self-recrimination may occur down the line. 

12. The ego loves to cause guilt in you, and it also loves to make others guilty so that it can be right. Wherever the ego looks it tends to find fault and promptly place the blame there. As one client said, "Someone has to be guilty for my condition." As a part of this guilt-blame process the ego yells, ignores, protests, coerces, denies and manipulates. Or it falls sick; You make me sick.

13. For all our egos, life is just one endless tussle to get its way (or for some, to stay afloat) by means of every tactic it can devise, be it underhand or above board, nice or nasty, dominant or submissive. Therefore, all egos are continuously in competition (even when victimized, depressed or opting out) to get their own way. But why? 

14. Your ego has many deep fears all founded on a fear of its own annihilation or psychological paralysis. The ego dreads poverty, extreme loneliness, insanity, extreme incapacitation, pain, and death. Death is only acceptable when the psychological or physical pain becomes continuously tormenting beyond toleration. All these things the ego struggles to rise above, much like a hot air balloon kept floating over a swarm of sharks (see second sentence in this paragraph) swimming in a sea of suffocation. We must constantly keep our egos pumped up to avoid catastrophe! To the ego all this paragraph is rational and reasonable.

But what about all the positive and fun things we enjoy in our lives? Are they not valid?

1. All the ego's positive, pleasurable, fun-filled activities and experiences are only the opposite end of the same polarity and you cannot have the positive without the negative, any more than the North Pole can exist without a South Pole. (If you wish to experience Real Love, Joy and the Peace that passes all understanding you have to "vaporize" the ego and all its polarities using the Ego-Dismantling Method outlined elsewhere on this Site (see G04).

2. The ego's positive experiences provide a delicate shifting balance with their inevitable negative counterparts, in order to keep you hooked into its artificial belief structures as a whole. Psychologists call this "intermittent positive reinforcement" which you can see clearly in addicted gamblers and other kinds of addicts who get an occasional high from an occasional win or hit. Later in life the ego can keep itself boosted by reminiscing on these past wins and hits. This intermittent positive reinforcement is the only pleasurable "pay-off" the ego requires in order to keep trying for the next enjoyable temporary win (of any kind) or hit (of any kind). Note that if the ego's pay-off disappears altogether, especially in relationships, we usually cease our positive or kindly behaviors; for example if someone ceases to love us we cease to love them, even though other payoffs such as security may keep us in the (now) unloving relationship. 

3. For every ego that wins in any sport or human activity, including business, there are lots of losers. One runner wins the Olympic gold medal and we all cheer, but dozens of other runners who have trained for a decade or two are in deep depression. They failed. The egos who applaud winners are usually merciless to losers. We teach our children all this from birth, and so our belief in the validity of success and failure becomes our compulsive addiction throughout life, and this includes school, business, profession/ work, sport, art, games, various skills, possessions, attractiveness, physical strength, marriage and other relationships, sex, and even in "successfully attaining" enlightenment! As one client once put it, "Failure is not an option." Thus speaks the ego. Even the term "win/win" implies there is a possibility of "fail/fail." Why not Love/Love?

Popular myths about the ego.

1.  We can eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive! "Sin" (wrong-doing) can be eradicated: This myth has already been busted above, but let me repeat here that a polarity is a polarity and you can no more rid yourself of the ego's negatives without also ridding yourself of the ego's positives, than you can get rid the Earth of its South Pole without, at the same time, eliminating the North Pole. But all traditional religions do not get this essential psychological fact about the ego. They think that if only they eliminate so-called "sin" (the negative pole of the ego) they will be able to retain all the ego's "good" side and "positive" stuff. Hence, punishment rears its head, especially with children, because by not sparing the rod you will not spoil the child (by allowing his or her "sins" to proliferate). In other words fear is the main tool of fundamentalist religion (and, they say, of God). They state that once the human race is terrified of being sinful (with the fundamentalist church/ temple/ mosque administering the wrath of God appropriately) and that, consequently, everyone has stopped sinning, we will have Heaven on Earth. One 8-year old client asked me how could a body burn in hell for eternity, like his teacher had told him! Physical and psychological punishments in one form or another have been going on for at least 10,000 years and I have seen no diminution in crime or "sin" to date. Punishment does not work and has never worked. Fear creates "sin." In fact, I would say that the Twentieth Century was probably the most "sinful" century ever! The paradox is the punishment is part of the negative polarity and, impossibly, it is being used to try to eliminate itself leaving only kindliness and ego-love bondings. Of course some punishment is usually passed off as "tough-love," a contradiction of terms if ever I heard one. Real Love is the Answer, an answer comprised of healing, compassion, understanding, therapy, kindness, and if necessary, loving confinement combined with compassionate therapy--for as long as it takes. (This has been done in both the USA and UK.)

2. By "integrating" my ego (i.e., egos) I will "get it all together" and be very happy. I have never seen this happen to anyone anywhere, although I do see people whose egos have plateaued because a major aspect of their ego has become addicted to a "successful" pattern of living, be it work, marriage, motherhood, artistic fulfillment, or "getting" religion. How do I know this? I have been through each of these ego-phases myself, some of them more than once because a new success, marriage, or plateau had been accomplished. I have also seen numerous others on their egoic plateaus. Almost everyone says, "But lots of people out there are happily married, have fulfilling jobs, love their children, and have satisfying activities and hobbies." But even a little exploration will reveal that just beneath the surface of almost everyone's life, the cracks show. They criticize aspects of their husband, wife, children, work colleagues, their artistic frustrations and disappointing relationships. Almost everyone feels something very Essential and Real is missing from their lives--inasmuch as they have not Really Done what they came into this lifetime to do. The ego has to be disintegrated, not integrated! 

3. Next week, next year, or when I retire, I will finally catch up on all the outstanding chores and jobs and then I will be able to LIVE and enjoy myself contently: This is the ultimate "Catch 22" if ever there was one. The ego has a secret plan (not-so-secret in some people) that it will keep you preoccupied and addicted to busy self-maintenance work your entire life. Most people spend at least ninety-five percent of their time maintaining themselves, their family, and their environment as a process of "living." The other five percent of our time we spend in entertaining ourselves in a wide variety of ways.  All work for wages or salary at any level or rank is maintenance. Take away the income and 99.9% of people would cease working because they have to maintain themselves and perhaps a family on that income. Any altruism comes a distant second or third. Owning a house and grounds calls for much maintenance, and even keeping an apartment clean and tidy can absorb a considerable amount of time. School is prospective job maintenance. All exercise is physical maintenance. Eating and cooking are maintenance. Even, reproductively, children are there to maintain our family line and species. Our pets have to be maintained. Our cars and other equipment have to be maintained. I can go on and on. Even recreation and vacations are maintenance because we need the breaks to recuperate, so we can dive into more work maintenance when the breaks are over. The whole point of all this is that we are supposed to be maintaining our minds and bodies in order to LIVE, but that we only live as maintainers preparing to LIVE. Strangely, most people do not seem to mind living solely as maintainers. Would you maintain your car and never use it for the purpose for which it was designed and created? Your well-maintained ego-mind and body are just standing in the driveway of your LIFE, going nowhere. Many people, at the end of their lives, are in almost the same state of ego-mind that they were in when they came into it. Most of us, then, never really LIVE NOW. Does all this mean we should stop maintaining our bodies, families and homes? No, it does not. But it does mean that the maintenance of your physical life is not the Goal of Your Life.

4. Once I conquer my addiction, my personality defect, or disorganized life-style, I'll be happy and free: The ego loves to substitute the next addiction or hang-up for the one you have just eradicated. Addictions and hang-ups are symptoms (effects); they are not the cause of unhappiness. Ego-ridden human lives are all about addictions, and our most serious addiction is to our physical bodies. We give up smoking and get fat. Even health-obsessed people are addicted. Call much of "normal life" ego-positive if you like, but that does not make it any less filled with addictions. Some are addicted to their possessions, family, or work, while others are addicted to their cars or bicycles. Many individuals are addicted to another individual, while others are totally preoccupied with themselves. All addictions, preoccupations, obsessions and distractions are ego-ploys to avoid Real Happiness. Never confuse excitement and temporary pleasures with Happiness.

5. Once I get rich, or even well-to-do, I will be happy: Our obsession with getting money is one of our biggest addictions and the tens of millions who gamble regularly on the lottery attest to that. For some others the next get-rich-quick-scheme (often a best-seller book) grabs their unrelenting ego-attention. The ego is always deluded that wealth will enable them to find happiness, but, unless you are wealthy without having to work, maintaining wealth usually means more responsibilities, more work, more worries and less free time. All the pleasures of the ego, including money, usually wane over a period of time. Once we perceive money as solidified Love (a very rare state of Mind) we will begin to understand where Happiness really lies. See spending money as a gift, and also everything that it buys as a gift.

6. If I join a monastery or isolate myself from the evil world, I will find God: The problem with this particular deception by our egos is that the individual concerned does not realize they are making the "evil world" real within their own minds. Consequently, they will always perceive the evil (they believe is true) "out there." Also, monasteries and the minds of the isolated ones, are just as full of ego as anyone living downtown! I am not saying it is impossible for monks to Wake Up, but I am saying the monastery or cave is irrelevant, and you can Wake Up just as easily right in your neighborhood. By all means do your 40 days and 40 nights if you want to, or sit under a banyan tree for 10 years, but either way, you will have to vaporize your entire fictitious ego if you wish to wake up to Real Love, Light, Peace and Joy. Waking Up is an internal process, wherever you are. By all means find a Teacher, but discover your Self quickly, so as to see the Teacher as an equal brother or sister. All Children of God are equal, although they are not peas in a pod. The Buddha, Krishna, Lao-Tzu and Jesus all Woke Up but they were, and are still, individuated Beings each having his own Identity in his own right. We are all Children of God.

7. Once I get my parents, or my spouse, or my therapist (or whoever) to really understand me, and see where I am coming from, I will be able to relax and enjoy my life; nobody really understands me! This is a biggie for all those people who feel/think their happiness depends on someone else, rather than on themselves. Common themes on this one are, (a) I have to get my parents to accept me, to recognize me for who I am, to appreciate me, because their validation of my inner self or child is the key to my flowering as an adult and it will release me, (b) when I explain my emotional or situational position to my parents, partner, or therapist very clearly and logically they do not seem to have understood what I have said, because if they did they would agree with me, and go along with my needs or give me the expected answer that I know is correct, (c) I want my partner to accept me exactly as I am, because if he/she really loves me they will want to gratify my needs and wants and put up with my shortcomings, even though I don't tolerate some of their traits and habits, (d) why can't I find a wonderful, mature man/woman to be my partner, one who will truly care for me and love me even though I am nowhere near perfect myself.  All of these expectancies depend on other people's understanding of you, but, in fact, no one else's understanding of you is necessary, because all you have to do is delve into your mind and understand your self. Your happiness does not depend on others! But listen to what others say about you because ninety-five percent of the time it is correct and contains a valuable lesson for you which can help you understand your self. This is not to blame yourself, but to see the value to your own unfolding in what people say about you. Ninety percent of all contention in relationships is not only trivial, it also stifles your spiritual growth.

OUR SEPARATED SELF -- THE PRODIGAL SON

When we first decided to separate from God we fell asleep quite gradually, but with the full intent to do so. We kept our focus, our intent on fabricating a "world of ego" which, in the dream would be superimposed on God's continuous Real Creations. The two would be so mixed together in the dream that the world of ego would cause us to see the Real World through the eyes of delusion. An analogy in this world of ego would be the psychotic patient on a psychiatric ward who thinks he is Napoleon and sees the ward staff as his generals and the other patients as his army; he is superimposing his insane delusion on the actual staff, on his fellow-patients and even sees the physical ward as his empire. We look on the Real World in a similar way, distorting it and interfering with it in all kinds of insane ways, like the way we are trashing this beautiful planet as quickly as we can. The Earth and Nature are God's Real Creations, but few see them.

The parable which best illustrates this crazy dream-world of the ego is the story of the Prodigal Son, and he is the Son of the Father who represents each of us. He left Home after asking for his inheritance, then squandered it all in trivial ways until he realized that "success" and "failure" away from Home was a fruitless exercise leading to nothing but pain and misery. So he trudges Home and, to his surprise, his Father greets him with Joy because one of His Children has returned Home of his own free will. Once Home, the son settled into an idyllic Family Life that included Everything. 

THE SPIRITUAL SELF, THE REAL SELF, THE BEING GOD CREATED

Once we Wake Up (of our own free will) from the false ego-world of delusional dreams which we superimpose on the Real World, we are a lot wiser. We do not forget the insanities to which we previously subjected ourselves and others when we were egos floundering in foolish fantasies. Of course, in our Awakened state, we no longer think them real, but because our memories of our dream-time stay with us, we are always very aware never to be tempted to fall asleep again. That is why, in our world of ego we have to bottom out (like the Prodigal Son) and get to the point where we say to ourselves, "Never again!" Once we have Woken Up to God's Real World all our God-given powers return to us, even here on this planet. We can heal the sick with miracles, manifest food when we need it, and teach everyone who wants to listen that Love is the Answer to every apparent conflict and issue. We see the Christ/ Buddha/ Krishna in everyone everywhere, and, when asked, we explore every Loving avenue to encourage each one who asks to Wake Up.

IDENTIFICATIONS WE MAKE AS EGOS—ALL OF WHICH ARE ERRONEOUS IDENTITIES

Introduction: The identifications (or identities) mentioned below refer to fairly constant preoccupations we may have with the central topic of the "I am…" statements, and we usually devote some thought, time and activity to them on a regular basis. Note that we can have more than one identity—in fact, most of us do! However, as you read through the Identifications listed below do understand that a mild-to-middling interest in any of them does not constitute a preoccupied Identification. Therefore, do not fall into the "all or nothing" fallacy in which you say to yourself, "If I have any interest in this topic then I must be identified with it." There are many levels and degrees of interest, most of which are not constant preoccupations. If you do decide you have a specific preoccupation/identification just let the psychological identification go, but you do NOT have to stop a specific activity (e.g., exercise) or get rid of the possession (e.g., your car or Picasso). Nevertheless it would be wise to let go of any ego-pride you may feel. Also relinquish any unhealthiness you have, and all fears of aging.  

Identifications we may make with the physical body:

I am attractive. (Preoccupation with make-up, grooming, clothes, figure, etc.)

I am fit and strong. (Preoccupation with body-physique, muscle definition, etc.)

I am not healthy. (Preoccupation with illnesses, medications, aging, aches, etc.)

Identifications we may make with our birth family and genetic heritage:

I am… (White, Black, Native American, Asian, Latino, Polynesian, Inuit, etc.)

I am proud of my ancestors who were royalty; lived in a castle; were on the Mayflower.

Identifications we may make with our schools and education:

       I am proud to say I am a graduate of… (ABC High, LMN College, XYZ University)

       I am proud of my ___ certificate(s), diploma(s), or degree(s) in ___.

       I am a perpetual student. I always look forward to the next course or workshop.

Identifications we may make with our local community or area:

 I am a Bostonian.

 I am a Texan.

 I am a New Englander.

Identifications we may make with our original or adopted country (or both):

       I am an American.

       I am an Aussie.

       I am an Iranian.

Identifications we may make with our work, vocation and profession:

       I am a farmer (or electrician, etc.)

       I am an actor (or artist, etc.)

       I am a teacher (or doctor, etc.)

Identifications we may make with our rank, position or responsibilities:

       I am a Captain, etc.

       I am a CEO of the company, etc.

       I am a care-giver to disabled veterans.

Identifications we may make with our religion or spiritual path:

       I am a Christian.

       I am a Buddhist.

       I am a spiritual devotee of _______ (includes all leaders and gurus in any religion).

Identifications we may make with our major interests, hobbies and pursuits:

       I am a baseball (football, basketball, etc.,) fan.

       I am an artist and art collector, etc.

       I am a scuba diver, parachutist, etc.

Identifications we may make with other people:

       I am a great admirer of this famous person; I follow their life and career closely.

       I am fascinated with the life of… (Say: Diana, Mother Teresa, John Lennon)

       I used to play golf with Tiger Woods. (Or, hobnobbed with, or met other celebrities.)

Identifications we may make with our possessions:

       I am the proud owner of a BMW (or any other make of car or vehicle, etc.)

       I am proud of my home and I personally maintain it in first-class condition.

       I am proud of my Picasso (or antiques, etc.,) and would love to show them to you.

 Identifications we may make with our talents or other personal abilities:

I am proud of the Trophies, Medals and Cups I have won.

I am proud of the Citations, Plaques and Honors I have been awarded.

I am proud to say I have given a recital in Carnegie Hall, (written a book, etc.)

Identifications we may make with our current family:

       I am proud of my son (or daughter) because…

       I am proud of my wife (or husband) because…

       I am proud of my mother (or father) because…

       I am proud of my sister (or brother) because…

Concluding Remarks: If we let all these preoccupations/identifications go, then what do we identify with? Is there any identity we can embrace with the knowledge that it is not of the ego, body, our possessions or accomplishments?

Our only True Identity is that each of us, along with every other Mind-Being in the Universe, is a free individuated Creation of God. But because every Being everywhere is of God we can have no ego-pride in this Identification, but, like everyone else, we can say, "I am not all of God, but God is all of the Real me."

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 NOTE:  To see a color Diagram of  EGO-LOOPS IDENTITY TRAPS go to:  R06

 

   

Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD

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