Excerpt About Disidentification

What is Disidentification Really?

Let’s take these terms one by one. We’ll begin with the term “disidentification.” We say you need to disidentify from a certain state to be able to understand it. Many methods, such as Gurdjieff’s, deal with identification and disidentification. what is disidentification really? To understand disidentification, you need to understand identification. To identify with anything, any state, means simply that your mind takes a certain state for identify. Your mind holds on to an expression, or a feeling, or a state, and uses it to define you. The mind then contracts around the state in the activity of holding on to it. This very contraction of the mind creates what we call “identity.” So identifying with something is taking a concept and saying, “That’s me,” or “That relates to me,” or “That defines me in some way.” Suppose you identify with your body. Your mind looks at your body and says, “That’s me.” That identification is now a contraction in the body and the mind. Now how does one go about disidentifying from this belief? Contrary to what most people think, disidentification does not mean that part of you separates from the body and says, “Oh, I am not the body.” This would mean that there’s a part of me that I’m pushing away. Most people think disidentification is this pushing away: “I am not that.” Actually, disidentification is simply the awareness that you believe you are your body, and the understanding that that isn’t true, that you are not your body. When you understand this, the false assumption disappears and there is no more belief that you are the body. When there is disidentification, there is no one who disidentifies. Disidentification is simply the absence of identification, the absence of the contraction, the absence of the belief. If you believe that there is a part that is pushed away, you are making it real; the mind is still holding on, contracting in that place. The mind is still restricting itself. Identification is a contraction, and disidentification is a relaxation of that contraction.

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