Excerpts About Identification
The Point of Existence, p. 91 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 19 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book III, p. 91 • discuss »
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 164 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 142 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 143 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 144 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 145 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 133 • discuss »
Essence, on the contrary, has nothing to do with identification. It exists purely as itself. There is no identification with past experience or any self-image at all. In fact, its presence is concomitant to the absence of identification with any self-image or psychic structure. When we are identified with a self-image we acquired in the past, we are not being our true nature. This means that for the realization of essence the first step is to disidentify, to see that we are not whatever self-image (self-representation) we have, that we are not whatever content we find, physical, emotional, or mental. This loosening of identification will loosen the rigid structure of the personality. More space will be created within us. The final outcome of the process of disidentification is the experience of the dissolution of the psychic structure or self-image. This is the experience of space, of what is sometimes called the void—when self-image is dissolved, the person will experience the loss of boundaries, both physical and mental. The nature of the mind is then revealed as an emptiness, a void, an immaculately empty space. The void and the absence of the identifications that form the psychic structure are the same thing.
Essence with the Elixir of Enlightenment, p. 46 • discuss »
Our understanding is that to continue identifying with the particular ego structure is to continue the defense. In all the cases of an individual going from an ego state to a Being state, the main defensive maneuver is the identification with an ego structure, a self-image or an object relation. While it is true that one must deal with other defense mechanisms, like repression, reaction formation, projection and so on, ultimately one comes to face the identification systems themselves as the ultimate and most subtle defense. It is true that the identifications give the individual a sense of self or individuality, which is taken by object relations theory to be needed for adaptation and development, but they are exactly what constitute the defense against the particular state of deficiency related to the Personal Essence. In relation to the Personal Essence, the experience is always as follows: One is cut off from the Personal Essence. There results a sense of lack and deficiency. Since the Personal Essence is the feeling of being a real and rounded individual, the deficiency is experienced as an affect of a lack of this sense of oneself. One feels weak, lacking his own sense of beingness. One feels one is really not a person, cannot be personal and cannot make contact. Now, what is the best defense against such a painful state? Clearly, the best defense is the belief and feeling that one is a person who is strong and able to make contact. This is exactly what is provided by identifying with the ego structure or with part of it. We can call this function adaptive, but even if we admit this possibility, we cannot deny that it is also defensive. It is, in fact, a reaction formation to the state of deficiency.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 137 • discuss »
From our perspective, however, just as it is known in psychoanalysis that some identification systems are defenses against other systems, or against id impulses, they (all identification systems) are usually defenses against the various aspects of Being. Being is always there; it is what we are in the most fundamental way. That it is not in conscious experience indicates the presence of defenses against it; it becomes part of the content of the unconscious. And any identification system taken to give the individual a sense of self or individuality is bound to function as a defense against Being because Being is who one is, is the true self. The identification systems are, at the least, in rivalry with Being and its aspects, and will always function defensively to ward off the deficiency resulting from loss of contact with Being. This defensiveness becomes apparent in the early stages of work on inner realization. If object relations theory includes the concept of Being in its formulations, it will end up acknowledging the defensive nature of these identifications at the deepest level. In all our experience, with hundreds of students, identification systems always turn out to have a defensive function. This is also the understanding of the profound spiritual teachings of mankind.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 138 • discuss »
There is another, less obvious reason the ego is bound to live in frustration and suffering. We have seen that identification systems, by their very nature, tend to resist Being, and that they always involve some defensive function; further, any defensive quality or posture in the mind must be reflected in the organism as tension or contraction. We have described this either as a thickness in the case of defense, or a lighter dullness like a rubber cloud, in the case of pure identifications. But this thickness, which can become hardness, and the dullness, are nothing but states of contraction in the organism, basically in the nervous system. Thus the core of the thickness or dullness of all the defense mechanisms of ego must be the negative-merging affect. This thickness is the dull coating we have discussed in relation to the feeling of frustration. Thus all identification systems are reflected in the nervous system as the negative-merging affect. So the negative-merging affect forms not only the core of negative identifications that are based on negative merging, but also the core of what are usually considered positive identifications. The wider implication is that the experiential core of the ego is the negative-merging affect, pure suffering. Again we see the truth of Buddha’s first noble truth, this time from the perspective of psychology.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 253 • discuss »