Excerpt About Identity

Identifying with Our Self-Image

We usually identify with our self-image; we think that’s who we are. This question of identity with what we think we are is at the root of attachment. What we ultimately want is to fight for who we really are, to actualize, protect and defend who we really are. We want to make what we really are permanent and, depending on our knowledge of what we actually think we are, that’s what we get attached to. In the beginning, identity manifests as the self-image, and most of humanity seems to be concerned with this level. Your identity is very much invested in the image, how things look on the outside, and that’s what you’re attached to. The self-image gets fed by myriad attachments, from your earrings to your friends, from your interests, likes and dislikes to your ideas and feelings, your philosophies, all of your conscious awareness at any particular time. The work we do here, on the other hand, is on the dissolution of the self-image. What we mean here by dissolution is simply seeing that it isn’t actually there. The dissolution of a certain identity is finally seeing that it is not really who you are, that the life that you have created around you is not really you. You believe that you can’t exist without it; that without these ideas, these things, these attachments, you would not be you. “How would I know myself?” you wonder, “How would anyone know me?”

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