The Path of Identity
When I use the word identity, I don’t mean that which is form (name, race, weight) but that which is formless (core, essence, source etc). Your identity is the I Am in the statement “I Am”. I want to share the ‘path of identity’ from my perspective which will hopefully give you a clearer view of the population in general. No longer do you need to impress others, worry what people think of you or even live a life constrained through social conditioning. Because when you plug into your true identity you act through your intentions, come from a place of authenticity and stand up for your core values.
The Path of IdentityThe path of identity is an interesting one. You may disagree with what you read below, possibly because you haven’t experienced your true identity and how it feels when you are coming from that place. This is how I see identity, and it follows the core message of the Buddha, of Christianity, of Eckhart Tolle and anybody else you want to name. All teachings points to the same place. There are so many benefits to reaching the last level of our path, coincidentally it is also the first step of our path that I want to share the whole process here. I’ve included images to help point out the various stages so I hope they help. Core Identity Our core identity is who we are. It is often referred to as our inner self, our essence or even our source. We are born with this and it never changes. However, realising (plugging into) our real identity is rare, and that is what this blog is about. As children, we are free to dream, we have no limiting beliefs and we certainly don’t care what people think of us (the younger the child, the more this applies). We are always acting through our core, fully confident and blissfully happy, even if we don’t know it at the time. So what changed…what went wrong? Expanded Identity As time goes on, we build up an identity of what we think we are. When we have something like a collectors Pokemon card, we see ourselves as us + the card. You start to view yourself as you and [possession] or [relationship] or something else you have obtained, rather than just you. This is our expanded identity and is often based around objects of form. If you identify with what you have, your mind or what you do then you are no longer connected to your true identity. This leads us to seeking validation from others, acting through this perceived identity and with a weak sense of reality. Damaged Identity Our expanded identity is not who we truly are, it is an illusion and nothing more. It forms through the possession of material wealth and other things we give value. Therefore, we are open to any judgments or negativity to affect us directly. If you see your car as giving you a higher status and someone comes along with a better one or insults yours, you are going to question your own value. The questioning of yourself and your reactivity to the opinions of others means that it is very easy for our identity to be damaged. This can lead to stress, depression, worry and fear. In extreme cases, it can also make the ‘victim’ take extreme action. Our core self is always there, yet it is clouded by one thing, our Ego. Ego & Identity While the Ego is nothing more than an illusion and barely more than the 3 letters that describe it, using the word can help you understand what I’m referring too. Our Ego, in essence, is the reason we have an expanded identity. It is the part of us that sees us having more value through our achievements or possessions. We then act through the ego, often thinking we are better than those who aren’t as wealthy or successful. The same goes for when we see others as having achieved more or with greater possessions, we feel jealousy and anger and continue on our search for an identity through amassing things. It (Ego) reacts when people tell us something we don’t believe in by telling them they are wrong. It holds you back from trying things in case you discover the person you think you are is not actually you. It is also the cause of much greed in the world due to when you identify with it you will always be looking for more, therefore you’ll always feel like something is missing. In basic terms, our ego can take over our thinking, our emotions and our actions to the point where we think we are controlling things we actually have no control over. Less Ego & Identity Through the struggles we face in our lives, through our excess or lack of characteristics such as confidence or our discovery of the ego, we look for a way out. We look for change.Â Once you are aware of the Ego and how you may be identifying with external things and seeing them as yourself, you can start to lessen its affect. Realisation is one of the key factors. The realisation that how people view us, or even how our mind views ourselves, has nothing to do with who we are is huge. From there it is becoming the watcher of your emotions and thinking; as soon as you start to observe them as they arise you enter a greater state of presence. You then start to de-identify with the ego. Core Identity We then come full-circle back to who we truly are. Some call this Enlightenment; others call it ‘being yourself’. Me? I call it plugging into your identity. Because once you re-establish with your core, there is nothing to hold you back from anything, the doors are open to live the life you are meant to live. To be the person you are meant to be. Don’t think of your identity as a goal to reach, it’s already there. It’s more about removing the clutter from social conditioning and the ‘ego’ to get back to it. You realise you can act how you want to act, dress how you want to dress and be true to yourself on every level. And when you get back to your core, to that which you were connected to as a child, you can live in total happiness, complete abundance and in a river of non-judgmental acceptance. Personally, I’ve only had a glimmer of this. The first time I experienced it was at March 29th 2008, I’ve had glimpses since then but I wouldn’t say I’m totally connected back to my core. I guess you could see this blog as my journey on that path and if you like the benefits then maybe yours as well.
How to Plug into your IdentityIf we already are something, how can we connect to that, how can we connect to ourselves? For some this is a quick process, for others it’s going to take longer. It mostly depends on how many non-self things you identify with and how strongly you are attached to your ego. Remember that the current state of most people has been built up over years so this transformation which is more like personal diminishment rather than personal development, will not be instant. There is no set path in order to be able to truly plug back into your core identity. The words here are simply to guide you to where you need to go, it’s up to you to take the steps and find yourself for yourself. Of course, I’m not going to leave you wondering ‘what next’; here are some steps I recommend taking:
- Accept judgments. If someone insults you or calls out a negative trait of yours. Don’t defend yourself, just accept it and see how you feel. In other words, don’t react.
- Practice doing things you would normally be too scared to do. Approaching a (wo)man in a bar, being more talkative in social situations, give a speech or presentation etc.
- Remove labels from your world view. Try seeing people for who they are, not their social status or wealth or anything of that nature, just their core being and connect to that
- I highly recommend the teachings of Eckhart Tolle regarding presence and more specifically, this DVD.
- There are some points in this post about Unlimited Happiness that I also think will greatly help on your path