Identification

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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soapbox
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Identification

Post by soapbox » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:58 am

Something I'm curious about: why is it that when we identify with something(this is mine!) that we feel pain when it is being taken away? I understand that it has to be taken away in a certain fashion so it conforms to how an object was first taken from you at a very young age, but why is it that we act so violently? And why does it all become so convoluted? Why do we even identify with things in the first place?

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Sighclone
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Re: Identification

Post by Sighclone » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:39 pm

The following thoughts are just ramblings, not authoritative - just some free-associations:

The ego is the mental form of systemic self-defense. Society tends to give us an early "sense of self", and as children, we cannot see ourselves, but only our environment (mostly people in our family.) We get toys...they become part of us. There is an element of "I am that" to an infant playing with a toy. So in an odd way, there is early non-duality. As we grow in self-identity (read stronger ego), those things which we knew to be ours have hooks which cling to us. I remember lending a Corvette to a college chum and worrying like hell all night. In a way, I think that some form of attachment is one of the last things to leave us, as we wake up. I like one of my blue shirts. If it were stolen, I'm pretty sure I would feel a twinge of sadness.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

soapbox
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Re: Identification

Post by soapbox » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:21 am

Thanks for the reply, sighclone. Here's something I noticed:
We get toys...they become part of us. There is an element of "I am that" to an infant playing with a toy.
Why is it that when we see something early in life like a toy, why do we believe we're apart of it?

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Re: Identification

Post by Sighclone » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:43 am

In infancy, consciousness is very diffuse and our sense of self is very broad, but our world is very small. Anal retentive behaviour is related to this early experience.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

Ives
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Re: Identification

Post by Ives » Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:21 am

In infancy we are struggling to gain a sense of boundaries. This is me; that is not me.

When this struggle begins to bear fruit, we start to see where we are in this world.
Then the fascination begins: if I am this, I can also be that toy!

soapbox
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Re: Identification

Post by soapbox » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:33 pm

Well, that confuses me. It makes it sound like people believe they are cars or houses or toys.

I don't understand most of this. You said in early childhood, we will look for boundaries...why? And how does it work?

And sighclone, you said, "In infancy, consciousness is very diffuse and our sense of self is very broad, but our world is very small. Anal retentive behaviour is related to this early experience." What does that mean? consciousness is very diffuse? Our sense of self is broad? Our world is small? I don't get it.

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Re: Identification

Post by Sighclone » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:26 pm

There is a good clinical study of the development of infant self-awareness here:
http://www.psychology.emory.edu/cogniti ... levels.pdf - see esp. p. 725 ff.

I believe that a child is born ego-less. But since it does not have the capacity for language and symbolic representation, it may be said to be "enlightened but doesn't know it." Eckhart is enlightened and knows it. There is a huge difference.

My earlier statement about a child identifying with its toys really talks about the content of the ego - cf page 34 of ANE.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

happns
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Re: Identification

Post by happns » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:30 pm

soapbox wrote:Why do we even identify with things in the first place?
Hi Soapbox... good old conditioned thinking :lol:

Couple of ET quotes to throw out there:-
The ego tends to equate having with being: I have therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am.
Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.

:D
Here is a new spiritual practice for you... don't take your thoughts too seriously - Eckhart from Stillness Speaks

soapbox
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Re: Identification

Post by soapbox » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:56 am

Thanks for the comments, guys. I appreciate it.

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