Need for Identity

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Need for Identity

Postby Sighclone » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:11 am

Sighclone wrote:
What about the need for identity at all? Does that also dissolve? Is "Amness" closer to the truth than "I Am?"

Interesting musings Andy. As I see it, identity is purely functional - and in its own domain, necessary. Wouldn't you agree?

I like to think of it as a series of nested circles.

For instance, draw a small circle and in that write 'I am a father' (mother, brother, sister etc.) Draw a larger circle around that and in it write 'I am a man'. In a larger circle around that write I am a 'human being'...

Realisation is the recognition of the page on which these circles are drawn.

As you can see, these categories are not exclusive - one doesn't exclude the other. They are nested - each is encompassed within a wider reality. There is no duality in acknowledging a functional/practical role while being aware of true identity - these functional roles can be said to be expressions within that.





Great reply, rob x. I do like the analogy. So after realization, all those nested identities remain as facts (father, man, human) that still exist, of course. Is there an "I" left to identify with any of them? Is there an "I" left to "identify with Self/Brahman?" Does Atman become an artifact of form, and really have no agency any longer? Is "I" not a meaningful concept anymore? Is my new "identity" so nonlocal that any attempt to distill it, even into "my body" becomes a temporal dualistic manifestation and profoundly incomplete?

Not to say that the perceived uniqueness in each individual human personality is not real within the plane of relativity. Of course they are real. Ramana was not Barry Long, by any stretch! So "I" can remain as "Andy" for all sorts of interactions with "other people" and the tax man. But my claim as an absolute identity as "Andy" is provisional at best. As individual "people" we are the gamepieces for lila in maya. And vehicles for the expression of unconditional love (or worse.)

My original question, though, had to do with need. Egos need to be robust and invincible, and the egoic life is an impossible struggle to achieve that status. They are "need-driven'" fragile and paranoid. But after awakening, after realization, does anything remain that "needs" anything, really? Unmet perceived needs are a primary cause of suffering. I chatted recently with Colin Drake and he felt that there is no longer even a need for identity. Now that is freedom! Of course the DSM-V would classify it as mental illness.

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
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby Rob X » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:57 pm

Sighclone wrote:My original question, though, had to do with need. Egos need to be robust and invincible, and the egoic life is an impossible struggle to achieve that status. They are "need-driven'" fragile and paranoid. But after awakening, after realization, does anything remain that "needs" anything, really? Unmet perceived needs are a primary cause of suffering. I chatted recently with Colin Drake and he felt that there is no longer even a need for identity. Now that is freedom! Of course the DSM-V would classify it as mental illness.


I'm not sure that all needs can be eradicated, Andy. Realisation is not a cure for phenomenal limitation.

A person's dispositions and inclinations are often deep-seated and hardwired into the survival matrix of the organism. Many of these ingrained mechanisms are near impossible to dislodge and are likely to prevail throughout the lifetime of the organism. Seeing that the organism is simply the play of Source is unlikely to dissolve many of these proclivities because they are not contingent on delusional beliefs - they are features of universal laws.

On the other hand, neediness, fear and clinging that is contingent on the delusional belief in separation will have no foothold in the seeing through of this delusion.
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby Sighclone » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:08 pm

Surely we will retain some needs of the body. And maybe even be afraid of heights (needing to step back from the edge.) But is that really "me" needing to eat, to not fall, etc? Frankly it still feels like it to me.

Andy
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby Rob X » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:47 pm

Sighclone wrote:Surely we will retain some needs of the body. And maybe even be afraid of heights (needing to step back from the edge.) But is that really "me" needing to eat, to not fall, etc? Frankly it still feels like it to me.

Andy


Yes, I get what you mean Andy.

In reflection and thought it feels like a me. But we can have the sense in this present actuality that eating is happening, breathing is happening, typing is happening. All there is is THIS - this 'event' of existence presenting itself moment by moment.

When this is seen, even when the 'me' rears its head - which it does much of the time - then 'me-ing' is happening. This me-ing is not other than Source/Life at play. Source always comes out on top (so to speak.)

There can be the felt-sense that there is no separate entity moving about in Life… Instead THIS (the whole thing - or the whole no-thing) is the movement. It's as if there is a switch from the focus being on this fragment (me) to the sense of the whole event that is.
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby Sighclone » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:00 am

There can be the felt-sense that there is no separate entity moving about in Life… Instead THIS (the whole thing - or the whole no-thing) is the movement. It's as if there is a switch from the focus being on this fragment (me) to the sense of the whole event that is.


I very much like the idea of a "switch in focus" from "little me" to Self/Brahman. And your repeated use of the "play," in the Universe. Relatively few teachers emphasize this, yet it is the answer to Stephen Hawking's question: "Why did the universe bother to exist?" Fully understanding that "my ego" is not "who I am" casts egoic impulses in bold relief against the daily flow...and we get to see other egos in full bloom. Buddha took the middle path regarding desires after he woke up.

Andy
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby runstrails » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:37 am

Nice conversation, guys.

All of the identities (mother, daughter, sister, scientist, seeker etc) belong to the 'doer'. Maya (or the manifested universe) can be thought of as a projection which is governed by a set of inviolable, impersonal laws (Ishvara). All of the billions of jivas (doers) go about their 'doing' based on their conditioning and desires (gunas, samskaras, vasanas). Maya is like an interactive software program of desires of billions of doers that is playing out.

Moksha (liberation) is seeing clearly that you are not the doer. You are the light that illuminates all the doers so they can act out according to their svadharma (inherent nature).

Desires are absolutely intricate to the program and doers will experience desires until the day their body dies. Krishna (speaking as the Self) says in the Bhagvad Gita: "I am the desire that is not opposed to dharma'. So as long as the jiva (doer) does not transgress dharma, the jiva enjoys performing action to fulfill his/her desires.

Of course, the jnani (self-realized jiva) knows that while she has the right to perform actions (to fulfil desires), she is not attached to the results of those actions (since the results are up to Ishvara--or the impersonal laws that govern the dharma field within which actions take place). So she can enjoy the lila without attachment to her desires. After all, the whole point of moksha is to be able to enjoy life without suffering!
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby snowheight » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:37 pm

Sighclone wrote:
For instance, draw a small circle and in that write 'I am a father' (mother, brother, sister etc.) Draw a larger circle around that and in it write 'I am a man'. In a larger circle around that write I am a 'human being'...

Realisation is the recognition of the page on which these circles are drawn.

As you can see, these categories are not exclusive - one doesn't exclude the other. They are nested - each is encompassed within a wider reality. There is no duality in acknowledging a functional/practical role while being aware of true identity - these functional roles can be said to be expressions within that.


Great reply, rob x. I do like the analogy. So after realization, all those nested identities remain as facts (father, man, human) that still exist, of course. Is there an "I" left to identify with any of them? Is there an "I" left to "identify with Self/Brahman?" Does Atman become an artifact of form, and really have no agency any longer? Is "I" not a meaningful concept anymore? Is my new "identity" so nonlocal that any attempt to distill it, even into "my body" becomes a temporal dualistic manifestation and profoundly incomplete?


Yeah, Rob's analogy is very simple, direct and meaningful.

Hey Rob, is that yours?

But what 'trails writes about seeing clearly that none of the circles is what you are is important though. Until the realization that Rob references, there will inevitably be confusion about how these identities relate to one another when someone encounters these ideas about them. It's not the kind of confusion that can be dispelled with a cognitive understanding.
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby Rob X » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:44 pm

Sighclone wrote:
There can be the felt-sense that there is no separate entity moving about in Life… Instead THIS (the whole thing - or the whole no-thing) is the movement. It's as if there is a switch from the focus being on this fragment (me) to the sense of the whole event that is.


I very much like the idea of a "switch in focus" from "little me" to Self/Brahman. And your repeated use of the "play," in the Universe. Relatively few teachers emphasize this, yet it is the answer to Stephen Hawking's question: "Why did the universe bother to exist?" Fully understanding that "my ego" is not "who I am" casts egoic impulses in bold relief against the daily flow...and we get to see other egos in full bloom. Buddha took the middle path regarding desires after he woke up.

Andy


Yes, play is important in my way of expressing this. There is a seeing of the play for what it is - and a new understanding arises. But the play doesn't dissolve - much like a lucid awakening in a dream - there is an awakening to the dream not from it.

snowheight wrote:Hey Rob, is that yours?


Hey Snowy

Yes, it's my idea to use the device of nested circles in relation to identity. But years ago I remember Ken Wilber using something similar to describe the evolution of consciousness from matter to higher states - where each circle or holon transcends but includes its predecessor.
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby snowheight » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:57 am

Rob X wrote:
Hey Snowy

Yes, it's my idea to use the device of nested circles in relation to identity. But years ago I remember Ken Wilber using something similar to describe the evolution of consciousness from matter to higher states - where each circle or holon transcends but includes its predecessor.


Ah yes, the now-infamous "pandit". Image

Did Ken express things in terms of the realization though? As the kind and gentle fictional peeps at Dunder Mifflin will tell ya', paper's here to stay, and it's not evolving anywhere, anyhow, anyway, anywhy soon. Image

Any old who, it's a fun and insightful analogy, thanks again for writing it.
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby Sighclone » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:13 am

Wilber has been all over the place. In his more recent "Integral Life Practice," there is almost no mention of nests or hierarchies - but he has several nifty quadrants.

Back in "Up From Eden" (1983) he recalls and amplifies the "Great Chain of Being" which starts with the "physical" and ends with the "absolute." (Nature, body, early mind, advanced mind, psychic, subtle, causal and ultimate.) Of course, Wilber can never leave anything alone, so he tucks in nine more levels and then introduces the macro-stages of subconscious, self-conscious and superconscious. I get pretty dizzy reading him -- worse than reading the Upanishads, for sure. But that's cool, because then he remains the final authority and we can sit at his feet and gaze. Even if he says he is "just a pandit" - strikes me as false modesty.

Chapter 7 of the Gita is pretty intense and includes Krishna declaring himself the source of the gunas, and recalls that they are hard to overcome, except by taking refuge in him. But rt's comment is clear, recalling 7.11: Desires which emerge from and align with righteousness are simply part of the Flow of Being. Recognizing them as "desires" does not mean they should be condemned, nor therefore declared as markers of ignorance.

Non-attachment is between disinterest and egoic wanting. Tolle talks at length about goals, especially in ANE chapters 9 and 10. In his discussion of enthusiasm he puts it like this: "When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed." In the dharmic Flow, the "doing" becomes "riding the wave" (ANE p. 302) -- thanks rt!!

Andy
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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby Rob X » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:49 pm

snowheight wrote:
Rob X wrote:
Hey Snowy

Yes, it's my idea to use the device of nested circles in relation to identity. But years ago I remember Ken Wilber using something similar to describe the evolution of consciousness from matter to higher states - where each circle or holon transcends but includes its predecessor.


Ah yes, the now-infamous "pandit". Image

Did Ken express things in terms of the realization though? As the kind and gentle fictional peeps at Dunder Mifflin will tell ya', paper's here to stay, and it's not evolving anywhere, anyhow, anyway, anywhy soon. Image

Any old who, it's a fun and insightful analogy, thanks again for writing it.


Well, yes... I borrowed the device not the questionable metaphysics. Identities don't evolve - they get found out.
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby snowheight » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:41 pm

Rob X wrote:Well, yes... I borrowed the device not the questionable metaphysics. Identities don't evolve - they get found out.


:) and it can take a subtle sort of perception sometimes to reveal what is hiding in plain sight.

Image
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby snowheight » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:47 pm

Sighclone wrote:Wilber has been all over the place. In his more recent "Integral Life Practice," there is almost no mention of nests or hierarchies - but he has several nifty quadrants.

...

Wilber can never leave anything alone, so he tucks in nine more levels and then introduces the macro-stages of subconscious, self-conscious and superconscious. I get pretty dizzy reading him


Image

Sighclone wrote:Chapter 7 of the Gita is pretty intense and includes Krishna declaring himself the source of the gunas, and recalls that they are hard to overcome, except by taking refuge in him. But rt's comment is clear, recalling 7.11: Desires which emerge from and align with righteousness are simply part of the Flow of Being. Recognizing them as "desires" does not mean they should be condemned, nor therefore declared as markers of ignorance.

Non-attachment is between disinterest and egoic wanting. Tolle talks at length about goals, especially in ANE chapters 9 and 10. In his discussion of enthusiasm he puts it like this: "When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed." In the dharmic Flow, the "doing" becomes "riding the wave" (ANE p. 302) -- thanks rt!!

Andy


To a confused mind the limits of the concept of detachment are pretty easily revealed with simple logic, but to a mind that has discerned the false as false, and no longer mistakes illusion for reality, there is no contradiction found in the idea of loving someone madly, passionately and deeply. :)
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Re: Need for Identity

Postby DavidB » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:30 am

I saw on the news there was a bomb sniffer dog being awarded a medal for his service. It all seemed quite an odd spectacle, when it appeared quite evident that the dog clearly had no interest, nor understanding of the whole affair. I imagine if I could hear the dogs musings, he'd probably be wondering when they were going home for some doggy chow and a lie down. :wink:
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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