The various segmentations of Identity
(Or we go to any absurdity to escape a feeling.)
Let’s consider a few attributes of identity that are often separated as independent (or a semi-dependent) systems.
- Our bodily control system. The body functions pretty much by itself.
- Our bodily reporting system, pain, heat and cold, feelings of dis-ease, and other layers of feeling emotion, fear or alarm.
- Thoughts and the explanatory system.
- Memories and the repetitive system.
- The feelings and emotions that are evoked by thought and memory
- Our various calls to action and/or to hesitation, or to prudent avoidance of default action.
Actually our identity is the process of all these systems functioning together. Some system might be dominant for a period. We might try to deny certain of these partitions. (I call them partitions instead of parts, because that is what we are investigating.)
1. The bodily control system and the bodily reporting system can be separated, without stopping the function of the more basic unit. For example: the reporting system signals a pain in a muscle, presumably signifying a dysfunction or an injury. You take a pain pill, and movement is restored. Maybe when the pill wears off the pain is back and the condition has been aggravated. Maybe the allowed movement in the interim has helped to restore functioning back to normal.
A sense of the body can be distorted by drugs and practices. Much has been written about drugs and alcohol. Martial arts or even meditation will also give a different sense of the whole. Does that mean that these altered perceptions are more “true” than every day consciousness? If we answer YES, is that because we are escaping from day to day prospects that we don’t enjoy?
We may have a spiritual experience. That is just a catch-all phrase for something that we don’t understand. We grope to understand it, and apply the explanation of a new level of reality. Somebody else agrees with us, (or we got it from them). That’s nice.
We can talk about a Near Death Experience. I haven’t had one, so I am no authority. The bodily control system, which was moving very slowly, or in the process of extinguishing, was separated from the bodily reporting system. You had an out of body experience. Two things that are obvious are, that you didn’t die (even for one second), and that now you are speaking from memory. That’s nice.
I don’t have to (almost) die to readily admit that strange visions can appear, even in the most mundane of dreaming during semi-sleep. Where did I get all those images from? I really don’t know, and don’t need to deny any possibility. But I don’t have to dwell on them either, or try to follow-up a path which has little or no substance. If I dream where the pot of gold is buried and wake up and find it, then I will begin to pay more attention.
2. I say that every action is motivated by a feeling level. This is kind of the sub-title to this post, that we are squirming to avoid a feeling. More or less of a certain feeling comes into my attention, until I finally think a reasonable solution is a certain action. Feelings also cause a no action. Some say that they don’t have feelings. I said feeling level, so the experience that you don’t often deviate from that base feeling level, doesn’t mean that it is not a feeling. Others may say that I take action from logic and rationality. That level of rational thought (rational to you) produces a solid feeling, and it is the basis of your laying that trip on most everyone.
I further say that every thought is a picture of a world view, with my available place within it. So is every memory. If my place in that view is diminishing or very cramped I get a bad feeling. If the picture gives me new breathing room, I get a good feeling. If it is unchangeable or more of the same, maybe I get bored, frustrated or resigned.
With these statements I am saying that the mental system, memory, feeling, well being, and call to action systems are all inseparable and function as a whole. You are that whole process. I suggest opening these (this system) systems up to work more toward what you prefer. I don’t favor one segmentation over another or suggest to discard one or more. I don’t say “I am not the body, I am not the mind”. I don’t say that the “ego” always wants this, or to quiet the mind. Mental function runs based on solving the conundrums of your belief structures. And I don’t say that you just have to deal with your feelings. Change your self talk around your adopted world view, and all the rest including your feelings change with it.
3. What is the point of discussing these partitions and what I am trying to say about them?
They’re all borrowed knowledge aren’t they?
They are not yours nor are they authentic to you. They are based on a belief that you can live someone else’s life, if you really apply yourself. They are based on the belief that by yourself you are not worthy, sharp enough, or capable to discover what you need to live well. You need an old master. With that foundation, (no matter what the merit in any teaching is), you are doomed to recreating a hell.
The only way that you will ever live a satisfied life is to come back to yourself, to come back to what you are finding in your interaction with what is here now for you. Fast forward on your path, and assume that now you have finally found what you seek. What will you do? You will live an authentic life with the wisdom that you have thus far acquired.
I say that you can do that right now.