Man is always in a state of identification.George Gurdjieff
Identification and Considering
Identification is a mental state, that operates automatically. It is a state where one identifies with something other than themselves, according to conditioning. It’s really a vast and complex subject. I am just going to give a jumping off point. So we are all on the same page when I use the words identification and considering.
Many non-dual philosophies take note of identification. Often seen as the view of mistaking oneself for one’s body. There are far more subtleties than this description shares. There’s an infinite number of levels of identification and attachment to things. Identifying with a career or a hobby is often seen as a good. When in reality one is actually losing their own identity and replacing it with such activity, regardless of moral principles.
Identification takes place automatically. Quite simply it is what one believes oneself to be at any moment. At a given moment perhaps a mother, and the next moment a daughter, a few minutes later a friend, at another time a charitable soul, and at yet another time an angry frustrated citizen, as a quilter, an artist, a driver, a walker… To be completely honest what one is doing at the moment is most likely what they are identifying with. Identification leads to forgetting all other thoughts. A person can perceive only the object of identification.
Some forms of identification are rooted in how we see ourselves and others. This is called considering. Taking something personally is a form of internal considering.
Not only is there considering oneself there is considering of other people. The state of external considering is a necessary function to experience things like empathy and compassion when applied willfully. If allowed to function automatically it becomes blind allegiance, attachment, and other forms of dysfunctional relationship between the two.
Identification with thoughts
Often identification takes place with thoughts and ideas. Concepts such as pride and love can be identified with without even having an object in focus. Think of how an entire nation of people with conflicting opinions that don’t get along can be united if they all identify with the same national pride.
Wrestling with identification is essentially the cause of all of our troubles whether it’s a personal life or on the global scale between nations.
Take 10 minutes and listen to the following. It’s a narration from In Search of the Miraculous that deals specifically with identification.
Everything that takes place in our mind springs forth from an identification. Our mind is always focused on one thing or another, and whatever the thing is, that thing is the focus of identification.
Taking control of this process is taking control of ourselves.