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March 08, 2006

Mastering Identity

Dinesh opened the session by wondering that if each of the six billion people in the world has a unique view of the world, then there are six billion truths. None of them is entirely right and none of them is entirely wrong. The ultimate truth must encompass all the truths. So every time he is with other people, he said that he tries to expand his mental container to accommodate everyone�s truth even if his own is very different from theirs. While holding everyone�s truths, he said that sometimes there is a resonance among everyone and that is a higher truth than what each person holds individually. He said that he looks for that resonance in any dialogue.

Seeing ones own truth as only one of the many truths could help us become observers of our own identity and how it contracts or expands when it comes in contact with others. With practice, we could then be in control of our dynamic identity.

Vijay said that he is part a group that is trying to create new math books for a school and he finds it intriguing that the process, instead of being straightforward (like math), is fuzzy (like humanities).

Perhaps the subjects of human endeavors, however strong they are, may not have as much influence on people as the subjective views of the people that stem from their identities. Hence, for some people writing a math book might be fuzzy and for some others loving others could be calculative!

Manju said that after her son had gone to college, she is reexamining the nature of her identity. She said that until now her identity has been defined by the various roles she plays (daughter, wife, mother etc). Moving ahead, she seeks to raise above roles and evolve into a person who is larger than the roles.

Raj said that his experience in redefining his identity happened when he lived in Japan for a few years. He said that suddenly he had to look into who he really is and make choices about what to include in his identity � an exercise one normally doesn�t think of doing in a familiar surrounding.

I said that these days I am focused on how to live every day, do every small thing in a way that my daily life communicates my cherished values, ideas and beliefs far more effectively than what I can communicate through words.

I am beginning to see that my identity has control over me only as long as I allow myself to be influenced by my past or my future. Living everyday as if it is the only day and doing every task as if it is the only task could free me from my identity and infuse a freshness in my life that is conspicuous without effort.

Prasad joined us a little late straight from the airport. He shared with the group that based on personal reflections and guidance from his mentors, he wants to move to a state of being where there is total integrity, where he can come from the heart instead of the mind and perform effortless action.

It looks like ones identity is totally a mind-created entity. While using the mind is inevitable, there may not be a real need to start with the mind. If one could start with the heart, feel the connection (or lack of it) with a task and make choices from the heart, then the mind could be used as a tool when needed.

It is interesting to note that even if I am using my mind to think against it, it is not bothered and allows me to do it. The mind doesn�t seem to have loyalty to itself (unlike any part of the body). One can think for it or against it. The only thing that the mind doesn�t seem to like is ignoring it. It wants to be included in everything. Perhaps real wisdom is to include the mind not as a master but as a servant. If we can do this, then our identity would start serving us instead of the other way.

Posted by Ragu at March 8, 2006 12:01 PM