Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Search for Identity.

The search for identity pretty much sums up human life on Earth. You may call it by many different names but it all boils down to this search for one's identity, doesn't it? It would seem as if this search starts at some developmental point when the maturing brain of a small child begins to comprehend it's surroundings, feelings, language, and thoughts. Unfortunately, it is like finding your way through a very dark room you've never been in before...I mean the earliest of years are completely out of our hands, we depend on others absolutely, and once we are mature enough to take care of ourselves the concrete has already been set, so to speak. The brain has already found it's grooves, reacting automatically from what was absorbed during our absolutely dependent years of maturing. And so we search, who am I...am I nice, bad, smart, attractive, liked, disliked, cool, safe, confident, shy, scared...you know the battle that rages internally when growing up, right? Then, it becomes more polished, what I'm good at, what I'm bad at, what I like, don't like, am I artistic, athletic, intelligent...what do I want to be when I grow up, a doctor, lawyer, painter, baseball player, accountant, etc. Surely all of it is a search for my identity, and when the search becomes weary, as it does for everyone at some point, we settle, we say this is what/who I am and then we work to maintain that. Slight improvements and upgrades here and there, and of course the sliding back into what I don't want to be and the battle to overcome that, but basically we settle somewhere, set up shop, and maintain. In this regard there is no higher or lower, it is the same exact movement driving each of us on, whether we become lawyers or priests, it is the same drive for an identity. I would suggest that everything on Earth serves to create identity, religion, nations, race, family, politics, culture, history, experience, resistance, personal traits, our body, our abilities, etc...
So, together, what if we made the suggestion to stop searching for an identity. Just right now while we read this blog together. My searching for an identity has now stopped. What do I find remains? Well, I can see quite clearly that this search for an identity is actually driven from the fact that I already have an identity, one I'm just not happy with, one I feel is incomplete, insufficient. I don't like the identity I presently have, it MUST be modified in some way, it must be changed, it must become something else. Maybe you are the rare bird where none of this is happening, I suppose there have been a few, but for the rest of us, for me, I've found this unsatisfactory identity driving the search for an improved one, a different one, a better one. And yet, when I face the identity I already have, right now as it is, and acknowledge that it is finished, complete, not perfect or even likable at times, just an end product in and of itself, a question arises that doesn't arise when the search to change is on full steam ahead. That question is, 'why does the mind need an identity at all?' Now this question has a feeling component that one cannot deny, if it is only words, it's beauty is missed. But if you can feel the question, because you have gone to that place of acknowledging the identity that you are right now, every bit of it, without any movement into the search to become different, I dare say the question reveals an entirely new mind. And a new mind manifests a new life.