Is that really you, reading these words? Or are you just a body double or stand-in for your authentic self, a clone of the identifications you make with other people? If so, you might want to learn more about how psychological identifications influence your sense of self.
Through the process of identification, we unconsciously assimilate aspects or attributes of other people, and we’re transformed to some degree by what we have absorbed.
This is okay if we’re identifying with the best attributes of others—such as their kindness, compassion, wisdom, and strength, as long as we remain our own person and know our own mind. However, much of the time we unknowingly identify with the flaws or weaknesses of others, especially the ways in which they’re being passive, needy, and disrespecting of themselves.
Not all identifications are about other people. We can also identify with our social and professional standing, with our wealth or poverty, and with our intelligence or the feeling that we are lacking in it. People also identify with their personality, body-image, athleticism, mind, and ego. Such identifications limit our intelligence and our capacity for wisdom and happiness. For this post, I’ll narrow the discussion to the identifications we make concerning other people.
Often the aspects or attributes we assimilate from others consist of negative emotions such as feeling deprived, refused, controlled, rejected, criticized, and unloved. These identifications represent our unconscious determination to hold on to these varieties of pain and suffering. [Read more…]