Identification of Self

    Most people have an odd way of identifying themselves.  If, for example, you ask somebody to identify themselves to a group, they will almost always tell you what their profession is and possibly what some of their recent accomplishments are.  At other times, we may identify ourselves by things we do or don’t do.  Somebody criticizes us for not exercising as often as we should and we immediately identify as being lazy.  Somebody complains that we can’t answer his question and we identify as being stupid.  Or we might identify as being smart because we did know the answer.  We might identify as being poor or wealthy.  We might identify ourselves as Christian, or Buddhist or Jewish.  
    None of these identifications are actually identifying us.  They do not tell us who we are.  They are only identifying things we do and that is not the same as identifying who we are.  But we engage is this type of false identification because it is what we have been taught to do.  And as long as we are caught up in this trap of false identity, it is very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to discover who we really are.  So the first step in learning who we really are, is to stop identifying with who we are not.  Yes we have jobs, we have kids, we have emotions we have responsibilities, etc.  But those are just things we do, not who we are and we need to recognize that.  We need to think of those things like the clothes we wear:  who we really are is the same when we are wearing a suit and tie as when we are wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

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