What does our identification with a subject, event or group of people truly represent?
What are we really saying with the phrase: “I am a Protestant” or Catholic or Jew or Moslem, or Buddhist, etc.? Is that the same as saying I am 5 feet 8 inches tall? Show me the part that is Protestant, Catholic or Jewish. Which organ? Which limb? What does our belief system represent to us, that we must define ourselves by it?
To recognize the identification that has taken place, try to see the “I am_____” that is implied in the process. Such as: I am a Christian, or Jew, I am a scientist, I am spiritual, I am a Canadian, I am careful, I am good, etc.
Identification has deep rooted repercussions that involve our entire organism.
The physiological repercussions of identification
Just thinking “I am_____” can trigger a stream of psychological and physiological processes that take over our thoughts and reactions. “I am _____”, when it involves identification, throws the switch of the fight or flight response. The amygdala and limbic system fly into high gear. In so doing, the neocortex is turned off, and with it, all logic goes right out the window.
The survival of the organism is associated with ALL identification.
Whatever I think I am, my organism is ready to defend it with the same, or even greater, life or death reaction as it would with an immediate physical threat. This process applies to all identification, even an identification with one’s profession, spiritual seeking, or cause (rights, etc.), or anything else.
Watch what happens to people around the Olympics, or even at a football or hockey game. There is a big difference between those who identify with “their” team than those who do not.
There is a stimulation of adrenaline and other hormones that comes with this, and it can become addictive.
In order to disarm this response, one must engage a different dimension of awareness and consciousness, so as to see the personal motive for the identification.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you find yourself saying “I am ‘______’ ” this week:
• What do I get or imagine I get by calling myself such and such?
• What does the thing I identify with represent or symbolize for me?
• What is that deeper level calling for my attention that expresses itself as “I am a ______”?
Identification is a trans personal, universally human movement. We all do it to some extent, and we all gravitate to certain types of identification. We are not aware of our own hidden motives.
Raising awareness of our identification to the symbolic is an essential step to disarming the ingrained patterns of division, indecision, inner and outer conflict by getting to the underlying cause.
Avoidance or denial of conflict does not resolve it. That energy remains in the organism and creates disease. Getting angry at the “other side” or going to an extreme does not resolve conflict either, even though it may feel as though it relieves the tension momentarily, it often ends in greater division.
In probing more deeply, we discover something more profound about our uniqueness, and simultaneously become more open to the world and all of humanity.
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Judyann McNamara – ND, DHom, CCH
Originally a physicist and biomedical researcher, Judyann has had a clinical practice for over 15 years, has held conferences since 1984 and has been a teacher of courses in physics, health sciences, homeopathy, holism and spirituality since 1975. To learn more about Judyann, visit her profile page in our Professional Directory or click here to read more posts by Judyann.