The problem of identification with personal ideas
There is an automatic process that occurs very often among us is: I discover an idea that can be self-make or created by others and accepted by me, which I see as correct, as some; then that idea is attached, built, mixed with my personality, my sense of self. It is a natural process of the human psyche, in fact the ego itself is a mixture of intertwined together ideas, so this process is part of the creation and maintenance of ego.
The problem is that ideas, however good they may seem, are always partial, contain a partial truth, a point of view. But our ego needs to feel stable, seeks to be; basing their existence on partial ideas, he gets into trouble, as any external event that denies the accepted idea will produce a feeling of destruction of the structure of the ego, which feels like self-destruction due to identification mechanism. This is an exact process, so as it happens.
Perhaps it will seem to exaggerate, but the problem posed is, or may be, serious or very serious; depending on the level of identification that we have, how well or how badly structured that is our psyche, and external events, denial of ideas that have integrated into our sense of self it can be from merely a temporary discomfort to a catastrophe, well for us, or for anyone who it has been guilty of denying our beliefs.
This is clearly seen when one has formed an idea of how life should be: for I have a good job, good friends, a stable family, etc. If that idea becomes integrated with our sense of being, and so it does not get to even partially fulfilled, we feel denied, unsuccessful, and we fall into depression, one of the most widespread diseases in developed societies. In contrast, in countries that maintain permanent armed conflict, where life is very hard, is virtually unknown psychic depression; people who have to survive day to day do not plan anything, do not think of idyllic lives, and therefore can not identify with these ideas, that all they would do is add more suffering to which they have.
Also clearly it is seen in the process of identification with ideologies; in this case there is a structured set of ideas, rather dogmatic body, but remain partial, and are accepted and integrated deeply into the personality. Consider for instance religions, and also in, economic, moral or political ideologies. And think how many misfortunes, conflicts, wars and horrors we have suffered and still are suffering, due to the blind application of ideologies. In the extreme case, the identification is so strong that any individual who does not agree with the ideology is seen as a danger, as an enemy of our very existence, as someone who must be converted or destroyed. Therefore it is a very serious issue.
Fixing the issue
Why does it happen this identification? It is an expression of natural law: biological evolution has created complex beings, formed by billions of individual cells, which tend to be self-conscious, to be “somebody”. In the present course of our evolution, identification is with the mind rather than the body. There is a natural demand for be somebody, but who? It is this tendency to satisfy the demand to be someone that brings us to build an ego from ideas: I am so and so, I’m an engineer, I’m agnostic, I am … In fact we are nothing of all that, we should say: now I have a name, a profession, a belief … but are variable, if you ask me in ten years may have changed all that.
If when I meet with an idea, rather than accept it and incorporate it into my being, I meditate on the truth itself, my intuition of truth, which that idea is just one way, one aspect, then my view will be wide and I can accept other different ideas, and in the event that the original idea is diminished or denied will not affect my sense of being, I will not need to defend it, nor do I feel offended or lowered. There will not be any discomfort, resentment, frustration.
And this attitude will have a second effect, as important or more than the first: in doing so, I’ll discover as a being that is beyond ideas, however good they may seem. I will not confuse me with things, with states, with ideologies. I will realize that I am independent of all that, I simply am, no more. And no longer we suffer or will suffer more, by partial ideas. The same ego is weakened, it will not disappear, but lose strength, and can no longer take control, rather it will control us, and we will use it as a means of expression of our being.
I can not stop repeating the importance of this dis-identification: if formal education to include in their programs the development of this vision, so to be free, not tied to ideology, and did well, believing in what he does, putting the necessary resources, imagine the reader the social transformation that we would see in just a few years. The effect it would have on the conflicts we now have worldwide. It would be revolutionary. We will be peaceful beings.