Identifying with the self

What makes us who we are? How do we determine our personalities ? Does the self even exist ?

Identifying with the “self” is what determines our feelings and perceptions. If I identify with the concept of being a “husband” , and my wife leaves me, then I would feel distraught..   If I identify with the concept of being a “professional” -and somehow I lose my professional license , I would feel ashamed and sad.  If I identify with the idea of being an “American citizen” and a terrorist attach occurs in my country, I would feel anger and rebellious.  But only if I choose to identify myself with these entities.  But do these entities really exist ?

It’s like living a comic strip where the bubbles above our heads are our thoughts and perceptions which we believe to be true … and which we choose to identify with.  

I read a quote the other day that said:

“As soon as we are born, we are assigned a name , a nationality, a religion, a race , a sports team. We will spend the rest of our lives defending a false identity.”

This is so true.  We are given several identities , simply because we feel that we need to belong to a certain organization or group so that we don’t feel vulnerable .  We need to think that we are part of a whole so that we are not alone. So that we can distract ourselves from the inevitable destiny we call “death.” We decide to continue to live an illusion that keeps us in a dream like state and prevents us from experiencing confusion and chaos.

But we can’t escape it forever. We will eventually realize and accept the fact that our various identities ; our numerous fictitious entities that we desperately try to defend and justify, are meaningless and useless when we are facing our final days.

It bothers us when things end because  we don’t like to admit our mortality.  We feel  sad  when a vacation ends … We feel disappointed  when our favorite sport team loses.  We often experience sadness when a loved one moves away or decides not to be our friend anymore.  We rather want  the pleasurable experience to go on.  It is like going to the theatre and enjoying a movie even if it’s fictitious, and we don’t want the movie to end because that would mean exiting  the theatre and facing reality again.  We rather stay inside and continue to enjoy the fictitious movie. We prefer  to pretend to be immortal and prevent having to face the reality of our existence.

We prefer to stay inside the “womb” which keeps us warm and comfortable.

But the closer we get to our inevitable death, the more meaningless all the fictitious fabricated identities become.  And the more we are forced to accept our true identities.

Going back to the “bubbles” above our heads, which represents our thoughts, can illustrate how we live our lives. We mostly live inside our heads.  Inside our thoughts and perceptions. We rarely get out of our thoughts and face reality.  We don’t usually live in the present moment.

But we need to, if we want to live this life more fully.

And the question remains : what is outside of our heads? What is this so called “reality”? What would we be facing when we live in the present moment ?

Peace.  Serenity.   Freedom.  Acceptance.

I will continue on this topic at a later post .

“Get out of my country…!” : Is America Great?

“Get out of my country..” says an ignorant man to a US citizen. What country? The “great” America…? You tell people who are different than you and who don’t have a similar background to “get out of your country”? If America is about dividing people whose ancestors have been born in this country from people who were born in another country but who are residents or US citizens, and deport them back to their ancestors’s country, then America is not great.  If America is about deporting those who ‘cross the boundaries illegally” , then America is not great.

This is the problem with some who call themselves “Americans.”  This is the problem with nationalism. Holding on to the self defeating idea  that countries have boundaries that must not be crossed.  It is the “us against them” mentality. The “legal” versus the “illegal” way of thinking.

This is the problem with dividing, compartmentalizing, and labeling people because of personal biases. A country (as well as ethnicity, race, patriotism) is a made up idea, like most ideas, which separates us as human beings.  Believing that “we have a country” and others must stay out of our country,  is a delusion that feeds our egos. There is truly no boundaries… no borders… no lines, except in our heads.

Jorge Ramos is told “Get out of my country”

No Time to be Human

Do you have the time to sit down and talk?  I mean, really talk?  We have been trapped in this high tech world where everything is digital and virtual, including what I am using to write this post.  We don’t have time to see each other and treat each other as human beings.  We rather send texts, emails, write on blogs, call, and chat, but God forbid we ever want to “talk” for real.  I drive down the road and see people on cell phones, not paying attention to the road.  I see others sending each other texts while on the same room.  I see people playing video games instead of playing some real physical sport.  I see people sending each other emails because of the distance, instead of traveling to have a face to face conversation.  Many people perceive this high tech generation as a plus, a better way to live, because it expedites our communication, without having to travel.  It is also perceived as a way to intervene in emergencies and crisis when all it takes is a push of a button and help is on the way.  Yeah, this sounds good, but not to me.  Maybe I was born in the wrong time.  I might be a hypocrite by using this blog and communicating this to you, and I can accept that.  But in overall, how much time do we have to spend on computers, cell phones, and iphones instead of with each other?  We are losing ourselves.  We are becoming a generation of zombies.  We don’t live in the present anymore, but some other time.  We don’t live here anymore, but elsewhere.  The here and now has become obsolete with all of these gadgets.  Are we escaping each other, or getting closer to each other?  I believe we are becoming more isolated and less human.  We don’t appreciate real human communication.