Identifying With

Recently I’ve been using the phrase “identify with” a bunch. As in, “I’m learning not to identify with my past self”, or “I try not to identify with my beliefs”, or “the ego is what, when accurately perceived, we stop identifying with”. When a friend of mine asked me what I meant by “identifying with”, I wasn’t immediately sure how to unpack how I was using the words. I said, “Well, when I identify with something it feels like me. It feels like part of my, uh, identity”. He was unsatisfied with this explanation, as was I.

(Prioritizing explaining myself is a heuristic that has served me well. I want meaning.)

Here’s my best one sentence version: When I identify with something, doing an original seeing on it is aversive. I don’t want to take a fresh look at the evidence and see if it really exists in the way I’m thinking of it. In other words, things I identify with seem like part of the territory, not just part of my map. I’ll expand a bit on what this means in terms of identifying with beliefs, emotions, and parts of myself.

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