Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of: June 17, 2002


Our ego creates itself through the process of identification, also known as clinging, attachment, and selfing. You can recognize a moment of identification by the fact that your world unintentionally collapses onto one item, to which you hold tightly. Take a pleasant daydream, like winning the lottery or meeting your soul-mate. As soon as the daydream starts it grabs you, co-opting you into becoming the daydream for that moment. Similarly with fear and anxiety: the unexpected big dog barks at you, or you wake up with an unexplained lump on your head. You recoil in instant fear. You recoil into identification with your reaction to the situation. You leave the present for scenarios of impending doom.

We identify with anger. An impolite person crosses you. You wax indignant, inwardly seething, perhaps outwardly reacting. "I" am angry. This is my anger.

Our ability to identify, to create a separate self or ego, knows no bounds. We identify with the weather, with our body, with what others think of us, with a sports team, with possessions, with politicians, with the news, with our job, with anything that can grab us. Our ego mechanisms use such things to construct and define ourselves, a false and ultimately empty definition.

            This week notice moments of identification and work at letting them go. This is not me. This is anger. This is anxiety. This is a daydream, a thought. This is fear. This is how anger feels. This is not my anger; it is anger passing through me. This daydream is just a passing thought sequence. This is not who I am. Watch these sticky items pass through your mind/heart, see that they are not who you are, and let them go their way. Remain the seer and the seeing, not the seen.



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