What Is Identity


I am reading Susan Segal’s writing again. I know I have blogged about this before but her story is a revelation, offering us information we all need at this time. She tells of when she became detached from her physical functions meaning she found herself permanently outside her mind – similar to the time I popped out of my body and watched myself drinking coffee. Of course I quickly scurried back into my mind…whoever ‘I’ is? But Susan never did.

Here is a quote from her writing: There was the sense of being on an edge of sorts, a boundary between existing and not existing, and the mind believed that if it did not maintain the thought of existence, existence itself would cease. Charged with this apparently life-or-death directive, the mind struggled to hold that thought, only to exhaust itself after several fitful hours. The mind was in agony as it tried valiantly to make sense of something it could never comprehend, and the body responded to the anguish of the mind by locking itself into survival mode, adrenaline pumping, senses fine-tuned, finding and responding to the threat of annihilation in every moment…  end quote.

I am asking – what/who was the mind that was in such agony? Does she mean the ego was in agony, but then how do we separate the mind from the ego, are they not the same thing? This is a living example of the existence of other parts of the ‘self’, parts that are separate from the body/mind! The fact that the mind/ego thinks that it is the awareness that keeps us living is a powerful indicator of the complexity of our existence as a physical being so it is obvious that Susan’s experience and her ability to put it on paper is a wonderful lesson, proving that most of us know very little about this life we are living.

After a few months of Susan witnessing her own movements through life, her witness disappeared. This was when Susan’s identity also disappeared. Here we have another crucial lesson. One’s identity is fully attached to one’s mental awareness, and this is what we think life is!  We obey this physical mind; the thing churning out thoughts; the thing reinforcing the ego’s mastery over existence; the thing limiting us to a programmed belief system; the thing directing all thoughts and emotion: we believe that this is who we are. When nobody was left to witness this mental process Susan lost her identity. But she did not die. She did not go mad. She was still able to function as a human being, she simply did not have an identity. Her fear was enormous because the physical mind was screaming for answers. This tells us that even if our identity disappears, there is still a physical, functioning mind and in Susan’s case, that was terrified. I am very aware of this physical intelligence. I have built in fears that come up when there is the smallest threat to my physical well being. Usually I’m able to calm this panic by reminding myself that I am much more than a body, nevertheless the initial reaction of terror causes all sorts of physical trauma. The fact I am able to calm my body fits in well with Susan’s description of a witness standing outside the physical intelligence.

Eventually, after years of panic, Susan moved into another state of being. This was when she discovered that she was ‘Everything’. She was not a singular identity – that had disappeared; she was not her body, that too had been overridden. No, she was something else altogether! Her full understanding fell into place one day as she drove through the woods. It must have an amazing revelation for her as she realized that she was driving through herself. This is so profound I am only able to grasp the edges of her realization.

This is what Susan eventually wrote: Quote – I am the Infinite–no personal reference point–the substance of everything; I am the Vastness that is everyone and everything. And, I must add here, never for a moment does the awareness of that Infinite substance that is everything ever move out of the foreground of awareness whether there is waking, dreaming or sleeping states of consciousness occurring in the circuitry. There is no where for it to go. Where could it go? It is constant, every moment experience…….. There was a shift from no personal self, no “me,” to seeing that this experience of no personal self was actually the substance of everything. That is when the springtime began with the quality of joyfulness to it. What I can describe about what is being experienced currently, is residing in the Infinite within which the Infinite resides. There is no end point in all this. We are talking about the Vastness. It is very large. It continues to show Itself and show Itself.





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