The Problem with Identity

I am reading “Freedom From the Known” by J. Krishnamurti:

“To identify ourselves with something is fairly easy. Most of us identify ourselves with something – with our family, our husband or wife, our nation – and that leads to great misery and great wars.”

He goes on to explain the chasm or “space” between our knowing selves and that which we are observing. This “space” is what keeps us from really seeing each other. Our perception of each other is really a collection of memories.

I’m not sure I’m explaining it well, but I’m finding much truth to this book.

Possibility

rebekah-baines-1325785-unsplash
Baines

“To be identified with a mental image of who you are is to be unconscious, to be unawakened spiritually. This unawakened state creates suffering, but suffering creates the possibility of awakening. When you no longer resist the diminishment of self that comes with suffering, all role-playing, which is normal in the unawakened state, comes to an end. You become humble, simple, real.”

Eckhart Tolle

Crumbling Image

lee-jeffs-1380508-unsplash
Jeffs

“When you look closely at the nature of human suffering you will find that an essential ingredient in most kinds of suffering is a diminishment of one’s sense of self. 

 In reality, of course, what feels like a diminishment or loss of your sense of self is the crumbling of an image of who you are held in the mind. What dissolves is identification with thought forms that had given you your sense of self. But that sense of self is ultimately false, is ultimately a mental fiction. “

Tolle