By George A. Boyd ©2017
Q: What is an identity state?
A: An identity state is an internal essence with which you first form mental associations from learning about it and hearing other people talking about it. Next, you gain attentional union with that state. Then, you feel that that essence is who you truly are.
There are a variety of potential identity states. We excerpt from “A Mudrashram® Primer” to describe these identity states:
You can identify with a role, a group, an issue, or an aspect of consciousness.
An example of a role is when you identify with your career. You might say, for example, I am a plumber, I am a secretary, or I am a short order cook—depending on what you do. You also can identify with your role in the family. You tell people, I am a mother, I am a son, or I am the sister of someone.
Group identification occurs when you identify with your nationality, ethnic group, or religion. You identify with your nationality when you say I am an American, I am Egyptian, or I am Chinese. You identify with your ethnic group when you tell them I am a Kurd, I am a Romani (gypsy), or I am a Sephardic Jew. You identify with your religion when you tell people I am a Buddhist, I am a Catholic, or I am a Shaivite Hindu.
You identify with an issue when you think of yourself as the limitations, problems, or illnesses that you have. You might say I am not a good skier, I am awkward in social situations, or I am a cancer survivor.
You identify with an aspect of consciousness when you keep your attention associated with a particular aspect of your mind for a long period. These different aspects of consciousness with which people commonly identify include a personal identification center, a seed atom within a vehicle of consciousness, a nucleus of identity, a spiritual essence, or an ensouling entity.
We excerpt from our course, “Meditation for Yoga Students and Teachers” to describe these different aspects of consciousness with which you can identify.
“Meditation is focusing attention on discrete objects. These objects of meditation dwell within the mind. They include:
Focal points – these are centers in inner vehicles of consciousness, sometimes called seed atoms, in those vehicles. Vehicles of consciousness are the functional nexuses through which the ego, Self, and Soul can express their abilities. They exist in all levels of the mind—Conscious, Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious. [You identify with the center in a vehicle of consciousness that we call the seed atom, which is located at a focal point. It allows you to say, for example, I am my body, I am reason, or I am my life narrative.]
Personal identification centers – these are integration centers of the personality. In the Conscious mind, this is called the ego. In the Metaconscious mind, this is called the Self. These integrate the functions of several vehicles of consciousness and coordinate them through volition.
Nuclei of identity – these are centers in the Superconscious mind that coordinate activity at selected levels of the Superconscious mind, and carry the activity of the higher octaves of the will. Nuclei of identity are found in the First through the Fourth Planetary Initiation, the First through the Fifth Cosmic Initiation, and on each Supracosmic Path.
Spiritual essence – this is the individual spirit, or spiritual heart. This essence travels back to the Divine through inner channels of light and sound that we call the Nada. We have identified twelve segments of the Nadamic Path. This type of meditation is most common in Transcendental Paths one through seven, which comprise the sixth through twelfth segments of the Nadamic Path—though it is also used in the MSIA group, which focuses on the essence of the fourth segment of the Nada. We refer to these segments of the Nada as Domains.
Ensouling entity – this is the Divine Spark that dwells within each individual. We have identified 13 different ensouling entities. The most common ones that people encounter in their meditation are the Soul Spark (Jivan Atma), which operates in the Subtle Realm; the Soul or Higher Self (Atma), which operates in the Planetary Realm; and the Monad (Paramatma), which operates in the Transplanetary Realm.”
First you locate an aspect of consciousness within you. You hold your attention upon it so you recognize where it is and the functions it performs. You become familiar with the content associated with this level when you hold your attention there. You come to associate different experiences with that aspect of consciousness. As this experience of association with this aspect of consciousness matures, you eventually come to identify with this essence.
There are a wide variety of different identifications that people hold. People identify with the social clubs they join, with their favorite sports teams, with a fan club of a celebrity, with the city in which they live, their sexual orientation, or their political party. These are other types of group identification.
Take a moment to check in with the identities with which you are identified.
- What are your career identities?
- What are your relationship identities?
- What are you group identities?
- With which aspects of consciousness do you identify?
People become intractably identified with a role, a group, an issue, or an aspect of consciousness (RGIAC), and have difficulty understanding people who identify with other roles, groups, issues they have not personally experienced, or an aspect of consciousness to which they have not been introduced. We think it’s important that people understand why people come to identify with the RGIACs they embrace, and by which they create meaning for themselves.
In Integral meditation, we start you with the aspects of your consciousness that are fully incarnate in your life.
At your personal level, this is your ego and your human Self.
Spiritually, this is your attentional principle, your spirit associated with the cutting edge of spirituality, and the ensouling entity at the cutting edge of spirituality.
So we don’t lift you out of this native matrix that makes you uniquely you, but we show you how to unfold your spiritual potentials where you are. [We teach you how to unfold your spiritual potentials in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.]
This makes us different than a lot of Paths that ask you to identify with their nucleus of identity, their ensouling entity, or their spiritual essence that is outside of your native matrix. When you pursue these Paths, you come to realize your ego and Self are not real (depersonalization and derealization)—so you create this unnatural split in yourself.
Some of the by-products of creating these splits include, not only states of depersonalization and derealization, but also dissociation from your emotions, loss of motivation to pursue personal goals, demonizing your ego and your personality, or assuming that your Path is the only true Path—and sometimes, Kundalini Syndromes, where you interfere with the energy of awareness in your mind.
We encourage you to become a spiritual investigator, and find out:
- With what spiritual essences are people spiritually identified?
- How does that condition their perception of the world, their beliefs, their values, and their behavior?
Those of you who want to study these phenomena in greater depth will benefit from reading our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are We Doing?