Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Identity

I never realised why all my life "studying" psychology was never hard work, but fun. In my early teens, I was naturally drawn towards Wayne Dyer's "Erroneous zones" that lay strewn amidst regular books of literary significance in my parents' coveted bookshelf. That feeling when you "get" the author, is what a reader relates with for the rest of one's life. Note that "self-help" books a few decades back had more meaning and scope for debate than the "self-help" stuff we see at bookshelves today ;). Chinmayananda's version of the Bhagvad Geeta also had a similar effect early on for me, that struck that right balance of Sanskrit and English translations that keeps you on an endless quest.

There is also a side to me that wants to experience life, make deductions and reason. To allow one's masochistic side bring you so much more intellectual wisdom than an egocentric, by-the-book orientation ever would.

To allow one's yin and yang flow like clockwork.

And then many moons into middle age, it all suddenly makes sense; it all adds up; it all fits in, despite the peskiness of trying to fit into an identity-obsessed society. You suddenly identify, without an identity.

I did have help, in the most odd circumstance. Whilst chancing upon Bob Altermeyer's research, I also happened to stumble upon talks on identity, by those with gender or sexual identity dysphoria or both. Ah, the beauty of diversity!

Now, before you read on and wonder what could my problem may have been, please know that the best individuals to explain psychology are those with an identity crisis. Not those with fat degrees, but those who have life experience that force them to reason why the obvious is the obvious.

While my problem was not about gender or sexual identity, it had a similar hue. I struggled to fit in, perhaps due to my non-materialist, and sometimes rebellious attitude in an achievement-centric, productivity-oriented world. While I was, and still am highly adrenaline-rushed, enjoying the rush of a cheap one-off competition, it was never sustainable, and inevitably attracted capitalist mindsets to play chicken for.

The bliss of middle age, is the inevitable conclusion one is deigned to arrive at regarding one's "identity" in society. Thanks to the age of the internet, I chanced upon the following videos by  Autumn Asphodel that threw so much light on identity crises:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BOba-QK5wY

Take a moment to appreciate how self-learned is Autumn - and the abundant intelligence in her talks. How identity crises can make one so much more intellectually rich than the boring "straight" world.

Now, to indulge in my favourite subject of psychology and healing, I go seeking material from authors and speakers with an identity crisis! ;)

Coming up next, "the Tao of identity"... hopefully soon; am juggling too many things at the moment to sound coherent enough for an article on incongruence of sorts ;).