Monday, September 26, 2016

The tao of identity

Ok, I loved writing that prior post of mine (and Autumn's video!) on identity crises, and have been waiting for a good half an hour to write its sequel on my personal struggles with dualism.

All along, I have demeaned goal-setting, and finding purpose that would give my life meaning in order to live out my existence (lifespan?) by fitting into mainstream society, by establishing a social identity (and status?). I've relished life experience and the pride, embarrassment and all those ups and downs that come with it, but could not figure how to align my goal-less, haywire thought-process with goal-oriented action. Given a choice, I would detach myself from the physical reality and allow my mind to exist as an independent entity (identity?). I detested the glorification of action above dreams, and the patronising manner of gearing up day-dreaming youngsters into "doers".  I became increasingly cynical about leadership as a "virtue". I detested the idea of being led, and to lead. Ironically, it is this very patronizing that has seemingly led (pun intended) to the glorification of the idea of leadership today.

Manifesting my mind into my physical self was challenging. I relished meaningless existence, an existence that would thrive in a mental realm than have flesh and blood associated with it. But yet, my physical self asserted itself, at war with my mind, pleading for meaning and purpose. I found myself at odds with an audaciously productivity-obsessed society simply because I could not figure an eternal role or purpose for my physical existence.

Almost every individual possesses at varying degrees, an inner conflict due to dualism. However, my rather exaggerated sense of dualism, could never allow me figure a "path". Chance encounter and the gradual knowing of darkness first, made me sense the joy of that sudden rush of stumbling into light. The chase of short-term goals was exciting for as long as it could, with strokes of fatal boredom terrorising me time and again into a void that I dreaded.

On the flip side, my mind and body being at odds, made relationships very fulfilling and insightful, to say the least; they have given me so much clarity into what I want of myself. Romantic relationships have shown me, that men should be cherished for their uniqueness instead of looking for those quintessential must-haves that women are conditioned into "expecting" from men. I could be naive in my judgement here, but men are by nature unique, unlike women who are more fluidic. It was natural for my mind and matter to be at odds with the kind of man they each found attractive. Dualism, albeit innate in most of us, seemed amplified for me, due to the over-assertion of my mind, which detested heeding to anything dictated by the physical three-dimensional reality. I felt like I was torn apart in the tug-of-war that is life, until..until, many moons into life-experience, it all made sense and seemed infact a relief. I can now see beauty in all expressions of dualism or identity crises; it made me unearth my love of psychology, which I may never have chanced upon had I not possessed an exaggerated sense of dualism myself.

Identity crises are a wonderful means and an easy aid to see perspectives, which might be difficult, if not impossible, to fathom in a straight world. It is certainly difficult living with an identity crisis, be it of any kind or any degree, in the society we live in today. This is unfortunately not the era of Vedantic philosophers, who sought to comprehend dualism and existentialism in an endless quest.  However, ours is now an identity-obsessed society, with the individual's ego inflating itself by erecting concentric boundaries of possession (read identity) around itself, to air an illusion of superiority within any social zone it finds itself in. This personality trait of  right-wing authoritarianism is however not to be confused with megalomania, which is another topic I wish to write about, sometime soon ;).

My mind craves liberation, while my body searches for a goal. I guess I will never find one, but may have found peace with the chase of nothingness ;).