SOMATOLOGY | The Ultimate Structure of All Senses of Identity

A T T E N T I O N:


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Finding Ourselves Out 

First thing:  I should know about what I'm talking about.  I'm an expert on identity formation, as I've been running and reforming this identity for years.  One of these days, somebody's going to find me out and we'll all end up in show-biz.

In show-biz, to the degree that an actor/ess is free within his/her identity set and free to change, to that degree he or she can play different roles well.

(This could be a clue.)

No one of us has a single identity -- and that doesn't necessarily mean we all have Multiple Personality Disorder.  It means that our identity changes (more or less), from moment to moment, and in the circumstances of the moment, as we resonate with our circumstances.

The one thing that persists in some way is the vague idea of "self" -- the one to whom this identity purportedly belongs.  People rarely talk about that one!  (It's our 'sacred cow' self -- the one "outside it all" and viewing it all, the one who ostensibly never becomes hamburger, supra-Kosmic or otherwise.)

The expression of self changes, but the owner of it seems somehow the same: the secret identity.  The Continuity of Memory.

But behaviors, and the provisional identity of the moment, fluctuate.  Which one is the "real" identity?  Ha-HAH!!!!
and now, a very important disclaimer:
That doesn't mean that we're the political flip-flopper
who flips and who flops with every passing wind
whose words are as passing wind
and whose meaning has no reliable connection to a functional outcome
whose integrity has big gaps, or lots of little gaps
whose principles are weak
whose equilibrium is easily upset
who takes an unstable stand
the dependent
who has too little active capacity to bring order,
who is not yet educated enough
to create forms with integrity,
who has too little capacity to reverse the course of entropy
in his environment and himself
who uses the word, "fight", instead of "create"

the secret nature of a mediocre nincompoop

in a position of responsibility beyond him
whose primary interest is
to get rich and avoid getting into trouble
to avoid any kind of crisis, lest he flub his response
he, in a position of visibility,
who fears to look like an incompetent

-- or worse -- have to face consequences.

Maybe it's what makes him a schlimazl
for whom nothing good ever seems to happen
since he can't marshal all the forces needed
to make it happen.

or makes him a shlemiele
(closely related to a no-account fool)
not good at much of anything,
fallen back into being a good-for-nothing freeloader,

an imbiber by days
and something of a hapless dimwit at twilight
walking into lampposts
or, alas, maybe he's just a poor putz --
a person who's a total loss
wrong and insistent.

Maybe he's a shmoygeh,
or its sillier version, shmegeggie
whatever that is

a slob
a nudnick (dumb-kopf!)
or a no-goodnick in our eyes
but look!
He has a nice suit!

NO! This is a smart person!
a wonderful person!
He cleans up after himself.
He picks up his clothes.
He can read.
He's nice.

He's also a clever person, having learned a thing or two.
He knows the difference between
"flip" and "flop"

knows when it's OK to be flip
and knows when his flippancy has flopped.

Oh, most unflappable one,
I see you keep your equilibrium pretty well --

-- most of the time.

You are intelligently mindful of how we are unavoidably
affected by each other
and inextricably interconnected,
with everything unified in the present moment,
not as an idea or ideal, but as a perception
of how things actually are,

feeling and observing how we are affected by this moment
in a resonant and moving equilibrium
continuous in moment to moment experience
participating and yet mystified,
faithful in nothing in this life made of change,
in which the currents of our own existence
carry murky, turbulent memories that shape and color our times.

You sound like a wise man (or woman).

How did that happen?


So, when I speak of identity, I'm not speaking of socialization or role.  I'm speaking of something much more fundamental, something that explains human behavior, how we get stuck in behavior, and how we may deliberately grow or evolve through an "unhooking" or "unlocking" process.

To the point:

Four steps are involved in identity formation:
  1. experience: the emergence of the "present" from the unknown: self, others and things, the momentary and total condition of "now" | Without the gathering and coalescing of attention and aggregations of memory, experience is void, without meaning, without significance, without object, just movements of the unknown
  2. memory : persistence of experience, the experience of "now" (immediate memory), meaning, recognizable events, holding on to experience and experiences, having experience "be in your face"
  3. identification: choosing to stick with a certain experience at any moment : assigning importance, assuming memory (persistence) is reality : taking remembered experiences of self as self and our perception of other things as "the way they really are." (The Myth of Actuality = "The Myth of the Given")
  4. perpetuation:  intending, inviting, seeking to make more, or refusing, seeking to make less, all motivation, all "go", all "stop", all spin, all involvement with, all imagining
The four Stages of Things Becoming a Priority.  Obviously, I have to define my terms, so here goes.

("the One" multiplied by becoming "the Many")
At every moment, we have a sense of "how things are".  It's our most obvious sense of the plain-old present.

It consists of our experience of our situation and our sense of ourselves.  Most of this sense of experience is submerged in subconsciousness.  But we experience it every time we meet a new person and visit a new place.  It's our first impression -- which fades with familiarity, into the background.

This first impression, or sense of the moment, is, at first, of "unknown" (yes, I wrote that rightly).  Our first impression is of "unknown".  Gradually, with enough time and enough exposure, "unknown" fades-in into "something known" -- a memory is formed. Until a sufficiently vivid memory is formed, no experience is being had.

The motions of experience inscribe upon memory an ongoing trail, movements of attention from one thing to another.

We resort to memory as a proxy for (approximation of) actual experience, so we can more easily focus on experiences that have that pattern, and look for what's changing, moving, happening. It's beginning from a presumed base of knowledge.

 As we get familiar with anything, we form a memory of it.  That memory constitutes our knowing of "how things are".

Then, the experience of the moment is seen always in terms of existing memories, which grow in a moving, changing pattern.  The growing edge of memory is experiencing what is emerging out of the unknown, clothing it in imagination so it may seem known, then forming memories and bridging them with other memories.  Impressions form over time about the "realities" of life, colored by memories brought to life by imagination, imagination informed by memory and going beyond.

We form our memories from our experiences of the moving moment of life, the changing harmonics of life.  All sensory impressions that go into memory refer to movements and harmonics of life, memories of persons, places and things.  Our memories of "the movements and harmonics of life" flavor or dress up all of our sense-impressions of the moment.

A memory of "a movement and a felt harmonic" gets called up every time we recall something and every time we put ourselves in a situation to experience anything familiar. Memory creates expectation.

A way of finding the force of a memory is to notice how much it matters to you.

We give our memories the status of "truth", and memories of our own state the status of "self".

To the degree that something feels, "in your face", that's the degree that you take it for truth, for reality, or as self.  That's how solidly set your / my attention is in memory, how solidly fixated, how ingrained, how entranced.  That's how much experience has "got us" by the ..... (ooch!) .

Persistence and resistance (or intending and refusing) are two forms of the same thing:  one is "wanting to make it more" and the other is "wanting to make it less"; the difference, only one of direction; both are "wanting".

When someone "knows" something, they want (to some degree -- strongly or mildly) either to reinforce/assert their knowledge or to minimize/deny it.  They want to rely upon it or they want to forbid it.  Either way, they want to do that for themselves, for their own sake.

By those acts, they form an attitude, a key part of the ability of identity to express itself, a felt memory.

Once a person has an attitude, they want to impose it upon the world.  (Even the idea of "not wanting to impose it on the world" is an attitude.)

That's the activity of identity, of self-propagation, the genetic imperative that distinguishes itself from others on the basis of memories.

A case in point:  Take, for an example, ten year old Jimmy.
Jimmy has never been to a baseball game.

His father comes home with tickets to see the Cardinals.

They go on a Saturday.

At the ballpark, Jimmy takes it all in, eyes open wide.

Dizzy Dean is pitching.

He winds up.  There's the pitch.

Foul ball.  Into the stands.

Jimmy catches the ball.


Now, Jimmy has a story to tell the guys in the neighborhood.

What does that do for his social status?

Jimmy likes the attention.  He brings the ball to school, he tells the story at Sunday School, around ...

The more Jimmy tells the story,
the more he reinforces the memory of it
and his place in it.

assuming memories are truth, reality, or self
Jimmy takes credit for catching the foul ball,
lays claim to special status, reason for pride.
casts himself into a self-image that he takes for himself
and shows around.

perpetuating what we remember as extended forms of "self"
Soon, Jimmy is a fan.

He's read up on Dizzy Dean, knows his statistics,
roots for the Cardinals,
feels the glory when they win
feels the humiliation when they lose.

He's even gotten into a couple of fights over it.
He can't help himself.
But then, he's only ten.

That was a long, long time ago.
Now, Jimmy's a Republican.

another case-in-point:
George enlists in the army.
Goes to war. It's his patriotic duty.
He's sent to the front.  Wounded.
Now he has a limp.  And a medal.

He's honorably discharged and sent home. He gets special recognition, special privileges. (This was an earlier time.)

He's sent to an innovative form of therapy that promises he can walk, again.  In fact, he'll lose the limp.

But now, George doesn't know "who he'd be" without his war wound.  He'd seem ordinary.  He also can't imagine walking normally, again.  He's forgotton his "pre-army" state.  His wound and his status as a wounded war vet, based in memory and the seeming permanence of his wound, have made him into something else.

The therapy doesn't work.

He gets into politics.  Eventually, he runs for political office.

Now, he gets some mileage out of being a wounded war vet.  His wound is his badge of courage.  He cherishes the identity of "War Vet", keeps it low-key on the campaign trail.  He imagines that it is some of the basis of the respect with which people treat him, that it's a "trump card":  On certain topics, no one dares challenge his position.

And, of course, years later, he's a Republican.
An identity is a standpoint and general ways of operating based on memories of experience, a standpoint that wants to reinforce (or perpetuate) its way of operating in the world.

Everything we know, we want to continue to be "right knowledge".  That's why people dislike "being wrong" and why "being made wrong" is such a politically incorrect social impropriety.  It's about what "wanting to be right" means -- not having to change.

So, first we experience something.  And then, as we experience it, we remember it.  Then, we assume that memory represents and actually says something reliable about either oneself or something or someone other.  We carry all the accumulated memory patterns that form out of the interaction of the world with our memoried self.  We act as if life exists in terms of those memory patterns -- and so act accordingly -- either to perpetuate and reinforce or to refuse or counteract.

That explains how we form behavior patterns, how we get stuck in behavior patterns (egotism, arrogance, "anything goes" or cold-fish authoritarianism), and also how we learn to grow and evolve.  It's a spooky business.

Just as we form innumerable memories from moment to moment, we form innumerable identities for each moment -- and hopefully they're all well interconnected, so we don't get trapped in one.

The tricky thing about all this is how to avoid getting stuck in the sheer mass and momentum of accumulated memories.

One answer is, to reverse the process.  What would happen for Jimmy if he imagined himself going back up the chain of identity formation?

I present The Gold Key Release ( which a New Age Flower Child might call, "The Somatic Crystal Decrystallization Process", a soul brother: "Da Big, Divine Kosmic Kiss" (mmmWAH!) or, an academic professor, rather stuffily, "A Somatic Faculty") --- viz:

(NOTE:  vizier = one who writes, "viz". 
"Vizier" is Arabic for "wise guy".)
"Somatic Awakening" is not an "awakening to" or "awakening into"; it's an awakening as and then an awakening from
It's "awakening as" what most ordinarily IS,
scanning it with attentiveness,
feeling it, inhabiting it,
enfolding it,
assessing its "charge": how one feels implicated (i.e., compelled to act),
the force of memory,
detecting imagination in memory,
then awakening from imagining,
releasing the sense of "something there", feeling it dissolve
into the formless root of attention, feeling attention as no-self.
 There. Which is Here.
It's going backward through
the stages of priority
"upstream" of the creative process,
to awaken,  undefined, as self-source -- the Natural State, the experience of which feels like A Big, Divine Kosmic Kiss, which we may symbolize by the word,


which is also what it feels like, as we dissolve into the undefined Condition.

See? No?  You will.

  1. He feels his position, attitude, standpoint, or whatever he is stuck with or is perpetuating -- his knowledge, his chosen identity, his refuge to the immunity of rightness.  Whatever it is, it's a sensation, felt bodily, with a location, size, shape, and intensity in the overall body-sense (kinesthetic body, subtle body, etheric body, dream body).  Feel each term.  Pretty similar, huh?

    It may occur to him that he may have "bought in to something" -- assigning the status of "reality" to his memory-shaped-colored perspective in the world: "the truth" or "The Truth",  "oneself" or "the Self".  It may occur to him that, that he does not "have" it, but that it "has" him.  That he lives "inside" it and is subject to its limitations, which he takes as a product of Reality and not a product of his way of remembering and seeing things, his perspective.  To him, it's solid, real, and consequential. The mood is, "This is real." or "This matters" (to a greater or lesser degree-- but note: If something makes a difference to you, you've bought into it and it has you.)

  2. He feels how much of this sense of "solid truth" or "things mattering with consequences" feels like memory and how much of memory feels like imagination.  It's a "feel" thing, not an "answer" that he comes up with. He traces the feeling from the sense of solid truth to memory to imagination.

    He imagines the appearance of a scenario that's developing and has expectations that are informed, in part, by memory, and so his perception is shaped by memory.
  3. Remembering is re-imagining something into our experience. The seeming persistence, the solidity or reality of anything you can put your attention upon is memory.  Memory fades unless refreshed by imagining.  The denser the memory, the more persistent it is.

    The way we do it:
    We put attention on the feeling of having some experience. 

    We sense the feeling of experience without words,
    as a sensation someplace within us
    We feel its size, shape, intensity.

    We pump up our ability to sense our somatic state
    with "attention maneuvers".

    We sense how much (not "what") intention we have toward it
    We notice how steadying attention solidifies intention.

    We feel the whole package as a single, contained force:
    the thing we are experiencing
    and our intention toward it made solid by attention.
    How intention + attention = memory.

    Now, we feel how much it matters
    in order to bring ourselves into the relationship
    and acknowledge how much we are involved.
    How much it matters has to do with our relation to the world.
    Try it.

    We may then own the intensity of the memory
    even if we don't know what the memory is
    and we may sift that intensity
    for the movements of imagining.

    We feel how much it feels like "solid reality", how much feels like memory, and how much of the memory feels a bit like imagining (or as we like to say, "daydreaming" or "being entranced"). 

    We feel "remembering" and "imagining" and alternate between them until we can zero in on each equally steadily and equally easily, and so can balance them.  What makes it easier to alternate more to one side than the other is that we are more entranced by it.  These words make sense with experience, but perhaps not before.  Save yourself the brain-fog; instead of "trying to figure it out", just do it.  (Once.)

    If you have trouble with this step, deliberately remember something.  Feel what remembering feels like.  Then imagine something.  Feel what imagining feels like.

    Now apply those distinctions to your sense of "solid truth".
  4. Feel the dissolution of his "fix" (or fixation) -- the thing he has been perpetuating -- as his discovery or sense of "how much of it is imagination" is "the little valve" through which the "air" that has inflated his sense of "solid truth" (and ego) escapes.  Simpler if he just does Step 3. (Imagination is easier to let go than "solid truth".)

  5. He takes a breath, lets go and falls into his identity-less, natural state, at least for the moment. (Don't do this while driving or try to understand this by reading it.  Do the procedure. Do it well at least once.)
  6. He checks the remaining intensity of the feeling.  If anything is left, he starts at Step 1.
QUESTION:  Would he quit being a Republican?

I ask you.

From here, we go to the first magical process for decrystallizing crystallized identity patterns:


Esoteric Somatics and Tibetan Buddhism

(to return to this entry again, later.
caring              |      |   42
harmony         | 85 |   94
memory          |      |   89
identification  |  7 | 148
perpetuation  | 78 | 162

copyright 2014 Lawrence Gold
This writing may be reproduced only in its entirety
with accurate attribution of authorship.

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