Playing with identity

I had been trying to harmonise 2 paradigms that of the Buddhist and the self-development world. In the Buddhist view, which is the ultimate reality, there is no concept of Self worth attaching to, and any self-view will lead to suffering in the long term, because the constituents of that Self are constantly in flux and never under any control. In the self-development world view, our self-identity is a crucial tool in changing our behaviours.

I had been skewing close to the Buddhist view this past month, actively tearing down any notions of self that I instinctively build up. But, and this is likely due to my lack of skillfulness, it has also given my general mood a nihilistic leaning. I started to see nothing as being worth doing, and what used to give me self-motivation has lost its power. For instance, being on top of my tasks no longer gives me pride.

All in all, that is being more in line with reality. However, while I am still in the working world, I will need to tap on a power source that is long-term sustainable. And so far, the 2 best ways forward is to tap on selfless giving and contribution, as well as a skillful utilisation of self-identity.

Skillful in the sense that I understand both its power as well as its downside as a form of mental fabrication. Where I ran into trouble in the past is I swallowed my ideal self-identiy hook, line and sinker, and thus became deeply disturbed whenever the conditions giving rise to that identity changed. I still remember attaching to the identity of being a meditator who has everything under control, and then scrambling around the whole house looking for a meditation sculpture I used to keep beside my bed.

The new self-identity I'm building up and tapping on is one who executes fast and wisely, a leader who is high on organisational quotient, a sincere learner. Wish me skillfulness, as I content with its inevitable impermanence as a mental concept.

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