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The Overidentification Syndrome

Observer1Jun 30, 2018, 2:39:22 PM

The overidentification syndrome consists of getting trapped within a specific role to the point of losing sight and track of values. It's an addiction to playing the part of a persona. We instinctively want to identify our self to find the purpose of our existence, ironically, we fail to do so when we believe we can ever be done. 

What does it mean to identify with something? It's the act of defining what it is that one means when he says the word "I". What happens as a result, the establishment of a field where the "I" is to manifest it's being. For example, if one defines his "I" as a student, his field of being will be linked to the definition of what a student is, he will do what a student does, he will present himself as a student and will take the responsibilities and freedoms that a student has. In other words, identifying as a student is playing the role of a student. A student is one form of identity, there are many such identities, the most common is one's name.

So what is an identity? It's the definition of one's self, the role one is to play.

What is identity for? To take part in a systematic process of developing a structure like a society or a family, in other words, to take part in some field of reality.

So I have a question for you, if you take off all the roles that you play in life, what is left of yourself?

Imagine you go to a theatre, the play is Romeo and Juliet. Everything goes as expected until the very end the play ends and the curtain closes. Suddenly a scream of despair from behind the curtain!!... as it turns out, the actors took the play so seriously, that they actually killed themselves. That is what I would regard as two victims of the overidentification syndrome. 

See, there are many ideas, and many of them turn into ideologies. When people identify themselves with an ideology, say nationalism, it is when and only when they overidentify with nationalism that they will be willing to even die in the name of their country. 

If you find yourself victim of this syndrome, simply ask yourself: 

What is it that I believe in?

Why should I believe such a thing?

 what am I?

This questions, if asked willingly, will show you that there is nothing as constant as change, and so, for when you see that, I want to share with you some words of Alan Watts.

" So we are living as it were, in many many levels of rhythm. This is the nature of change. If you resist it, you have frustration and suffering. But on the other hand, if you understand change, you don't cling to it and you let it flow, then there's no problem it becomes absolutely beautiful."- Alan Watts