Identification, Differentiation and Desire

Me, Avoidance and the Search

"Recognize the primary activity, the prior activity in consciousness. And what is the nature of that primary activity? It has two aspects. The one is separation in consciousness, this continual realization in consciousness, of separation. And the other is contraction in life. And life and consciousness are not separable, but the peculiar qualities in which this activity within us manifests itself are a separative activity at the level of consciousness and contraction in the mechanisms or functions of life. So it appears always as identification, differentiation, and desire."

unpublished notes, 1971 - Adi Da Samraj

 

The search (see part I) is motivated by the seekers unconscious suffering and separation which create the perpetual activities of identification, differentiation and desire.

Identification

Identification is the whole drama of the separate self-sense and in its subtle form manifests as self-imagery. This self-imagery has the quality of differentiation or 'otherness' projected in mind and thought appearing as other (objects). This self-sense (identification) prior to thought hides itself as a fundamental contraction. This contraction takes the form of a cramp or tension in the mind and the body.

Differentiaion

Out of the activity of contraction or identification is the activity of differentiation. Differentiation is the distinction, difference and the creation of an other. This is a spontaneous event, preverbal event in Consciousness. It is out of this primal activity comes the felt sense of other and fear.

This process of differentiation is the sense of difference or other. This over over that a basic sense of duality. The separate self-sense or what we commonly call ego is then formed in mind and thought. The reflection of mind manifest itself.

Desire

The third aspect to this 'process' is desire, which is generated by these two (identification and differentiation). The activity of the separate one, in the midst of his endless activity of differentiation or thought is movement or motivated desire to motion. And this motion or movement is always directed (either consciously or unconsciously) in the form of desire. So, ordinary life from moment to moment is the separate self-sense involved in the qualities of thinking or differentiation. Moving, particularly motivated, living as desire, seeking something, looking, avoiding, needing.

This is the activity from moment to moment, of the ordinary man and the seeker is not doing anything else. This is the waking state of the ordinary man in this plane of existence. It isn't anything else. So all that is accomplished by the life of seeking, which is the only thing that is going on, is suffering and separation, limitation and distinction.

There are many, many qualities perceived and experienced, from hour to hour. That is why people continue to think that it's all leading somewhere different and they continue to thrive on the search. But the more sensitive you become, the more you become aware that there is only one form of cognition or awareness and that is this structure of limitation. And that is all that is felt, truly, from moment to moment.  

"This is the activity from moment to moment, of the ordinary man and the seeker is not doing anything else."

 

 

 

Identification is the secondary action or cognition of consciousness wherein it conceptualizes its subjectivity, its identity or principle of presence. It is secondary, even though primitive in its priority over experience, because it proceeds programmatically and necessarily from the prior and primitive action of the avoidance of relationship. And that avoidance of relationship is itself a secondary action, a conceptualization based the reflection of conditions.

Mythological, men have conceived this original event as a cosmic drama of self-division, of internal separation in some super cosmic entity. Thus, they objectify their own conceptual activity and seek through action or external means to restore the primary unity. And, in the meantime they make assumptions about the world's reality or unreality based on this conceptual objectification.

But, in fact, the event from which we suffer is not formal, cosmic or objective, but conceptual. It is not the result of a creative, cosmic event or disclosure, but of a conceptual reaction to the content of what appears. Therefore, it is of radical importance that one understands, for, on the basis of understanding, the dilemma of conscious life is revealed not to be a necessary, formal, cosmic dictation of duality, but a conceptual realization informed and required by our own, present action, the avoidance of relationship.

The dilemma of conscious life is not the result of perception or intention of a natural, cosmic division or separation. Separation, division, the pattern of Narcissus is only a symptom, a result, not a picture the creative fact. The dilemma does not arise prior to or coincident with the cosmic or processional event of formal existence. It is, rather a reaction and a conceptualization after the fact in the face of formal existence. It's a style of realization, a strategy of existence that produces suffering and unconsciousness and when this strategy is understood, when consciousness includes the whole of action, the worlds of formal existence and experience no longer appear in necessarily problematic form, but all of this remains obvious in the Heart, the simply, radically Real that is prior to our reaction and secondary cognition of the worlds.

Therefore, the separative action is the avoidance of relationship under the conditions of formal existence. This is obvious to one who understands, and all dilemma appears to him to be a result of this avoidance and its various conceptualizations. Because he knows this to be so, he sees no dilemma, no separation in formal existence itself. His dilemma is recognizable to him in its causes and well as its results, and he moves in the formal play in the consciousness that is understanding, already free of the secondary results that are the forms of dilemma.

These results are the entire content, cognition and activity of ordinary life. But the primary and controlling evidence is the triple cognition of identification, differentiation and desire, not as simple, existing function in the processes of life, but as radical conceptualizations of Reality itself.

Just as the worlds appear prior to all dilemma, the structures of function in the worlds are not problematic. There are apparent entities, discrete functions in the processes of formal existence. There is water and mountain, sea and a man along the beach. There is a sun and many other stars. There is a man between. But none of that is a radical entity. A capsule of limitations apart from the entire process, where presence implies a schism in Reality itself. There is simply all of this, a universe in fact. But the awareness arising within and overall is certainly tended to the illusion of separation and the actions, that reinforce it to death, unless it becomes wise.

There is a reaction consequent upon the action that is all form existence. It is the duplication of that movement where in things appear. But that duplication is the reflection of the original, present action. It tends to cognize itself as the results, the direction of that which moves to appear. Therefore, it turns from the essential movement of consciousness to the reflection of its appearance. And thus very action is separative, turned away, the avoidance of relationship with the essential motion and all its other results or reflections.

Therefore, the worlds are cognized within their forms on the basis of the reaction, the essential avoidance that is the duplication or reflection of Reality as formal existence. And the dilemma of formal existence is precisely the configuration of experience which results from this reaction and the forms of its conceptualization in life.

The forms of conceptualization which arises as the structure of ordinary consciousness are the basic agents: IDENTIFICATION, DIFFERENTIATION and DESIRE.

Thus, I have said that identification is the secondary action or cognition of consciousness wherein it conceptualizes its subjectivity, its identity or principle of presence. The key to this statement is “conceptualizes” for in this activity the discrete role of the functional entity is the universe is abandoned* or reduced to the conceptualization of its separate, non-integral disassociated, reactively motivated principle of self-perception.

*The world is of the form of the five categories of sense objects, and nothing else. These five kinds of objects are sensed by the five senses. As all are perceived to the mind through these five senses, the world is nothing but the mind. Is there a world apart from the mind?

If the mind, the source of all knowledge and activity subsides, the vision of the world will cease. Just as knowledge of the real rope does not dawn till the fancied notion of the serpent disappears, vision (experience) of the Reality cannot be gained unless the superimposed vision of the universe is abandoned.

2 - The Self and Non-Self - GEMS FROM BHAGAVAN, A necklace of sayings by BHAGAVAN SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI on various vital subjects Strung together by A. DEVARAJA MUDALIAR.

Clearly, the conceptualization realized as identification is a form of radical separateness, the model of narcissus, of avoidance.

Differentiation is, again, a form of conceptualization, rooted in the same reaction, whereby the identified subject perceives that from which he has conceived his separateness. He thus identifies all things that appear as radically unique, conceptually apart from himself and from one another. Thus he enforces the unconsciousness of that functional appearance that is the universe. He cannot "see" the universe, but only the conceptually differentiated mass of appearances. Space appears dead, a zero, a no-force between objects and events, a lightness non-container, not present but including everything, therefore negating and requiring the end of all things. Indeed, the original action (or reaction) that is the mind in dilemma is the conceptualization of space, wherein it is marked off from the obvious, root power that is conscious reality. Therefore, space seems dead, and it is this symbol that appears to all men, moment to moment, apart from their real consciousness, to signify the nature of existence.

But underneath this whole revolution of reaction and conceptualization is motion. The reaction or reflection that is avoidance is also a kind of motion. And life in dilemma appears as the conceptual from of desire, wherein separated entities move by an unconscious drive to restore themselves, to deliver themselves and all things to one another in the orgiastic repetitious of union, forgetful for a moment of the dilemma in the mind. And time is merely the conceptual demarcation of the events of consummation. The quality of time is entirely determined by the moment to moment configuration of desire and consummation conceived by the problematic identity in the conceptually differentiated worlds.

All of this is trouble, suffering, dilemma and confusion, search and reflection, and conceptual motivation without end. Thus, the Zen Master, Huang Po, has said, "If you can only ride yourselves of conceptual thought, you will have accomplished everything." It is "conceptual thought" in the sense I have described it that is universally recognized amount all great teachers to be the roots of suffering and fear. But it is radical understanding exactly as I have communicated it to you that is the only and radical freedom from suffering and fear. And that consciousness that is already free is the real consciousness and joy of every kind of formal existence.


The waking life, what we cognize to be the ordinary waking state, is a continual drama of these three activities of identification, differentiation and desire.

The "causal" being, which is also the seat of deep sleep, manifests as the activity of identification, or separate self sense, through contraction of the causal center on the right side of the chest.

The subtle body, which is also the seat or condition of dreams, is the internal or subtle organ, and it manifests essentially as the elaboration or differentiation of thought, feeling, energy and sensation.

This is done by contraction of the subtle mechanism, which has many centers or functions in the spine and brain.

Then the waking state adds this movement of desire or manifest vitality, the descending and "frontal" life.

The traditional searches are an attempt to return to the simpler origin.

When they turn inward in the waking state, away from desire, this is religion.

When they turn inward from subtle life and dreams to forms of subtlety or light beyond mind, this is spirituality or yoga.

The intuitive methods of the would be Jnani or Buddha turn beyond life and subtlety into the causal ground.

But in fact all of these are simply ways of going from one state into another, moving from one condition to another that is relatively more subtle, or relatively more free of conditions.

None of these functional movements is the Truth itself.

But when a man comprehends his own adventure, and his search occupies him less and less, when his suffering becomes the only real possibility for him, when suffering or dilemma becomes his essential condition, regardless of his state, waking, dreaming, or sleeping, then there is the possibility of real intelligence, of spontaneous re-cognition, of understanding, of Truth.


The world is seeking, nothing more. And all seeking is suffering and separation as continuous creations. They are created by the perpetual activities of identification, differentiation and desire. These are the mechanism of the avoidance of relationship. And these three are continuously performed in the various levels of being, corresponding to what are called the "chakras" or the circuit of creative centers, and the various bodies, realms and experiences. The consciousness of the seeker is a constantly changing perception of dilemma. And in all that he does he is always only avoiding relationship.

The Knee of Listening


DEVOTEE: You have said this action takes the form of identification, differentiation and desire. In a concrete situation, what happens?

FRANKLIN: The ordinary sense that a man has, sitting, walking, is of separate existence. He doesn't ordinarily say to himself, "I am this body, I am this mind, I am this, I am that."

No mental process goes on that is itself the communication of this sense to him.

He already has this sense.

He wakes up alive, he moves in bodily terms, it just seems very obvious.

And there is the. sense of some sort of subtle limit, size, shape, or difference. That is identification. It is called the "ego."

Differentiation is all the forms, all the qualities of cognition or mind, in which everything becomes an extension of this same thing that he has assumed.

Everything becomes a "this."

Look at this, look at this.

Suddenly, there are endless planes of significance.

The very structure of his thought is "this, this, this."

Spontaneously, everything is already multiplied, distinct.

Having already, spontaneously acquired this sense of separate existence, and while already perceiving, thinking a range of multiplicity, of separate natures, forms and forces, he moves.

And that motion is desire.

This separate one moves.

He conceives a realm of multiplicity in which to move, because he is separate.

There is something, even a world, that he is up against, so he moves.

And that movement is desire.

An endless adventure is possible when these three assumptions are made.

And that adventure is what people are doing.

All men, all ordinary beings who are karmically manifested in the material worlds, are living this adventure.

Each one lives it with different qualities, different circumstances, different ranges of subjectivity, but all essentially are living it on the armature of this same structure, this same form, this same complex of assumptions.

There present state, "me," separate, with everything around me moving.

What you ordinarily perceive to be your condition at any moment is the best example of it.

Now all adventures, all human adventures are possible from that point of view, and all are built on that point of view.

And that point of view is the dilemma.

All accomplishments take place within the framework of that dilemma.

Therefore, all pursuits, all searches, all activities, all accomplishments, spiritual and mundane, are possible adventures within that same framework.

It is not that the spiritual ones are better than the mundane ones.

They are all the same adventure.

The Method of the Siddhas


Said the Blessed One, "Lord of Lanka, seest thou not that the differentiation of things, such as is perceived in jars and other breakable objects whose nature it is to perish in time, takes place in a realm of discrimination [cherished by] the ignorant? This being so, is it not to be so understood? It is due to discrimination [cherished by] the ignorant that there exists the differentiation of dharma and adharma.

Lankavatara Sutra


It is Brahman Itself, which does not admit of any differentiation. The knowledge of the fourth quarter is realised by merging in it the previous three. That is to say, the waking state is merged in the dream state, the dream state in dreamless sleep, and finally, dreamless sleep in Turiya, or Pure Consciousness.

Mandukya Upanishad


The zero of the heart is expanded as the world. Consciousness is not differentiated and identified. There is a constant observation of subject and object in any body, any functional sheath, any realm, or any experience that arises. Thus, I remain in the unqualified State. There is a constant Sensation of "Bright" Fullness permeating and surrounding all experiences, all realms, all bodies, all functional sheaths. It is my own "Bright" Fullness, Which is radically non-separate. My own "Bright" Fullness includes all beings and all things. I am the Form of Space Itself, in Which all bodies, all functional sheaths, all realms, and all experiences occur. It is inherently "Bright" Consciousness Itself, which Reality is even every being's Very Nature (or Ultimate, inherent, and inherently perfect, Condition) now and now and now.

Vedanta Experience


When enquiry has settled in the heart, awareness develops as what Ramana, Ramana Maharshi, calls the 'Amrita Nadi . I call it the 'Form of Reality.' It is the circuit of current from the heart to the head. As a child I knew it as the 'bright'. In the unqualified state all identification, differentiation and desire have ended. There is only unqualified relationship realized in enquiry to be already the case.

The Knee of Listening


If you are always present in relationship, not the avoidance of relationship, and enjoy that radical state under all conditions, you will not assume the forms of identification, differentiation or desire. You will simply be present in relationship, and this is itself perfect control, and I mean this literally. Control of the functions of existence comes about spontaneously, naturally and easily in one who understands. But one who tries to control himself in the midst of compulsions and difficulties never succeeds, because he always gravitates karmically back to the condition itself because he hasn't penetrated it. He hasn't understood.

The Life of Understanding


The forms of identification, differentiation, and desire, the things that one does in reaction to what is Witnessed, are all motions of attention. The beginning of Wisdom, then, is to observe yourself as you are. Forget philosophy, religion, and all the garbage of life. What precisely is your situation in this moment? Even now, you are That Which is Witnessing these arising conditions, whatever That Which is Witnessing this is altogether. Ultimately, you Realize that you are just That, and there is no doubt about it.

The Incarnation of Love


So what I was recognizing here is the primary activity, the prior activity in consciousness, which prevents its fundamental enjoyment. And what is the nature of that primary activity? It has two aspects. The one is separation in consciousness, this continual realization in consciousness, of separation. And the other is contraction in life. And life and consciousness are not separable, but the peculiar qualities in which this activity within us manifests itself are a separative activity at the level of consciousness and contraction in the mechanisms or functions of life. So it appears always as identification, differentiation, and desire.

It appears as a separate self sense, it also appears as a knot in the navel. It always appears as contraction and separation. And I saw that perhaps we can think of this in evolutionary terms as the gigantic organic process of the universe manifests the human function, the human possibility, the psycho-physical entity that may or may not become fully conscious in all that it contains.

The Life of Understanding


So suffering and separation "are created by the perpetual activities of identification, differentiation and desire." Seeking manifests in the forms of suffering and separation, isolation and dis-ease. But the qualities, the various kinds of suffering and separation that tend to manifest are themselves expressions of these fundamental qualities in conscious life, which are the qualities of identification, differentiation and desire, which I have talked about in a number of ways. Identification is this whole drama of separate self-sense, in its subtlest forms, not just as self-imagery. That self-imagery has more to do with the quality of differentiation or mind or thought. But self-sense prior to imageries. Just the self-sense itself, which is always what is dramatized when you become selfish, or working from the point of view of yourself as an entity. So these qualities of suffering and separation are built on first of all, the separate self-sense in all its form but as an essential quality, as an essential activity in consciousness. The fundamental contraction at one level of consciousness is this separate self-sense just as at the physical level it can take the form of a sensation, a cramp of some sort in the psyche it takes the form of the separate self-sense. That is why Maharshi says the "I" thought is the first thought.

The next activity of which suffering and separation are the manifestation is the activity of differentiation. Distinction, difference, other. Wherever there is an other, there is fear. This whole process of differentiation or thought. Examine the process of thought. Thought is just momentum of differentiation. Just as you are never, barely for an instant, without this separate self-sense of an omnipresent condition of consciousness, thought is also hardly ever interrupted in the waking state and it is always in the form of differentiation, that's all thought is. Thought is differentiation. It's the generation in consciousness of the sense of differences, either between two or more things. This over against this. Thought is always in the form of a distinction. So the separate self-sense or what we commonly call ego and now differentiation or thought.

So ego, thought and the third mentioned here is desire, which is generated by these two. What is the activity of the entity, separate one, in the midst of his endless activity of differentiation or thought. It is movement, motivated, desire, always motion. A particular motion. People don't move non-particularly. You always move in a particular way. Movement is always directed. It's always in the form of desire. Motion that is without desire is motion without particularity, without specific direction, or goal. So it's absolute motion. Motion without desire. It's perfect motion. It's without a center, as well as without a goal. So it is the absolute being. The perfect God. That's the only form of desirelessness ultimately. But desire as we ordinarily know it is particular motion, motivation. It's this entity, separate self-sense, acting through some mode of differentiation, some quality of thought. So, the ordinary life from moment to moment is the separate self-sense involved in the qualities of thinking or differentiation. Moving, particularly motivated, living as desire.

The Life of Understanding


At times avoidance is generated through desire. At others through differentiation. At others through identification.

The search created by those attached to desire is the love and service of God. The search created by those attached to differentiation is the way of mystical union. The search created by those attached to identification is the way of Self-knowledge.

But those who fail to overcome desire seek endlessly for that which they do not possess. Those who fail to overcome chronic differentiation are endlessly dismayed by alternatives. And those who fail to overcome the process of identification are endlessly bound to the assertion of qualities that are unlike the things they perceive.

Desire is chronic activity. Differentiation is chronic inertia. Identification is chronic limitation.

But understanding constantly recognizes the pattern of avoidance in each of its forms. It is already free of the search implied in each form. It is entirely free of the consequences of every path. Where life appears as identification, differentiation or desire, the man of understanding is already free of the form of avoidance implied in each.

The Knee of Listening


Identification, Differentiation and Desire

 

As soon as there is the ego-position - Identification - (or “self”-contraction), there is the entire conditionally manifested universe. When there is no “self”-contraction, there is no conditionally manifested universe.

You are “Narcissus”. You are looking at an - Differentiation - image, and you think the image is actually “there” — as something outside you, as something that has nothing to do with you, except that you are seeing it as an “object”. As “Narcissus”, you are controlled - Desire - by that “known-object”. You have already taken up the ego-position—and, from that position, you even regard Me as a “known-object”, “digitalizing” Me into the checkerboard that extends from your little block of presumption.

 


Said the Blessed One, "Lord of Lanka, seest thou not that the differentiation of things, such as is perceived in jars and other breakable objects whose nature it is to perish in time, takes place in a realm of discrimination [cherished by] the ignorant? This being so, is it not to be so understood? It is due to discrimination [cherished by] the ignorant that there exists the differentiation of dharma and adharma.

Lankavatara Sutra


It is Brahman Itself, which does not admit of any differentiation. The knowledge of the fourth quarter is realized by merging in it the previous three. That is to say, the waking state is merged in the dream state, the dream state in dreamless sleep, and finally, dreamless sleep in Turiya, or Pure Consciousness.

Mandukya Upanishad



The zero of the heart is expanded as the world. Consciousness is not differentiated and identified. There is a constant observation of subject and object in any body, any functional sheath, any realm, or any experience that arises. Thus, I remain in the unqualified State. There is a constant Sensation of "Bright" Fullness permeating and surrounding all experiences, all realms, all bodies, all functional sheaths. It is my own "Bright" Fullness, Which is radically non-separate. My own "Bright" Fullness includes all beings and all things. I am the Form of Space Itself, in Which all bodies, all functional sheaths, all realms, and all experiences occur. It is inherently "Bright" Consciousness Itself, which Reality is even every being's Very Nature (or Ultimate, inherent, and inherently perfect, Condition) now and now and now.

Vedanta Experience


The forms of identification, differentiation, and desire, the things that one does in reaction to what is Witnessed, are all motions of attention. The beginning of Wisdom, then, is to observe yourself as you are. Forget philosophy, religion, and all the garbage of life. What precisely is your situation in this moment?

Incarnation of Love


At any moment avoidance is primarily in the form of identification, differentiation or desire, and secondarily (effectively) in the remaining two. But these three account entirely for all forms of avoidance.

Unpublished - Adi Da Samraj - 1970


But in the instant of differentiation the most primitive archetype of all knowledge appears. It appears as a simple presumption of independent existence, consciousness, and pleasure over against all kinds of relations or objects, high and low.

The Enlightenment of the Whole Body


0bjective or independent self, world, and God are the conventional illusions. The primal incident is differentiation of the One and Present Reality, which is Infinite Consciousness, from Love, Radiance, Light, and Vibratory Life, or all the Infinite Eternity at once. But in the instant of differentiation the most primitive archetype of all knowledge appears. It appears as a simple presumption of independent existence, consciousness, and pleasure over against all kinds of relations or objects, high and low.

Enlightenment of the Whole Body


So what I was recognizing here is the primary activity, the prior activity in consciousness, which prevents its fundamental enjoyment. And what is the nature of that primary activity? It has two aspects. The one is separation in consciousness, this continual realization in consciousness, of separation. And the other is contraction in life. And life and consciousness are not separable, but the peculiar qualities in which this activity within us manifests itself are a separative activity at the level of consciousness and contraction in the mechanisms or functions of life. So it appears always as identification, differentiation, and desire.

It appears as a separate self sense, it also appears as a knot in the navel. It always appears as contraction and separation. And I saw that perhaps we can think of this in evolutionary terms as the gigantic organic process of the universe manifests the human function, the human possibility, the psycho-physical entity that may or may not become fully conscious in all that it contains.

Life of Understanding


It is in the childhood of man that the idea of God-apart or Reality-beyond is conceived. The sense of dependence initiates the growing sense of separate and separated self through the experiential theatre of growth. The intuition of the Whole, the One, is the ground of birth, but "growing up" is a conventional pattern of initiation in which the sense of difference is intensified. At the level of the life-functions themselves, there needs to be such functional or practical differentiation, but the implications in the planes of consciousness are the cause of an unnatural adventure of suffering and seeking in dilemma.

Garbage and the Goddess


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