Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Identity and Attachment
Attachment to the Cosmic Identity
What is needed now is to understand the attitude of attachment itself, regardless of object, even if there is nothing to attach to. Attachment can exist at this level of the cosmic existence as a remnant of the personality, although the identity with the personality is gone. The personality has, in a sense, become the cosmic personality, infinite, boundless. This final identity is the cosmic identity... As long as there is any sense of identity there is a possibility of attachment, because there is the possibility of wanting to hold on to it.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 60
Attachment to the True Identity Will Keep You Separate
The separate identity needs to go, even the true identity. Attachment to the true identity will keep you separate because attachment creates boundaries. The boundaries need to be lost and the boundaries can only be lost by the loss of identity itself, by the loss of the separate self. When that goes, then it is possible to see that you are not separate from the original consciousness, that there is only one consciousness, one existence. That is what we call the cosmic level. At this cosmic level you understand that true merging is loss of your boundaries, so you are One. If there's a sense of identity, there is not One... One can have a very subtle attachment to the cosmic identity. It doesn't even feel like attachment. You can experience God, which is what's called the cosmic identity, but as long as you want only that, there is still some preference, some attachment.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 59
Dissolution of Identity with the Body Does Not Necessarily Mean Ego Death
So the death experience we have just described, the dissolution of the identity with the body, does not necessarily mean the death of the ego. The death of the ego itself is a deeper thing. You may know that you aren't your body, but you still have a mind, an ego. You are now attached to your inner experience, experienced as somewhat disembodied. You are attached to your psychological identity, your psychological makeup, to all your thoughts and feelings. This is the source of all the other identities. The self-image, the body-image, the body identification all emanate from this kernel, this pea of identity. This finally is the ego. This is why people who die are not necessarily free from the personality, the ego identity, because even when they die consciously they are not free from the mental configuration, mental existence, their personality. This means that a person can experience ego without a body before he dies. The moment you see that you're not your body, it is possible to see the ego, finally to identify the center of the personality -- the ego that we call "myself" or "I." When you say, "I'm doing this," "I want this," you are attached to this sense of self. That is the deepest attachment. These attachments are there all the time; we see each one under the last one but they all exist simultaneously. The deeper attachments are the strongest.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 57
Identity with the Internal Body-Image Creates Attachment to the Body Itself
The next layer of identity is what we call the internal body image, or identification with the body regardless of the image, attachment to the body itself. Internal body image forms the core of the identity at this level, because of identification with the actual sensation of the body, the actual feelings in the body... this identity with the internal body image creates attachment to the body itself, to physical existence itself. You need to understand that this is not your identity.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 54
Lose the Physical Attachment to the Body and the Death Space Will be There
When you see this identification for what it is, it also will dissolve, because it isn't any more real than your driver’s license identity. This realization in turn brings a new space, a new awareness of the void, what we call "death space." At this point a person experiences what is called death. It is what happens when somebody dies physically; they actually disconnect from the body. Death is a deep dark black emptiness; of course this death space can be experienced in life. You don't have to physically die; all that is required is to lose the physical attachment to the body, and the death space will be there.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 56
The Final Attachment That Must be Resolved
The reality exists in two poles, existence and non-existence, complete nothingness. Fullness that is love, and complete, utter emptiness or nothingness, are just the two poles of reality. Attachment to any of these is attachment. So the final attachment that must be resolved is the final attachment to existence or non-existence - God or nothing. This resolution results in the big void, which eliminates identity itself - small or big, true or not true. There is no identity, no nothing to identify. There is no object whatsoever, even a boundless object. This big void, or complete nothingness, is most necessary for freedom because it eliminates attachment. It is the freedom beyond which there is no freedom. Of course, with that freedom, there will come everything. Everything will be freed - the cosmic consciousness, the guidance, the true identity, the Personal Essence - all Essence with its various aspects will be there with no one experiencing it. It's just there.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 61
The First Level of Attachment
So the first level of attachment goes along with the first level of identity. It has to do with your ID cards. It is very clear that the image gets bigger the more cards you have. If a person wants to change his image he gets a different kind of card...
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 52
The Next Level of Attachment is the Body Image
At the next level of attachment, the core of the self-image is the body image. At the deepest level, your self-image is based on physical reality, the body image. When I say "body image," I include the shape of your body, how you feel about it, everything about your body, the organs of your body and the functions of your body. When you let go of the external card-holder identity, you find that then your identity is based on your body image...