Exercises - Seeing Someone Anew Or Interpersonal Relationships
#29 of Donna’s tapes (last 1/3rd of second side)
Identification is when I have decided “I know you.”—I have identified you. So then I’ve decided I know you—so then I will never recognize another thing about you from then on.
(I’ve identified what you are.)
Right. I never really see you again—I will merely be aware of you coming by.
(Is that first impression?)
Well, whatever and whenever it is—I would say whenever I decide I really know you. It might not be the first impression—maybe it’s six weeks later—maybe a year later. But I decide I know you.
So we’ll say I know “Mary”. I’ve already got myself a little picture and a little pattern of what you are. I don’t care what you do from then on, I will never see you—I’ll never be aware. To me, you are the same creature day in and day out regardless of how many changes you undergo. And I’m going to respond to you as though you were “then”, and pretty soon you’ll say, “He doesn’t even know I’m in the house.” And it is a literal fact. It’s a boring situation.
But if you should ever discover about this identification and see that it’s all false, and you begin look at the person every time you meet them, it can be as though you’ve never seen them before. Because you really haven’t seen that person before. Everyone is constantly changing moment to moment, day to day and year to year—including you. If you are aware of this, then you have a brand new person every day of the week. And that never gets old, and that never gets tiring and it’s always a new adventure.
But identification makes it old, and rough….
(So if you are looking anew, it makes them interesting?)
Well, you see them. Everybody’s interesting if you see them. So you identify yourself as, “I’m Bob.” And then I know Mary over here. Ok so I have a set idea of myself and a set idea of Mary. But I’m going to change a few I’ve identified so I’m aware of this.
They’re certainly undergoing changes—constantly—every day because we all have new influences, new challenges which create these subtle changes.
So we’re mistaking a variable for being a constant because we think we know them, and that results in an awful lot of chaos—mistaking a variable for a constant. The only thing constant about them is the name. The only constant thing about Mary here is the word “Mary” which is not used at all, but simply refers to a living, changing system. An individual is not a stagnant thing at all because it’s ever changing.
The Greeks said a man couldn’t step in the same mud puddle twice. The first time he steps in the mud puddle he was not a man who had just stepped in a mud puddle, but the second time he is a man who just stepped in a mud puddle. As for the mud puddle, the first time it is a mud puddle that had not been stepped in and the second time it is a mud puddle that had just been stepped in.
So with the “identification bit”, I would suggest that you think about it, you might even get something to read on it—you can stop and consider it for a little bit.
How many people have you identified?