Clearing identity confusion, resolving stress and restoring homeostasis

An integrated paradigm of dis-ease and healing

I have news for you. A lot of physical diseases and most psychological and psychospiritual disturbances come directly from identity confusion! Identity confusion creates tension, inner conflict and stress. These, in turn, unbalance us. When this happens, the homeostatic processes that regulate every aspect of our body and mind kick into overdrive to restore and rebalance us. However, due to the stress of identity confusion, they are continually frustrated in this endeavor. Eventually they overheat, trip a circuit breaker, and stop working or at best work feebly.

Even before this happens however, we start to suffer the consequences of stress, both physical and psychological. The physical consequences include allergic and autoimmune disorders, stress syndrome, metabolic disorders, cancer, etc. The psychological consequences include most disorders that do not have a clear physiological or genetic origin, problems like depression, hopelessness, anxiety, rage, inferiority/superiority feelings, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, ADD and the like. The list goes on and on, only limited by the mental health profession's ability to find separate ways of classifying what are essentially separate expressions of the same problem.

What is identity confusion?

Our identity is what we are. We all have a specific identity; one that is both physical and psychological and has many facets and layers. We were born with much of our physical identity and some of our psychological identity already given to us, but over time we added on this base. Experience and education taught us things that extended our identity. Some of these things were true when we learned them and remain true, others became less true over time and still others were never true. The things that remain true enhance our functioning, but the things that were false or became so, create self-conflict and limit our functioning. In short they create identity confusion.

Identity confusion then is when our true identity is overlaid with mistakes, and these mistakes, like glitches in the software, screw up our psychobiological computers. They create conflict, stress and dis-ease.

As I have said, identity confusion exists on both the physical and mental levels. One example of physical identity confusion is allergy. An allergy is a kind of conditioned learning. Allergies are formed when our immune system associates innocuous substances with a toxic substance so that a formerly innocuous elicits a toxic response. A more severe case of identity confusion is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmunity is an allergy to a part of our own body. It takes place when our immune system misidentifies a part of our self as an alien substance and rejects it. An even more severe case of identity confusion is cancer. In cancer a part of our body actually mutates into an alien form, but, because it was originally part of us, our immune system fails to identify and reject it. Conversely, the cancer cells forget they are part of our body.

How is identity confusion the common denominator of these three, disparate disorders? Allergies are a case of implicit identity confusion, where we become confused as to what is toxic to us. Autoimmune disorders are a case of explicit identity confusion, where we confuse a part of our body with an alien invader and mistakenly reject it. The case of cancer is the reverse of autoimmunity, where we confuse an alien invader with a part of our body and fail to reject it.

Homeostasis and physical healing

In every case of dis-ease, mental or physical, what we must do to heal is first restore homeostasis.  The only way to do that is to clear the identity confusion that is stressing and overwhelming the homeostatic processes.  One example of this would be clearing the rejection response of say, autoimmune kidney disease.  When the body stops trying to reject its own kidneys, the homeostatic processes, the intelligent functioning of our glands and organs, including our brain, can resume their job of returning us to balance, health and well-being. Which they will do.

Unless of course stress has blown some circuit breakers, shutting down the meridians that supply energy to selected parts of our body, especially our endocrine glands and organs. If this has happened, these circuit breakers have to be reset, so that the glands and organs can resume their work of restoring us to Homeostasis.  Which they will do.

Unless of course they are too depleted to quickly snap back.  When this happens we have to give them an energy assist until they can make it on their own and resume their work of restoring us to Homeostasis.  Which they will do.

Unless of course our systems as a whole are too debilitated to recover quickly.  In which case, in addition to the above, we have to support and nurture ourselves with rest, good nutrition, detoxification, appropriate supplements, relaxation and meditation, psychospiritual exercises like yoga and tai chi chuan, and time. 

So the way to facilitate healing is fourfold.  First we clear the identity confusion which is the cause of the stress.  Then we reset the organs and glands. Then we energize them, and then we appropriately support and nurture our whole, bodymind system.  After that, time and our homeostatic processes complete the work. 

Psychospiritual identity confusion

Just as we can be confused about our physical identity, we can be confused about our psychospiritual identity.  And this confusion too can lead to both mental and physical stress, and even a complete mental breakdown.

Let us take inferiority feelings as a case in point.  We all have inferiority feelings at one time or another and about one thing or another.  From a certain point of view they are justified.  That is in everything we do, look like and have, there are others who surpass us.  No matter who we are, there are others who are smarter, stronger, sexier, have a better sense of humor and drive a better car.  Even if we are the greatest in something, we fall short in everything else.  There is just no way that we can be better than everyone else in every way.

But we can try - and that we do!  Every one of us continually compares ourselves to everyone else in every way!  How do we try?  We either compete or we rationalize. When we compete, we go on struggling as long as there is a chance of winning.  And what we are really struggling for, for permission to replace our inferiority feelings with superiority feelings in our own mind.  Why do we struggle so hard?  Because when we accept defeat, we embrace inferiority, with all that goes with it. 

When we rationalize instead of competing, we do it by finding fault with that which we are competing with, or by disqualifying the whole person. When we compete, we can lose.  But when we rationalize, we cannot.  But neither can we win.  Instead, we become trapped in more and more denial and delusion.

How do inferiority feelings relate to identity confusion?  This is where the psychological level of explanation gives way to the spiritual.  On the psychological level, thoughts, like physical things, are completely real.  On the spiritual level however, neither physical things nor thoughts are completely real.  What is real then, you might ask?  The only thing about us that is ultimately real is consciousness.  We are all just awareness, pure consciousness embodied in a body - and that consciousness, disembodied, is God.

When we mistake things like our body or its thoughts for our identity, our identity becomes a collection of things and we are in identity confusion. Things can be compared to other things and inevitably they are, but consciousness is consciousness.  It is no-thing and no-thing cannot be compared to anything else.

Once we compare one thing to another, we have three possible outcomes. It can be better, worse or the same.  Which means that insofar as our identity is tied to our attributes, when we compare ourselves to others, or things, we limit ourselves to being better, worse or the same.  Being better is superiority and carries overtones of authoritarianism and arrogance.  Being worse is inferiority and carries overtones of submission and depression.  Both are undesirable.  Which leaves being the same.  Individuals, even whole cultures have opted for sameness as a way of resolving conflicts and fostering cooperation, but in some ways sameness is the worst strategy of all. Because in the assumption of sameness the individual or culture sacrifices individuality, striving, progress, the power of discrimination and the possibility of excellence. 

So what then is the solution?  It is to transcend the level of false or mistaken identity, to understand our real identity and rest not in superiority, inferiority or even sameness, but in the aliveness that arises when comparison ends.  The gazelle doesn't covet the water buffalo’s muscle, or the water buffalo the gazelle's grace.  They just are different.  Neither better nor worse, they are just themselves.  So the way out of the inferiority superiority split is to rest in our real identity as consciousness, for consciousness is the one thing that is not a thing and so cannot be compared.  It, like all of us, just is.

Clearing and facilitating homeostasis on the psychospiritual level

Unfortunately, letting go to a real identity is not is easy as it sounds (and it doesn't sound easy). Understanding is not enough. We have to really correct the identity confusion belief by belief. We have to clear the belief that we are inferior and need to be superior. We have to clear how these beliefs make us feel. And we have to clear from our memory, those formative experiences that first taught us that there was such a thing as inferiority/superiority and that we were on the lower end of the seesaw.

As long as the building blocks of the inferiority remain in place, the inferiority feelings will persist and so will the need for superiority and the striving for compensation. Only when the inferior identity is deconstructed will the drive for superiority abate. And only then will the forces of psychological homeostasis return us to relaxation openness so that we can listen to higher reason and really take it in.

Facilitating healing

Have you noticed that I always say facilitate healing, not the way I heal? That's because in the final analysis only homeostasis heals. I just facilitate the process by clearing the identity confusion, resetting and energizing the organs and glands, and guiding the recovery process. Without the homeostatic processes, without the intelligence of the bodymind, without the life force, there can be no healing, only decline and disorder, physical and psychological.

This then is the healing paradigm of PsychoNoetics. It is firmly based in the science of consciousness and it guides my practice as a healer, enlightenment therapist and spiritual teacher.