Don’t Identify With It
by H.T. Waters
Genre: Nonfiction / Spirituality / Philosophy
Print Length: 116 pages
Reviewed by Timothy Thomas
A perspective-expanding piece on seeking truth & deconstructing self
It could be said that the Age of Enlightenment walked so the Age of Self could run. The seeds of the former—sowed by such philosophical giants as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates—have certainly borne fruit. Today’s intellectual & spiritual climate presents a buffet of a la carte options with which the seeker of truth can satisfy their appetite.
Don’t Identify With It seeks to provide an answer to the problems of belief, identity and truth by discussing the myriad interwoven threads of new age spirituality, religious teachings, and other philosophical perspectives.
Consistent with the title, Don’t Identify With It begins with the issue of identity, exploring its role in our beliefs and the behaviors that come out from them. Not only must our beliefs be questioned, but our identity around them must be deconstructed, for it is from this place of non-identification that we create an authentic identity.
Borrowing from Buddhism the concept of non-self, a philosophy of detachment from personal identity paves the way for empathy, and inclusion is advocated. Philosophers from Socrates to Eckhart Tolle are then brought in to challenge dogma in all its form, arguing for meditation as a means of emptying one’s mind to come to a “zero point.”
Hatred, social justice, fear, and organized religion are all explored from the understanding that dogma and, thus, identity, are deceptive; furthermore, they create an attitude that acts as a concrete wall which we cannot see beyond, separating us from other perspectives that may be more beneficial. As such, we handicap ourselves by buying into such systems and must rid ourselves of them to be made free.
Waters does an impressive job of fitting so much information and drawing so many notable conclusions in its 81 pages. It’s short and jam-packed with concepts to ponder.
The author is sure-footed and unapologetic in her position regarding many of the topics covered. A reader sensitive about their own beliefs on issues such as abortion, religion, and feminism could find some offense in what she has to say. By the author’s own admission in the introduction, she poses “emotionally triggering ideas to help you think about your beliefs and how those beliefs might impact others…Your being uncomfortable means that I am making inroads to your identity construct.” The goal is to challenge your thinking, and that’s certainly done here.
This book adds much to the conversation, but for me, it also complicates this already-tricky realm of literary truth-seeking even further. The problem with complete deconstruction of self to arrive at this “zero-point” is that, in combination with reason, we are capable of reconstructing ourselves in whatever way we deem fit, justifying it all the way as an enlightened approach. If everyone’s truth is different, is it a truth at all?
This book is worth reading for those on their lifelong search for truth. There are answers here, and some questions too, to drive you further along your journey.
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