Excerpt About Identification
There is another, less obvious reason the ego is bound to live in frustration and suffering. We have seen that identification systems, by their very nature, tend to resist Being, and that they always involve some defensive function; further, any defensive quality or posture in the mind must be reflected in the organism as tension or contraction. We have described this either as a thickness in the case of defense, or a lighter dullness like a rubber cloud, in the case of pure identifications. But this thickness, which can become hardness, and the dullness, are nothing but states of contraction in the organism, basically in the nervous system. Thus the core of the thickness or dullness of all the defense mechanisms of ego must be the negative-merging affect. This thickness is the dull coating we have discussed in relation to the feeling of frustration. Thus all identification systems are reflected in the nervous system as the negative-merging affect. So the negative-merging affect forms not only the core of negative identifications that are based on negative merging, but also the core of what are usually considered positive identifications. The wider implication is that the experiential core of the ego is the negative-merging affect, pure suffering. Again we see the truth of Buddha’s first noble truth, this time from the perspective of psychology.