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A look in the mirror

Written By: Anna Presso on February 10, 2009 4 Comments

Hey, how about a bit of self-assessment today?

How do you define yourself within the relationships you have? Is this place that you have chosen for yourself allowing you a higher and more harmonious connection with the world at large, or a lesser one, of a lower quality?  Take a look at what J.A. Ray calls a “hierarchy of personal identity”, and try to find out where do you fall at this point in your life. The ranking is based on the way you currently establish relationships on the ground of your values and beliefs. 

1. Spiritual Being

2. Sentient Being

3. Human Being

4. National or Cultural Being

5. Ethnic or Racial Being

6. Gender

7. Individual

 1. – if you are a person who sees that everything comes from the same source (however we’d choose to name it, with or without capital letter) and therefore we are all one; if so, you are at the top of the pyramid

2. – if you hold in high regard anything alive but not inanimate objects

3. – if you are a person who holds in high regard any kind of human being

4. – if you define yourself mainly by a particular group (American, Jew, Muslim etc) but you hold in lesser regard people belonging to other nations, cultures or religions

5. – if, for example, you define yourself as “white” and hold in high regard all the other “white” people, seen as being equals, but you are not concerned about other racial groups, or animals, and trees, as a primary interest

6. -if you identify yourself with people of the same gender, which you hold in higher regard than the other, which you consider inferior

7. – if you hold in high regard you and primarily you – (egocentricity is the lowest level of awareness).

So, honestly, where do you stand? Note that while you might have traits from different levels simultaneously sometimes, you tend to be most of the time governed by a particular set of beliefs, which defines your identity and shapes each and every one of your relationships and the way you position yourself in the world. Think of what have to gain in terms of peace, harmony, understanding and connection with every step that gets you higher on this ladder.  

And now, that you got a better look at yourself or you just refreshed your awareness, which way do you plan to go from here? Upwards, anybody?

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4 Responses to “A look in the mirror”

  1. Rocka Rolla says on: 5 March 2009 at 11:49 am

    now tell me this – if I drive in my car and avoid a squirel crossing the road, but in the process hit a woman on the cycle track, where do I stand on this scale?

  2. mmm says on: 12 March 2009 at 10:23 am

    Hi Anna,

    Is there a group in between 1 and 2? People that like anything alive (ie: nature) plus inanimate objects (such as the forces of our planet, eg: volcanoes, weather, etc, or the universe) but do not believe in a “spiritual force”.

    Also, your pyramid order assumes that 1 is better than 2 down to 7. Is that not a bit ‘morally’ presumptious? Is red a better colour than blue? Remember, that if humans were not self-interested and greedy primarily, as ugly as that characteristic may be, they would have died out as a species many eons ago to more competitive ones.

    Please answer. Thanks.


  3. Nick Tumbler says on: 12 March 2009 at 12:46 pm

    @mmm your body cells could not “care” less about each other. yet they work together and increase their chances of survival. there is a nice theory that claims EVERY type of cell in a body was the result of symbiosis after long foughts with a myriad of victims in the process (even the mytocondrial DNA could come from a similar process INSIDE the cell).
    applying to humans, self-interest and greed are in not the trait of the species, but of individuals. and individuals kept dying by the billions, but the species (genes) survived.
    point 2 says “hold in high regard” not “like”. do you think that once you “destroy” a rock, it ceases to exist in an absolute way? if so, you rank on 2, if not – on 1 – no matter what explanation you have for its continued existence.

    and blue is crap, except when compared with purple, which is a mess. do you think blue and purple find me morally presumptious for my assumption? 🙂

  4. Nick Tumbler says on: 12 March 2009 at 12:49 pm

    FYI I rank 5, because I HATE blue people (cannot help it, after a miserable series of ads by Intel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTDHgpR3ZLg)/

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