To summarize a couple things I’ve learned, in a new thread to avoid hijacking other people’s threads too much....

We have individual identities which are bound up in our bodies and brains and thoughts. But these are also part of a universal identity, and that ‘oneness’ is what makes true empathy possible, as well as emotional telepathy or sharing aspects of other people’s dreams.

It’s a mistake to declare that the personal identity is illusory, and try to dwell in the universal perspective instead. That absolutist view is itself a form of evasion, like trying to stay stoned all the time. Identification of self with the body, or even with possessions, isn’t entirely a mistake. That kind of extension or association is a natural part of what we do. Yes we can be false or foolish in what we project or create, but that doesn’t mean that all projection or creation is bad. It’s actually essential.

Ideology is useful, as a framework that guides our efforts. But all ideology also blinds and binds is, because we’re only able to recognize the things that the ideology accepts as important or possible. If somebody else is more knowledgeable or powerful than you in significant regards, they may nevertheless be ignorant in important ways, because they’ve only learned what is permitted by their motives and their circumstances. We’re all weak and blind and dishonest in various ways, but to a large extent we nevertheless have to find and trust ourselves. Real knowledge is in some sense ‘internal’ anyway, even though we may learn a lot from external sources and experiences. Sources of ‘truth’ that we experience as being ‘internal’ can mislead also though. There isn’t one magic key that does everything.