Fundamental to psychosynthesis is the self-identification exercise, also referred to as the dis-identification exercise or the body–feeling–mind meditation. Unlike other meditation techniques such as mindfulness, the self-identification exercise is grounded in the theory of psychosynthesis and has the specific purpose of helping the individual become more of an observer and director of all the personality’s aspects and activities.
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The goal of the self-identification exercise is to systematically connect and bring awareness and affirmation to the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the personality, and then dis-identify from each aspect and connect to the “I,” the source of pure consciousness and will.
As explained by Assagioli, the guiding psychological principle of this exercise is: “We are dominated by everything with which our self becomes identified. We can dominate and control everything from which we dis-identify ourselves.” For example, after acknowledging that we have a body, dis-identification occurs when we further understand that we are not our body, but, in fact, much more than this single component of ourselves.
Even though we may derive our greatest sense of personal identity from, for example, our body (or parts of our body), specific feelings, and/or transitory thoughts and attitudes, in fact, that viewpoint is limited in scope and impossible to maintain given that life is transitory in nature. Physical sensations, our emotions, and thoughts are continually renewing and
changing while we remain at our core “I” the same. By learning to dis-identify from these aspects of body, feelings, and mind, we can then begin to dominate, discipline, and deliberately use them by way of our authentic personality – the simple, unchanging, and self-conscious “I.”