One Apple A Day #1150
Use them until you don't need them anymore
The other day one of my connections on LinkedIn posted a challenging and compelling question: what lies beyond all the labels with which I identify myself?
Labels and attributes are essential. They are maps through which our mind can read and understand reality. Yet, as we know, the map is never the territory. A map will never be able to catch everything about a territory. It is nothing more than an approximation. A deliberated selection of some information to help us make our choices. To help us recognize each other as different entities.
So, labels like maps are partial yet necessary.
Depending on the layer of consciousness from which we operate, we use different maps. At the material level, we focus on physical attributes, at the emotional level on social characteristics like being a father.
At the cognitive level, we identify ourselves by what we do, our job or our position. At the level of purpose, we identify ourselves by what we believe, the vision that gives meaning to our efforts.
At the unity level, where we are guided by spiritual intelligence, we just are. We need no map because we don't separate ourselves from the other.
We all flow and float between all these five layers of awareness.
Personally, I have always struggled with labels. I always felt that any label was leaving out an essential part of myself. At the same time, I couldn't find a word big enough to contain the whole of me.
Now I know that no such word exists.
So, I use labels as maps.
They are helpful to give others a path to begin to know me until, hopefully, they won't need a map anymore.
P.S. The five layers of awareness are taken from the book “Subtracion, The Subtle Art of Unleashing Boundless Innovation” and are based on a body of Vedic science called Pancha Koshas.