E says: What is the distinction between ego and identity?
Kaye says: Largely the same, but with a subtle difference. You can have a sense of identity, in that you think "I am this" or "I am that". The ego is a little more subtle. It is when you become habituated to that identity, when it takes root in your awareness; that is when you develop the notion of "mine".
E says: Ahh so it's clinging on to that identity
Kaye says: Well put. Yes, that's exactly what it is. That's when your survival can be threatened. Before, you had no sense of self, and so you couldn't be destroyed.
E says: So does having an impermanent identity and not clinging to it mean not having an identity?
Kaye says: Once you identity, and identify strongly, then it is an issue. [Note: Issue of sorts. It is an issue if you wish to experience enlightenment, but not if you don't.] You never have a permanent identity anyway. It is always subtly changing. Although for most people the core beliefs are deeply embedded. You have to identify with something. You can't live life otherwise. You'd have the intelligence of a rock.
Killing the ego is not the solution. The trick is to allow yourself to alight through identity, but not grow heavy. Enlightenment is very much related to being able to have fluidity, not to be weighed down. And so you have switches in identity.
It is a process of making even more identity available to yourself, not less.
E says: So it's a realisation that you are all and none?
Kaye says: Who are you anyway? Take away all the concepts, all the ideas, everything to identify yourself with. I am. You stop at that. You put anything after it and you have an identity
That's the pure state of conscious awareness. It swims in the sea of awareness.
E says: So it's the now
Kaye says: It is always the now. The past is a story, the future is yet to come.
E says: The actor separate from the chain of events where he is a part of yet not an active participant?
Kaye says: There is no actor. He is not acting or acted upon. If you meet a raging gorrilla, who is doing the running?
E says: The gorrilla?
Kaye says: Whilst he is headed for you. You are not the gorilla, but you are not you. The legs of the body run. The brain thinks. Those aren't you either. But you can allow yourself to be in the experience. And you can drop the story that you need to survive, and just let the body run. And enjoy that.
E says: Ahh
Kaye says: That is what it means to be enlightened.
Easier said than done, of course.
E says: I think I have some idea now. Thank you.