I seem to be writing a lot on constrictions, or the ‘mala’s in yoga. In fact, it is all I have written about this last quarter. This is my most recent piece in the Sun newspaper:
Another danger with clinging to an identity is that most of our identities do not last through our existence. Let’s take for example “mother”. Before one conceived and delivered, one was not a mother. If the child, by some unfortunate circumstance, pre-deceases the mother, she might not be a mother anymore if she has no other children. If one’s identity revolves around being a mother, what happens when the child grows up and moves out? When the child has to work for a living? When the child has no more time for mother?
Another danger is that once this identity solidifies, we make ourselves vulnerable to manipulation. It has been done time and again. The easiest example is Hitler and the Second World War. To simplify the matter somewhat, after the First World War, Hitler offered a dispirited and broken society an identity in Nazism. Some people grabbed on to the identity. Others were led by fear to abide by it. He then demonised Jews, homosexuals and the mentally and physically disabled. While Hitler gained more and more power (and territory), an estimated 50-80 million lives were lost.