Identification is a state where our “feeling of I” or center of gravity moves outward to a person, thing, thought or event. We become what we are identified with and thus are psychologically asleep.


“We are told in this Work that one of the things that we have to observe in ourselves is identifying. It is said that identifying is the most terrible force acting on this planet that keeps people asleep and so prevents them from awakening. As we are – that is, as mechanical people, who do everything mechanically and have not got any proper consciousness – we identify at every moment. We identify with our thoughts, with our feelings, and we identify with what happens in outer life. In this way we are kept in prison without realizing it – and only through the development of consciousness can we get out of this prison. …


“That is why it is so necessary to begin to work on oneself and to separate oneself from oneself. When we remember ourselves, we are not identified – that is, when one reaches the third level of consciousness that exists in all humanity and is really their birthright – we are in state of consciousness that can receive help from Higher Centers – namely, from Conscious Humanity – but when we are in the second state of consciousness we are always in a constant state of identifying, identifying with money, identifying with people, and identifying with ambition and identifying with oneself, and so are asleep … In the second state of consciousness, the so-called waking state, nothing from a higher level of being can reach us.”


– Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Commentary on Identifying,” May 25, 1946, Vol. 3, pp. 899, 901

The development of the consciousness needed to get out of the prison of identification begins with the core Work practices of self-observation, non-identification and Self-remembering.