Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mad Men (and Women): a late- night tweetathon

I can’t sleep, but instead I’m thinking about the TV series Mad Men and what it says about identity, if anything.

The series centers around a character who has left his previous identity behind after a WWII casualty is mistakenly identified as himself.

The twist is that he is a creative ad man on Madison Ave in the early-sixties. He is literally a no(where) man creating ads for everyman.

The further twist is that fact it is the early sixties, when the identity of the nation and its citizens is undergoing a transformation.

The ultimate twist that it doesn’t broach (at least overtly) is the nondual understanding that there is no identity; it’s all in the mind.

So we’ve a case of false identity in a business that sells to mass identity in a world of transforming identity in a reality of no identity.

No wonder my mind wouldn’t let me sleep. The poor thing. It was having trouble identifying the actual identity of the show itself.

Identity is the cause of much suffering on the series and in the dream-state in general. Out of nothing, an identity is created in thought.

So much effort has to be applied in order to maintain that identity. Otherwise all that the mind sees is the nothing in which identity came.

The great metaphor the mind has created for this situation it finds itself in is that of ‘Death,’ which it likes to think is in the future.

But it knows in its deepest recesses of thought such death is an always recurring, ever confronting situation right here right now.

It needs to re-establish its false identity almost every moment. By wanting this or that with which it can identify itself.

It only works for that short moment of time when it has tricked itself into identifying with that particular desire being fulfilled.

But the vicious cycle begins again. A false identity identifying with a transformed identity that it can be, to avoid the no identity it is.

Until the mind is stopped. And one rests in that awareness of emptiness, the nothing without the not, the no identity without the identity.

Maybe I can go back to sleep now. Good night sweet identity-less tweeps wherever you are.

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