Identity Theft

     by Michael Braunstein

What would you do if you found out you didn’t know who you are? Or rather, forgot who you are? In the Disney classicThe Lion King, young Simba, driven from his homeland and wandering aimlessly, is visited by the spirit of his father, Mufasa. Portrayed with the voice of the great James Earl Jones, Mufasa admonishes his progeny.

“Simba, you have forgotten who you are.” Simba protests. But inside, he knows it is true. Simba has come to believe he is something less than he was created as and the movie then swirls around his journey to remember.

With Heartland Healing, we have gone down this path before and hardly is it more appropriate to revisit than now. I, you, all human beings are not mere bodies. We are actually not bodies at all. We have forgotten that we are as we were created.

Rather than once again exercise the syllogism logically concluding we are spirit, not body, we move forward with why examination of our mistaken identity is apropos in 2020.

Belief is just a thought away. What we believe becomes what we perceive and there is a massive adoption of a mistaken belief system going on in our global culture today. Despite a technology that abrogates the need to be physically present, reinforces the interaction of minds without the need for a body by bringing thought together via digital portals, humans are translating more than ever the thoughts that insist we are bodies.

The plain and simply conflict we face now and always, is between the belief system that confirms that the body is who we are and the belief system that remembers that we are spirit. It can be reasonably argued that in 2020 more than in any recent century, a vast majority of humans on this planet have been indoctrinated to believe that a body is who we are.

Likely only the most primitive (or ironically, the most spiritually evolved,) humans on Planet Earth are not reacting to the constant reminders that a rogue virus is threatening our bodies. Even if you emerged from a year-long walkabout and haven’t been near a news stream or internet connection, you will wonder why millions of people are walking around wearing masks. 

The corona message is clear: you are a body and your full attention must be turned to protecting the body at all cost. All the while, it is no coincidence that Western culture has become more secular than any time in human history. Or as a National Geographic article put it, “The world’s new religion: no religion.”

Materialism. In a way, materialism gets a bad rap. The word itself carries negative connotation but in fact, material is neutral. It’s something that we use as a tool to communicate. But when we use anything material as goal rather than means, we will identify with material as what we are. That leads inevitably to fear because nothing material will remain as it is, ever.  And in fact, fear is the end result of believing we are material or in other words, a body. When one believes one is a body, there is no endgame but doom. That is the belief system of the ego mind.

On the other hand, spirit mindedness represents freedom from fear. How can one be fearful if one identifies as a non-corporeal being?

Self-identify right. The phrase, “I identify as …” has become a bad joke since its overuse. Of course there is some ridiculousness attached to it. But in the case of self-identifying, if you can do it in opposition to biological logic, why shouldn’t one be able to do it in cohesion with metaphysical and quantum physics logic? Especially if it is to the benefit of the identifier?

So we stare down a belief system that screams that we are a body and such a belief leads to fear. Fear is the engine that drives the bus over the cliff. Fear is the emotion that the belief spawns. Who wouldn’t be fearful when faced with an inevitable end in death?

In the film The Empire Strikes Back, Luke asks Yoda if the Dark Side is stronger than the Force. Yoda responds emphatically, “No! Quicker, busier, more seductive.”

Belief in the body as our essence is indeed busier, quicker. The tug at our mind to choose the mistake is constant. Fear is the engine and arises in television ads, billboards, daily chats with friends, addictions. The Dark Side screams, “You are a body!” and poses the question, how can you possibly be safe if you don’t buy this drug or see this doctor? How can your life possibly be fulfilled without that car, that home, dress, soap, smile or beer? Are your whites white enough? Your floors clean enough? And now, is your mask thick enough, socializing distant enough?

Without judgment on the relative values of those items or desires, the salient feature is that they all exert enormous pull to remind you that you are indeed a body and insisting that is the most important thing you should remember or spend time, money or attention on today. Ask yourself how much of your day is spent addressing the body and how little is spent identifying as a spirit. Investing in the body has limited returns. Eventually, you will have to show your ID at the door.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit

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