There are two ways to disassociate yourself from false identities.
You are not what you have been thinking, feeling, imagining, projecting.
What you are is simply the fact of being aware.
Whatsoever happens, you remain just the awareness. You are awareness – that identity cannot be broken. That identity cannot be negated. All else can be negated and thrown.
Awareness remains the ultimate substratum, the ultimate base. You cannot deny it, you cannot negate it, you cannot disassociate yourself from it.
So this is the process: That which cannot be thrown, that which cannot be made separate from you, is you; that which can be separated, you are not.
Pain is there; a moment later it may not be there – but you will be. Happiness has come, and it will go; it has been, and it will not be – but you will be. The body is young, then the body becomes old...all else comes and goes – guests come and go – but the host remains the same.
So the Zen mystics say: Do not be lost in the crowd of the guests.
Remember your host-ness. That host-ness is awareness. That host-ness is the witnessing consciousness. What is the basic element that remains always the same in you? Only be that, and disidentify yourself from all that comes and goes.
But we become identified with the guest. Really, the host is so occupied with the guest, he forgets.
Mulla Nasruddin has given a party for some friends and some strangers. The party is very boring, and half the night is just lost and it goes on. So one stranger, not knowing that Mulla is the host, says to him, “I have never seen such a party, such nonsense. It seems never-ending, and I am so bored that I would like to leave.”
Mulla says, “You have said what I was going to say to you. I myself have never seen such a boring and nonsense party before, but I was not so courageous as you are. I was also thinking to leave it and just run away.” So they both run away.
Then, in the street Mulla remembers and says, “Something has gone wrong, because now I remember: I am the host! So please excuse me, I have to go back.”
This is happening to us all: the host is lost, the host is forgotten every moment.
The host is your witnessing self. Pain comes and pleasure follows; there is happiness, and there is misery. And each moment, whatsoever comes you are identified with it, you become the guest. Remember the host. When the quest is there, remember the host.
There are so many types of guests: pleasurable, painful; guests you would like, guests you would not like to be your guests; guests you would like to live with, guests you would like to avoid – but all guests.
Remember the host. Constantly remember the host. Be centered in the host. Remain in your host-ness; then there is a separation. Then there is a gap, an interval – the bridge is broken. The moment this bridge is broken, the phenomenon of renunciation happens. Then you are in it, and not of it. Then you are there in the guest, and still a host. You need not escape from the guest – there is not need.