This is a nearly constant, universal feature of man's psyche. Identification takes place when some external item catches one's attention and one forgets all else. Identification is the mechanism which makes man a machine reacting to any environmental stimulus that may match his arbitrary fancy.
The 4th Way Work seeks to oppose man's automatic and routine tendency to identify with the practice of self-remembering. It is noteworthy that man loses any semblance of self-consciousness, forgets himself, when in a state of identification.
One can be identified with anything: A thought, an emotion, one's vacation plans, any social activity, the more emotionally involving, the greater the likelihood and extent of identification and self-forgetting will be.
An additional problem is that people often think that good work can only be produced in a state of identification. One 'must give the work of art/science/social situation one's all, be passionate,' and so forth, it is said. As the 4th Way sees it, all these perceived qualities of enthusiasm, spontaneity, passion are overwhelmingly mechanical and strip one of the little free will or being one might otherwise possess.
Good work requires being present in the situation, but one cannot be present in any real sense if one is identified, mechanically pursuing some program or other which the situation happens to have invoked. Presence in a real sense is not possible without 'being' and 'being' is not possible if one is purely reacting and lacks internal cohesion.
The terms fascination and confluence are used to indicate a specially strong state of identification.