Friday, October 8, 2010

On the Development of Identity

On the Meaning of "Identity"

We must make a distinction between "uniqueness", "individuality" and "identity". A Human being is a collection of traits, a diverse aggregation of elements. This collection of traits is unique for each Human, but being a collection does not give you "identity", because "identity" is the integration of all these traits into a coherent personality. And collections are ubiquitous in world, everything is a collection, there is nothing distinct about that.

According to Diverse theory we all are "individuals". The difference between individuality and identity is that identity is self-conscious, self-aware individuality.

Identity is about the whole of your personality, identity is the singular definition or meaning of your personality. Multiple identities are, in fact, not an identity at all, for identity must be integrated.

Identity is derived from a great complexity, including differences in experiences and conditions, the choices we make, our inborn and acquired personality traits, beliefs and values, likes and dislikes, style and manner, career and life path, and much more, in so many parts and layers.

(In this discussion, the idea of coordinating psyche elements into a whole, such as mind/body, imagination/reason, intuitive/empirical-sensory, analysis/emotion and various sets of skills and perceptions, is a different notion. This concept of “integration” addresses more the theme of general psychological management, which does have impact on personality and identity, but this is not the focus of discussion here. In Diverse theory this sort of coordination is essential and would be the subject of classes in personal training.)

On Superficial Identity

The body and the brain hold everything together on a physical level, but on the mental level there is a chaos until identity is organized by the mind. An image of yourself in a mirror or a photograph is not an identity; it provides a singular sign or tag of you. It only tells you that you are one thing, an organic organization. It is not a true "identifier" of you, it is mostly a cipher of you, as of yet not decoded.

The image of yourself can become a symbol of your identity later after some work. You are given a name, you have a look and that is a kind of identity; people first know you this way, but this is merely for "identification purposes". This is not your true identity, though they may know some of your identity traits.

When do you enter the vestibule of “you”? Birth opens the door, and youth takes the body into the entrance of identity. The many qualities and traits of yourself evolve throughout your life. Conflicts arise, new attributes are added, old ones are deleted, and new mixes appear; the friction and chaos of all this demands organization, coherence and rules. The sheer entropy pushes us to build an "identity". Not a simplified, narrow, one-sided, impoverished personality, but a personality that has found some basic agreement among all the elements on how to work together, on which voice gets priority in what situation, and on what peculiar trait gets added emphasis, because it is more fundamental to being "you".

On the Personality Builder

A part of your mind must step outside all the moments of yourself to facilitate, coordinate and build your identity. This “personality builder” knows what you really are, because it stands apart from the parts, it cares about your wellbeing and the success of your identity project. It provides faith that pulls you through all your moments, positive and painful, it coordinates all the pieces of yourself, it assembles them into a working collection, a "kollect", that is "you".

Your evolution is from chaos and a split persona to simple formulations of yourself. You evolve to a "you" that subsumes all the contradictory notions into one thing, to a “you” that is no longer self conscious of identity, and to a "you" that is a habit. And this "you" becomes simply your name. This name now stands for your personality collection, for all your biases. You finally become your name, when originally your name disguised your true nature.

This part of yourself, which steps out of your moments to build your personality, has no personality itself. This force has no personality, yet organizes your personality, that is the ironic duality of it.

On Bias vs. Balance

The personality builder does not favor one part over another, though your personality does. It is more concerned with equality and participation, though the personality is biased by nature, by definition. The personality builder counters one bias with another, one part with another, one attribute with another, one quality with another etc. It is concerned with overall balance, the whole, a sort of equal treatment of the persona. Personality is in the IMBALANCE, IN THE PARTS, IN THE BIAS, AND IN THE QUIRK but not in the generality. Thus the personality builder has no personality per say.

The personality agent constructs a WHOLE of you that is unique, at the same time; all personality wholes are similar in construction because they use the same general rules and techniques. You could say the personality facilitator is objective, while the personality itself is subjective. This objective force is the only way to facilitate and organize the personality Diverse.

Struggle erupts between the facilitator and the personality elements. There are times when the identity manager is in control and directs, however, most of the time we are caught up in the moments of our personality. The process is difficult at first and highly confusing, for in the beginning, a personality side can take over as the facilitator and fool you. What you may think are objective actions to build your identity may well be covert activity by a very biased part of you. Eventually, you learn to sort out the tricksters and the masks, because everyday practice will prove who is the facilitator and who is not, the pain and suffering itself will be the clue. False definitions of you will lead to continuous inner conflict between parts of yourself; there will be campaigns of suppression, moments of surprising revolt, unconscious hypocrisy and confusion.

The goal of the personality facilitator is not to create a general personality but a biased and unique personality. At a certain point it must cede to the newly created identity, its work is done. The facilitator helps you build your complexity, then you must choose the key elements that are truly you, you must choose the primacies. If not, the facilitator will continue to build a vast inventory of elements that will confuse and overwhelm you. So it is necessary that at points you must choose biases, if only to test them provisionally. The facilitator serves the process of bias, it serves your unique identity, you do not serve it. In the long run, you and the facilitator will work together in lengthy cycles throughout your life both building up elements and then selecting biases and then building up more and then selecting again.

On Stages of Integration

When does the first personality integration take place? When you initially bring together a working organization, when you say, "I am this and this and that", it comes in stages, but, at some point, a full identity is postulated and then tested, at some point after the acquisition of a philosophy, beliefs, values, career, life path, sets of likes and dislikes. And after the acquisition of some self awareness of traits and behaviors, style and aesthetic, cultural activity, even special language, the persona can be pulled into a unity, a first identity can be forged. This, usually, occurring in mature youth.

Though in the teenage years elements are being acquired, only a pre-phase of identity is all that can be achieved, because the inventory is not large enough to build an organization of true identity. This is primarily because a true identity cannot be forged until an individual lives INDEPENDENTLY. Independent living forces you to generate belief systems, to choose a path of life; and the everyday experience of being alone, thinking and making decisions on all issues leads to self absorption which propels the process of identity.

Ironically, the teenage need to join groups is the first stage of identity and individuality. The group offers the first experience in identity; it provides a range, though limited, of personality elements: language, symbols, likes, dislikes, values. This becomes not just an experience in personality and identity, but more importantly an experience in identity formation. The lessons and habits are used at later stages in life.

This dynamic between the group and the individual can occur when you are older too, when you join political, social, spiritual, vocational or cultural associations. Ethnic identification is also such a stage on the path of identity formation (and can be very important if the ethnic heritage is suppressed and denigrated).

(More ancient societies offered transitional kinds of identities for youth to ease them through the process of personality formation. A general sort of identity was given in each a stage of maturation. Afterwards, the true personal identity was to evolve later. In our modern culture, the teenager is on her own or his own with no such assistance; thus, they try to form their own identities thrashing about and suffering. The stress on some individuals is incredible. A culture that assists with transitional identities and allows experimentation toward higher and more personal identities would be ideal…reducing pain, lost time and, very importantly, rates of suicide.)

Naturally, stages or conditions of life are fundamental pressures on identity -- family, career levels, and age and so on. These bring new personality qualities to the mix. At the same time there are other issues of personal evolution that grip us too. We proceed to higher levels of personality management, higher levels of belief, ethics, philosophy and the spiritual. We become social activists and so on. Then throw onto this the march of historical change, culture and technology, these forces put their own demands on identity.

Stages of life, stages of awareness, stages of culture all cause a continuing integration of personality -- new traits, elimination of undesired traits, higher traits, new hybrids of behavior.

Identity continues to evolve. It assimilates new traits. Identity never stops until you do.

On Lack of Identity and Identity Theft

Inability to unify identity results in psyche splits, emotional warfare, confusion and hypocrisy. One-sided and fixed notions of identity have to be maintained with force and acrobatics. Rebellions by one part of the personality against another often take one by surprise. Despair and confusion result. False identities fall domino to domino until the last domino, until you cannot stand the suffering and ineffectiveness anymore.

Dysfunction often causes the victim to create a false identity, an identity that develops in the caldron of abuse and chaos. These identities, self made or given by family members, serve the system of dysfunction, they must be cast off, for these identities point you back into dysfunction. New identity and true identity evolve on the basis of a positive, healthy and rich collection of emotions.

In addition to self-made delusion and pressure, social forces can suppress identity too. Individuals are imprinted with layers of behavior, traits, beliefs and attitudes. Beneath them are innate personality elements. Ideally, the external elements should fill in the gaps in our basic personalities and help us develop our potential qualities. But too often families, communities, educators and media provide elements that suppress personal potential or create outright conflict with our true basic natures. The result of this hostile imprinting on a person can be lifelong confusion about self; and constant inner conflict with alien inhabitants. The world is often hostile to your true nature, and it has little compassion. It pulls the tears from you and pours them in its giggling sea, loots your dreams and muffles your screams, auctions off your devotions, weaves you into a web of lies, and hangs you from sentimental tangles. The community of alarm only wants to do you harm.

“Who were you before you were left at the door, who were you before the silent infant's snore, who were you before your memories were poured, who were you before the world and its lore, who were you before the twins at the door, who were you before career and good cheer, who were you before the calculated succor, who were you before, when you could soar to distant shores, who were you?”

A Human being devoid of self identity is not yet truly a Human being. Some go through their whole lives without a clue as to who they are. They have no inner content, they wear a Human suit but they are empty. Do not become a “Human suiter”, all around you are millions of Human suiters, Human in form but void and lost.

There are social forces that steal or repress your identity. We live in a world of “poly-thea”, of many theatres, where theatre mixes with all realities, all aspects of culture. Entertainment becomes a diversion from seeking identity. Just as work and ideologies can divert from finding yourself, so does modern art and media. The principle task of poly-thea is “myth substitution”, that is, the substitution of your personal myth by someone else’s myth or a contrived myth by the entertainment industry. The most important story that you can ever read, write or tell is YOUR story. There is no other story more pertinent to your life. Do not give it up. The poly-thean wants to substitute another myth for your own. Be careful when you go to the theatre, watch TV and play computer games, for the poly-thean wants to derail your personal evolution and put you on the track of entertainment evolution. Your personal identity means nothing to him, he wants to make you a movie or game.

Consumerism is another force that we must be wary of. Consumerism opposes the formation of true identity. It opposes it in many ways; it substitutes a good and a marketing image for an identity; it substitutes the shopping experience for that of the arduous process of personality construction. Each of us must be unmasked in this age of disguises when the heart is not the wisest.

The mere association with a good, image, company or logo leads to an identity, but a shallow one. And when these false identities lose their power, and they all do, consumerism provides a new identity, it attacks the old, substitutes the new, with a new trend or fad, a new and improved identity. The consumer goes through a phase of self repulsion, depression and self criticism. The citizen destroys the old commercial persona, which was shallow in the first place, replacing it with an equally shallow one but with a new temporary power rooted in novelty itself.

The primary factor is the negation of identity not the regeneration of it. It is the maintenance of the lack of identity which gives power to the seller. Lost, unsatisfied, desperate consumers quickly latch onto the fabricated identity. The consumer is purely plastic, a super-liquid thing poured into a flask, becoming anything they ask, molding to any mask, all its dreams are poured by the gray boys of the void.

The consumer is the child of the satisfactory factory, shopping is its slight of passage, it sings the happiness slog in the bog of lifelong dissatisfaction, it throws away identities like old appliances, it reincarnates itself in a shopping frenzy. The consumer is the frivolous phoenix recreating itself from its own ashes over and over, never happy, never sure, never still. We worship money, logos and stars but in the end we despise who we are. Ultimately, the consumer’s life is bland, endless inner bland and packed closets full of bland, a life of increasing “blandage” and boredom, and more blandage and boredom. Of blandage and bondage is the fate of the consumer.

Thus they sing: “I analyze and methodize but when my shift is finished, my capacity is diminished, I drool in pools a buying fool, for the tools and jewels and all the products that are cool. I am the science proletariat, and the consuming cash and carry it, I'm Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, we heckle and collide, but I refuse to take sides.”

On the Emotions of Integration

What feelings are common to emotional integration? Depression is essential to this process, negative feelings are part of it, and without them there is no progressive growth. When you break through to identity there is great elation, liberation. We develop faith, a quiet but strong faith that is ever present, bringing you through periods of depression. The more successful we are at managing depressions and staying partly detached from them, the stronger our faith gets in our ability to get through them. Further, the depression becomes an opportunity to change and grow. In a way we welcome it, for it represents the first stage of an evolution. Self criticism is one thing, but a depression means you have met some very core emotional issue; you have gotten to something important about yourself that paralyzes you. It is perhaps an issue that you were not aware of, but now you have the opportunity to fix it. One of the functions of a depression is to shut off your energy, desires, goals and attachments. A depression shuts you down, disconnects you and wipes your agenda clean. A depression offers you a chance to set new behaviors that will restart your desires and your drive. Without depression there is no resurrection.

Confusion is a feeling that often appears as we try to understand the complexity of ourselves. We are a chaotic Diverse of traits. Often we make a great circle from one behavior and moment of ourselves to another. We journey in great loops from this perception and persona to another, over a period of weeks or months we have been many different people. Confusion reigns, despair rises but eventually after repeated trips through the labyrinth of ourselves we find a pattern. The circles are indeed a structure of what we are, a complex system with many differing and perhaps competing elements, but still a collection that is us. The confusion dissipates and the despair dissolves away; now we do not fear the loops, we know they are moments of ourselves; and the shifts and negations are not signs of instability or insanity but simply expressions of the rich nature of our personalities.

Anger with the self, repulsion to unwanted traits is natural at positions in the identity process. At some point we must reject obsolete, negative and damaging behaviors. There is nothing wrong with waging this battle. If you accept retrograde traits and say all these things are me, you may subvert your own growth.

Joy is highly important in personality formation. Certain things give us joy, certain thoughts, dreams and goals give us bliss. These are great hints and keys offered by your psyche to you. Pursuing these joys will lead to who you really are. Other people and institutions will oppose your joy and replace it with activities and goals that will bore you, and send you into a permanent state of angst, pain and longing. Some of us have had the joy suppressed so early in life that we do not even know what joy is at all! Joy is the key to happiness, and happiness is the key to identity. Eventually, we throw off the rule of masks and build a “cantocracy”, the rule of song. We now live an improvisation sing along where you cannot sing wrong. We sing, sing, sing, and we cannot sing wrong. Our hearts are fluttering stacks of glee and we sail with ocean going faith. Joy would have no reason, fun would have no season, we could abandon the banned and the can’t, and lose the seriousness of youth and its delirious truths.

“Power” is an important theme in the evolution of identity. Many of us feel weak, inferior and exposed in our journey to who we really are. Others take advantage of us, and systems shuttle us here and there. To defend ourselves against the identity thieves of the world we need raw power in all of its forms – the power of speech and writing to express and defend our views, the power of courage and will, the power of calmness and stillness to think clearly and act decisively, the power of information and ideas, the power to say “No”, even the power of organization with likeminded people and so on. Power is what all of us on our confusing personal journeys need, without it we could not protect ourselves from a hostile world. The infant in Nature is protected by its kin, but the infant in present Human culture is not protected by its kind, and must gain its own power as quickly as possible or it will become a manipulated victim that will never know who she or he really is.

Difference is an important need for one seeking identity, to simply be different, to experiment with difference. These trials and tests eventually lead to things that work for the individual.

Creativity is another important need in the development of personality. Creativity not only helps you experiment and break boundaries about the definition of yourself. But the very act of being creative is a liberation from “yourself”, a liberation from the false identity and passiveness imposed on you by the culture. The act and joy of creativity can lead to “you” by stages and transitions.

Directness is another major need for the individual on the path to identity. Identity is one of the most direct experiences there is. No one else can tell you who you are. No one! You have to find it out for yourself, the directness you need inside will parallel the directness in you need in the outer social world.

Freedom of behavior is important to self evolution, that is, the freedom to break from etheria, the domination of the rational mind and to explore other parts of your psyche – the creative, the subconscious, the dream realm, the spontaneous and more.

Love and care is important in the work of evolving personality, for the act of loving and caring gives us a way of handling the world, achieving goals. If we learn to love and care, we will be loving and caring in our work. When your primary work is yourself, this loving and caring will eventually lead to great results. Love and care improves the quality of your effort and the transcendence of your work.

Idealism is a natural perspective of youth. It follows from a natural way of grasping concepts, first they are acquired in a pure way, in themselves, then later through experience they are connected to other concepts so that the original idea hits a limitation. After this, all the concepts work together in a whole. But also idealism plays a role in personality development because it inspires a drive to higher standards; the process of identity formation requires a high goal to drive the progression. A person without strong ideals in general is not going to have the energy to push through his or her personality project because it is too complex, difficult and long term.

Thinking the "unthinkable" is a very important feeling and attitude, that is, exploring definitions of yourself that are odd, bizarre or improper. It is important to entertain these “unthinkables” for in the long run they may have some element of truth in them. If self images were “thinkable”, it would be because these traits fit into your biased view of yourself; when you consider the “unthinkable”, you are stepping out of your comfortable accepted self image. It is when you kill the icon and become “evil” that you become free. If you see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil, then you are ruled by a “good”. Who will hold your hand and rescue you from trembling dreams? You must let your mind go, scratch the poem that is you, flay their brands and smash their logos. You can no longer sing their song:

“I was ruled by good, I lived in the cages of the sages, repeating all their pages, and, yes, never any rages

Oh a great moral tourney, but no emotional journey, each contest a demise of what is free and wise, a torrent of mourning, and every garland of good, a grave and cryptic warning

In the penitentiary of good, in our penitent black hoods, we swung from the rope of goodness, as we sung mea culpa, in the grip of our prodigal grope

I was ruled by good, let me make it right, let me take control, let me bear the burden

We were ruled by good and never did we know the difference between a role and a soul.”

Fear and anxiety are also feelings that may be present in the personality process. As we experiment and try this or that, we are unsure about what we are doing, that is a perfectly natural reaction. If you knew who you were from the beginning, then you would have no fear or stress or confusion at all, because you would know exactly who you are. However, one cannot know one’s identity beforehand, that is an impossibility. So fear and nervousness are going to coexist with your efforts. You are looking into an unknown, you do not know what the outcome will be. It is only in hindsight that you can look back and see the whole process clearly. In hindsight identity is 20/20 but in foresight identity is murky and muddy. As you get closer to your identity then the angst will subside. First, it will disappear when you are doing what is really you, then it will dissolve in other realms of your life.

(But it never goes away completely for in the long run your identity is never complete. However, this first stage of great stress is now over, and from that point on you have an identity you can step off from, you do have a footing and some stability. The pain that you suffer before you forge your first identity will not be duplicated again, because in the first period you had no identity at all to rely upon, you were cast into the world with nothing. Other more ancient cultures actually offered various general and transitional stages of identity for youth to ease the process along….)

After bouts of depression, self repulsion, thinking the “unthinkable” and other negative states, inner conflicts will die down. The art of managing the crises is learned. Self examination and critique becomes a regular practice. Thinking the “unthinkable” becomes a productive exercise.

The death inside you that watched the living through your eyes and heard all your ear drum’s patter, this ever present guest goes missing for longer and longer periods.

Entombed in your deepest dreams are dreams of you.

Eventually, the pain is not so bad, you now savor the revelations, self growth is now a challenge you embrace, your faith in your self gets stronger and stronger. You look forward to peace and control in the next phase of our personality.

As time goes on, you become your own bliss valet; in the past it took extraordinary events and other people to send you into bliss, the external world was your valet, but now you are your own bliss valet taking yourself to joy after joy.

We often think that our true identities existed before the world, and that the world erased them, it is a nice poetic concept, but the fact is that we have no true identity coming into the world. Experience generates identity. At birth you only have rudimentary personality traits; your real identity is forged in time.

Some people may think that they know who they are in youth. But they have not yet been exposed to new career possibilities, new localities, new social groups, travel, new ideas, changing social periods, new hobbies and yearnings that evolve into fundamental desires and so on. Some of which will render unexpected radical breaks in self identity.

For some there is too much time and they laze through their lives until the last moment to integrate an identity. You have only one chance to discover who you are, and what a tragedy to live in your body and mind for so long and not even have created an identity. What a shame for others to have not ever truly gotten to know you, when all they really knew was an unfinished, sketchy version of you. You want no mysteries in your pictures, when you look at photos of yourself at the end of days; you want no mysteries in your pictures. You must know who that person is; to not know is the saddest thing in the world. You could never cry enough tears. “Who is that in the picture?” you must ask yourself, if not you will spend your life perfecting character neglect, and then endlessly fetching regret after regret.

Others have different problems, they fret about time. We can only say that there is more than enough time to create an identity, and then to move to higher identities. Nature provides you more than enough time to achieve these sacred goals. Many people before us have proven this in their lives. Do not measure time with numbers and quantity, stay busy, and stay active. You are either perfecting the management of yourself, or you are climbing up to the next stage, there is always something to do. Enjoy the quieter periods, the tumult will come.

What then is time? You are time, time without end.

Time has memories meeting imagination, past meeting possibility. You are continuously made from the raw material of experiment and expectation, of suggestion and rejection.

You'll burn each concern in turn, you'll transform your norms from egos torn, you'll hypothesize and cut for size a soul, you'll make alterations of your lies.

Time is you, time without end, time is your friend. In time is your identity.

Evolution has no memory, it always surges ahead. Evolution has no memory of you; it always surges ahead to you.

On the Path of Identity

In brief we can say that the personality develops along this path—

You are born with certain initial traits or orientations to the world, and inherent types of "IQ", and a myriad of personality behaviors and details. Over time, rudimentary and potential traits evolve and elaborate, they reach toward their possibilities.

At the same time, you add new traits, skills, perceptions, and behaviors. The initial traits are acted upon by personal and external forces. Family, community, society, culture, media, education, mentors, values and everyday experience mold your personality. That is, they stress or de-emphasize features of your personality, and they add new features, and they may or may not evolve potential traits to their promise. These forces may help or retard your evolution.

At the same time, you are a force on your personality. You make choices about behaviors, skills, perceptions and so on. Whether they are good or not, you make judgments and direct your life too. Naturally, the younger you are, the less powerful your personal effect on your personal path. But as you get older, your personal direction becomes primary, it can supersede the friction from the external world. Yet, it could generally never eradicate these other forces.

Thus, the personal and the social evolve your initial personality -- new features are added, old removed or suppressed. Potentials are realized or lost. Manifold judgments, choices and shifts in direction are made.

Then at a certain point, we get to a more conscious level of personality formation, we grasp that we are forming an "identity". Now, we are creating ourselves, and not just elements haphazardly, we are trying to figure out who we are. We are asking, "Who am I?" We are trying to get to the core of who we are. We are now in the self-conscious stage of personality formation. We are working on ourselves, waging battles, sorting things out, testing suppositions on our natures. We experiment with identities. We move from more general or shared identities with groups into smaller group identities, into more specific identities. We mix and match identities too.

Essential in identity formation is the notion of “bias” for a purely “balanced” personality has no personality. It is in our biases and focuses and quirks that we have our uniqueness. So though we are many things we try to assign primacy in our traits, we ask, “who am I mainly?” We select a bias and say, “I think this is me.” And we go through many stages of choosing and exploring biases until we find what is truly correct and truly false. True, we are complexities but still in that complexity will arise our peculiarities and these will define us. Without the biases you will simply spin about from personality aspect to aspect with nothing to hold onto. You become a swirling cosmos with nothing to grab onto and nothing to build upon. For people who have more complex personalities this “moment circling” through many moments of personality can be confusing, destabilizing, depressing, frustrating and angering. But at the same time a certain amount of moment circling is inevitable as we get closer and closer to the true biases in our nature. When we finally achieve the correct bias formula then the rest of our personality fits in easily to the whole framework, every personality in the greater personality finds it place.

Personality creation like many other things is a matter of focus. Without focus we cannot achieve knowledge or skills in a particular realm. If we spread our energies we become good at nothing. Focus in the realm of identity is finding and developing our biases so that we have something to grab onto psychologically, and so we have a definite way of doing things, and so that others can appreciate our uniqueness and find a place for us in their world. Focus in the realm of personality is about human differentiation, the creation of human individuality. Without focus we have a general complexity that tends to seek “balance” and thus suppresses identity and individuality. We get general personalities but no personality at all. We thus lose the joy of having identities and the power of imbalance and become exactly like everyone else in a kind of groupism. We live without the ground of bias and quirks and uniqueness, we swirl about within ourselves and seem to go nowhere, we become stuck and passive.

This stage of finding bias out of all the personality moments is ongoing, for once we do succeed in establishing an identity, and are able to manage ourselves more smoothly, evolution still continues. Secondary traits may come to the fore; new conditions of life may demand a reorganization of identity. And growing to higher levels of spiritual, philosophic and moral practice will bring higher behaviors out of you. Love, wisdom, patience, power and skill, social activism, range thinking, and many more of the transcendent attitudes will come. These you will add to your personality too, and these traits will become fundamental to who you are also.

It would be nice if schools and colleges could aid in the identity process, that at least they could teach the issues to students and prepare them for the changes to come. Is not identity a fundamental theme of a university? Certainly in civil society there will be the counselors and mentors who can help us evolve, guide us along without violating the sacred rule: that no one can substitute their identity for another’s. What we need to do is make identity formation a fundamental need in life and then create the institutions to help it along.


Differentiation is the primary feature in personality development. Undifferentiation, that is, stability of personality, organization of personality plays catch up to the nonstop process of identity. If our personality process was purely differentiation we would become insane, if the process where purely undifferentiation there would be no process, there would be no change or motion. We know from observing life that personality does indeed continue to evolve for a lifetime, that people do succeed at this to the very end, thus we know that differentiation is the primary force in identity matters. But that these people succeed and exhibit stability and rational sets of views at each stage also tells us that undifferentiation is operating too.

Cage Innoye

Axxiad News

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