Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some Interesting Points About Identity

Some Interesting Points About Identity

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This article follows from the piece, "On the Development of Identity" published here on this blog. 

•           MOMENT CIRCLING AND PATTERNS. Moment circling is the idea that we circle about our true personalities, getting ever closer to the core of who we are. Inherent in moment circling is that we are traveling from one behavior to the next, all of which comprise our identity. The fact is that we do not really have an "essence", we are a pattern of traits. A pattern is a complexity in motion. It is best to see ourselves as a personality always in motion.

•           PERSONALITY BUILDER. The "personality builder" builder described in the article "On Identity" is located in the prefrontal cortex along with other behaviors that exhibit the attribute of disconnection and judgment. Wisdom, meditation, decision making are all a kind of "objective" process where these neurological centers have detached actions. The personality builder is also detached in that it looks objectively at all of the psychological information and attempts to help create a personality without bias or prejudgment.

•           COLLECTIVE SOUL. In the course of a life, we achieve a sense of who we are as individuals. We encounter the feeling of a "soul", it becomes the distillation of our identity, the core of who we are, the force of who we are.  We also climb up to a level of sociality and become aware of our connections to others, to all of society, and we grasp our place and responsibilities. For many of us this process of personality formation and socialization happens complexly, in large successive cycles as we gain more insight over time. At a certain point the notion of personal "soul" intermingles with society, other people. And we begin to think in terms of a "collective soul" of humanity. The individual is no longer disconnected from others, and one's identity is no longer disconnected from that of others, that is, one must take a role in helping others form their identity, and this becomes a new feature of your identity.

•           ME. The idea of "Me" is actually a complex theme. It is made of identity, a code, goals, philosophy, the spiritual and much more. Until we get to a stage where we can deal with all of these issues, Me is somewhat vulnerable. If Me cannot answer certain fundamental questions and resolve certain fundamental problems, then Me will fail as self made construct. It will not be able to deal with new issues. Me must evolve and it must be comprehensive. Otherwise it will fail you. Failure is of course the path to success, so Me, the formation of Me is a constant effort. We create an identity, an "I" because to be a healthy person we need this construct. Wisdom, logic, creativity, emotions, memory, the subconscious and so on are neurological departments given to you by nature. But Me is an ethereal construct you must make yourself. It is a voluntary act based on experience and work. And it is absolutely necessary because logic or creativity and other behaviors cannot do their job unless they have a goal and some rules that only "Me" can provide.

•           ADOLESCENT CLIQUE THINK. It is the task of advertising, marketing and consumerism to prevent you from becoming an individual. Adolescents in their quest for identity go through a middle phase were they join groups. These groups provide language, likes, dislikes, dress, style etc. This provides an experiment in identity formation in which the young person is striving for individuality, but at the same time not free enough to become a true individual. It is a halfway point on the way to independence. Modern institutions exploit this clique think and attempt to keep adults in this stage by promoting their own version of cliques. A free thinking person would not be affected by the nonsense of marketing manipulation. But someone stuck in adolescence would be. This is probably one major reason that youth culture is generally stressed by marketing and advertising -- to keep us in this perpetual mode.

•           BIAS VS BALANCE. Identity is a matter of peculiarities, differences, uniqueness. It is about imbalance or bias. When all have the same general personalities we do not have a personality, because there is no difference. It is true that in general way we all have a general personality structure, and the methods of helping someone achieve identity are also generally the same. But it must be remembered that finding out who you are is a process that stresses difference, and each of us is a very complex accumulation of differences that is in motion, and which is further modified by choices we make, right or wrong, smart or not, creative or not. So while balance is a general rule in many things psychological, sociological and scientific, in the case of identity formation it is not desired, because identity is by definition about bias and difference.

•           DISCONNECTION AND RESONANCE. At a certain point we can become mad trying to figure out who we are. We have so many opinions, experiences, behaviors, points of view that the affair becomes impossible to manage. The best thing to do in this case is to disconnect from all of the chaos. Go to your prefrontal cortex, become detached, meditate. Clear everything out. Then see what key ideas arise to make sense of the mess. Even when you do get a handle on what is going on, and you are able to sort out the true from the false, and you get a kind of hierarchy of what is primary and what is secondary, still you have the natural complexity of your mind. This intricate state of competition, the simultaneous and reciprocity we can call "Resonance". It is a natural and normal state of affairs when everything is happening at once. And when you are in a high state of resonance, self conscious problems such as identity formation can become exceedingly difficult.

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