Identity

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boagie
 
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 08:48 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
Are saying that you deny the existance of this phenomenon and think that this is not a thing that many (all?) humans are coping with?


Smile What is the phenomenon? It is not natural I would think, to feel as enstranged as you have stated yourself to be. When one feels they do not even belong to the time period they find themselves in this is troubling, and no, most people are not dealing with this.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 11:18 am
@boagie,
You are still missing my point. Let me put it this way:
There is a difference between what you are and what you remember to have experienced (and think that you are). It indeed is not "natural" in the sense that it does not have a necessary relation with living beings. Denying this phenomenon on the other hand is not natural either. It does, however, lead to not dealing with this.

Actually, the latter is the reason why I pointed it out in teh first place.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 12:12 pm
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
You are still missing my point. Let me put it this way:
There is a difference between what you are and what you remember to have experienced (and think that you are). It indeed is not "natural" in the sense that it does not have a necessary relation with living beings. Denying this phenomenon on the other hand is not natural either. It does, however, lead to not dealing with this.

Actually, the latter is the reason why I pointed it out in teh first place.


Arjen,Smile

If what you are saying is our perception of ourselves is not what others precieve of us be, that is perfectly normal, even what others precieve of us to be is not what we are, is it some where in the middle, who knows. When most people state that they love somebody, what in fact they mean is I like the effect of that person on me, most often when the good effect ceases so does the relationship, we know what we like and what we do not like--------a sure guide to romance.:p
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 12:33 pm
@boagie,
And it is along those lines that you have been thinking all along. I am trying to make clear to you taht there is another such phenomenon. The phenomenon I am referring to exists because there is a difference between the reasoning part of ourselves and the physical part (which contains our memory). It is therefore a necessary result that the way we define ourselves, a.k.a. our ego (which is made up out of our frame of reference, which in turn is made up out of our memories) is not the same as who we are.

This difference can be seen by removing our standing place from what we believe we are (our ego). The result is the absence of definition and it is this I am speaking of.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 01:54 pm
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
And it is along those lines that you have been thinking all along. I am trying to make clear to you taht there is another such phenomenon. The phenomenon I am referring to exists because there is a difference between the reasoning part of ourselves and the physical part (which contains our memory). It is therefore a necessary result that the way we define ourselves, a.k.a. our ego (which is made up out of our frame of reference, which in turn is made up out of our memories) is not the same as who we are.

This difference can be seen by removing our standing place from what we believe we are (our ego). The result is the absence of definition and it is this I am speaking of.



Arjen,Smile

Actually I do know what you mean, at one time I lost all memory of who I was, even family were complete strangers. In one sense it was freeing in that I had no defination of myself, there were no negative thoughts, no limitations, all I knew was that I was alive, and it felt great! So is identity essential obviously not, but it is if you are going to be of this world. My experience of being without memory without identity was relatively brief and my reality came flooding back to me, I was not a happy camper. Are you saying you have found a way to maintain an identity apart from your memories and day to day experiences, if so I am most interested. If you still feel I am not on your wave length concerning this matter, perhaps you could try another approach.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2007 12:40 am
@boagie,
That must feel very liberating indeed. It is however, not exactly what I ment. What I ment was for you (or everybody) to realise that your experiences are not you. That which people think is their identity are merely the definitions they have applied to themselves (a.k.a. the ego).

Unfortunately I do not have a way to maintain an identity seperate from memories or personal standing place. It is, however, valuable to merely realise the difference. It helps you, when taking a moment, to return to yourself easier. In a way it is the absence of definitions which allows you to simply "be" (yourself). Somehow we can experience this, but not define it. It is my conclusion that by experiencing this we can later try to define it. To make ourr cognitive reality reach up to what we experience, so to speak.

Above I ment to seperate our physical perceptions from our (metaphysical?) experiences.

Anyway, it reminds me of the stoa. They were of the opinion that as long as there is doubt we should postpone any and all conclusions. Since we, humans, may never be able to define certain things in a certain way it might be that we should postpone our conclusions on such matters indefinately.
 
perplexity
 
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2007 02:17 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:

Anyway, it reminds me of the stoa. They were of the opinion that as long as there is doubt we should postpone any and all conclusions.


Who is not too young to die is free of doubt.

Smile
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 08:55 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
That must feel very liberating indeed. It is however, not exactly what I ment. What I ment was for you (or everybody) to realise that your experiences are not you. That which people think is their identity are merely the definitions they have applied to themselves (a.k.a. the ego).

Unfortunately I do not have a way to maintain an identity seperate from memories or personal standing place. It is, however, valuable to merely realise the difference. It helps you, when taking a moment, to return to yourself easier. In a way it is the absence of definitions which allows you to simply "be" (yourself). Somehow we can experience this, but not define it. It is my conclusion that by experiencing this we can later try to define it. To make ourr cognitive reality reach up to what we experience, so to speak.

Above I ment to seperate our physical perceptions from our (metaphysical?) experiences.

Anyway, it reminds me of the stoa. They were of the opinion that as long as there is doubt we should postpone any and all conclusions. Since we, humans, may never be able to define certain things in a certain way it might be that we should postpone our conclusions on such matters indefinately.


Arjen,Smile

I have been without identity and being without identity does not reveal an undiscovered identity, what is apparent is that the essence of what life is does not have an identity. I believe identity to be a highly functional illusion almost as superfical as your status in your given context. Actually I would say the actual essence of what anyone is, is the realization that we are experience, that which experences, is its experience, we are a process which displays the function of processing a world. We are organismenvironment we are subject and object one. You seem to infer there is another more real identity to cling too, that is the same but of an orginal nature. There is a certain purity to being without identity, given that purity, I do not know how long it would take to start forming another identity, perhaps it is immediate, as one gathers and emotionally catorgizes ones experiences a new identity is formed, which is world given. That old saying from the Upanishads is very true, "Thou Art That."Wink Is what you mean closer to the fact that we often cannot feel the reality of what we understand on an intellectual level. Intellectually you may understand oneness but to live it and feel it is another proposition, apparent reality is really persistent.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 10:11 pm
@Dexter78,
Quote:

Posted by kennethamy

A small elephant is still a large animal, and a large mouse is still a small animal. Those are relative terms.


Does a small mouse seem large to a large flea? What if he's not on good terms with his relatives? And what is the difference between a flea, an elephant, and a family?
 
BrightNoon
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 10:22 pm
@boagie,
boagie;2218 wrote:
Hi all,

Lets expand the topic somewhat,for instance,I would maintain that personal identity is a highly functional illusion.From what nuerology has said lately it appears to be nothing more substantial than a cluster of thought.

What would it mean to society if science proves that there is indeed no one in charge[sure different societal role model---no?]. What is organized religion to do when science proves that humanity is the source of its own compassion.I am sure there would be a lot of consequencies following the revealations of nuerology, what do you imagine? Would the structure of civilization be greatly weakend, transformed,or what? Like most things of this world,close examination reveals a world of entangables,a dreamy moveing not quite thing.


I think history shows that humanity has a great talent for ignoring that which is inconvenient to know.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 09:07 pm
@BrightNoon,
The caribou herds in the Arctic regions are greatly reduced in size, some by as much as 50%.

An elephant can have fleas, but a flea cannot have elephants.
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Thu 15 Oct, 2009 03:50 am
@boagie,
This identity we try so hard to pin down is really nothing more than thought taking place.

It is no different than any other thought process except that it is how a person considers their unique individuality in this reality they find themselves.

It is certainly not some mysterious spirit form or supernatural existence separate from the temporal reality.

Without the process of thought there is no such thing as identity.

So in reality, identity is the result of humanity having the ability to perceive and discern their interaction with their reality. Identity is all of us and our ability to suppose what we are and how we fit here.

Identity is the thought process of the human being. Everything we do from the second we become aware is a process of thought, and life is a matter of how we put this thinking into action. So who and what we become in the meantime is our identity.

One can lay flat on their back in a field of grass with their eyes closed and be aware of nothing else except that they exist in that tiny point of reality. It is very easy to realize your identity in this way, but you must also realize that every second of that realization is a thought process taking place, and that means that you are creating everything in your discernment of what is real and what is happening at any given second around you.

Your consciousness is your identity and reality is your conscious discernment of your environment and how it affects you directly. How you choose to see your world is what creates your identity and your reality.
 
Shostakovich phil
 
Reply Sun 18 Oct, 2009 10:23 pm
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;95700 wrote:
The caribou herds in the Arctic regions are greatly reduced in size, some by as much as 50%.

An elephant can have fleas, but a flea cannot have elephants.


Forgive me for being silly; but if a flea jumps from one elephant to another and yet to another, he can have a small piece of many elephants.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 07:38 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;98430 wrote:
Forgive me for being silly; but if a flea jumps from one elephant to another and yet to another, he can have a small piece of many elephants.


But what about the family?
 
Shostakovich phil
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:33 pm
@boagie,
boagie;2070 wrote:
Hi everyone!

Heraclitus once said,"You can never step into the same river twice." He was wrong.What was his error,or my delusion.What might the river have to say about this? If you're thinking within the box,think about how you got there.


I think Heraclitus was right, not wrong.
A river is composed of moving water. If the water is constantly changing, then the river is changing.
Our experiences are always changing, so we in the process, must be changing ... taking on new experiences means our consciousness is changing.

The whole thread here on identity is too scientific. Science studies concrete facts. There is nothing about identity that is a concrete fact. And it's amazing to me that no one has said how a person's beliefs/principles or ethics might affect one's identity. How can science account for these? How can science account for either good or evil in an individual's mind? Can science ever answer the question: What drove Adolph Hitler to exterminate 6,000,000 Jews?

All the studies in neuroscience may be interesting, but as stated in one post, they barely scratch the surface. What's left out of the equation are all the most important things that go to make up one's identity. Those things are 'beliefs' and other immaterial things that cannot be explained by any empirically grounded science. I do not need a neuroscientist to tell me why I happen to love my wife. I do not need a neruoscientist to tell me why I absolutely despise Adolph Hitler. I do not need a nuroscientist to tell me why I like Andy Warhol and Rembrandt and Beethoven. Yet, all these facets of my life go to make up my identity. Talk about not even scratching the surface. No one's even found where the hell the surface is.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 12:03 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Actually, you cannot step in the same river once!

However, I can have the same thought twice:

Actually, you cannot step in the same river once!
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 04:23 am
@boagie,
I am writing about the way the human forms their identity from birth and will post it on my blog soon, for any who may be interested IMHO.

To summarize, the brain is bombarded with input from the moment of birth, most of it sensory to begin with. But the child soon becomes aware of its consciousness and the entire aspect of brain/mind categorizing is radically altered.

It is how each person manages to accomplish this multitasking of thought organization and their individual ability to do so, that creates their own unique identity.

This is of course discussed in much greater detail on the blog which you can find a link to in my signature below.

---------- Post added 10-20-2009 at 05:34 AM ----------

Shostakovich;98694 wrote:
I think Heraclitus was right, not wrong.
A river is composed of moving water. If the water is constantly changing, then the river is changing.
Our experiences are always changing, so we in the process, must be changing ... taking on new experiences means our consciousness is changing.

The whole thread here on identity is too scientific. Science studies concrete facts. There is nothing about identity that is a concrete fact. And it's amazing to me that no one has said how a person's beliefs/principles or ethics might affect one's identity. How can science account for these? How can science account for either good or evil in an individual's mind? Can science ever answer the question: What drove Adolph Hitler to exterminate 6,000,000 Jews?

All the studies in neuroscience may be interesting, but as stated in one post, they barely scratch the surface. What's left out of the equation are all the most important things that go to make up one's identity. Those things are 'beliefs' and other immaterial things that cannot be explained by any empirically grounded science. I do not need a neuroscientist to tell me why I happen to love my wife. I do not need a neruoscientist to tell me why I absolutely despise Adolph Hitler. I do not need a nuroscientist to tell me why I like Andy Warhol and Rembrandt and Beethoven. Yet, all these facets of my life go to make up my identity. Talk about not even scratching the surface. No one's even found where the hell the surface is.



This is certainly true Shost.

They speak about the water of the river as though they know the entire dynamics of a flowing river, when in fact, very few have ever been willing to dive in headfirst to really see what its all about.

Dipping their feet in to see if it is changing or not is, as you said, barely testing the surface.

My philosophy is to dive the hell in there and find out first hand what a flowing river can actually reveal to you. Getting my tootsies wet was never my style. Probably the result of growing up on the east coast of Canada where the only way to get into that cold damned water was to dive right in. If you started by testing it with your toes you would never put the rest of the foot in there let alone your entire body.

I may not know if you can step into the same river twice or not, but I do know that while they argue about that consideration, I will be leaping over their heads and landing fully submersed into the midst of it.
 
Subjectivity9
 
Reply Sat 31 Oct, 2009 10:57 am
@boagie,
I think that when Heraclitis said, “You can’t step into the same river twice,” he was not speaking about a thing/object called river, and a person/object (ego me) stepping into that objective river. He was saying that both that river and that person were two different processes, and because they continually moved and change, they could never come together at the exact same point, ever again. (He might have even likened the river to time. That is my guess.)

Now, if you hold back from these two processes, and you say both the river was an 'essential river' and the person was an 'essential person', this is entirely different, isn't it, because now you are juggling conceptual objects (both) which aren’t really living, growing and changing constantly. To bring together two conceptual objects is probably a whole lot easier to manage.

Identity is a little like this. Our identity, as an ego self, is basically manufactured like any concept, and so we feel that we can get a hold of it and even own it or even imagine that it is somehow real and permanent. But what is it outside of circumstance and imagination going about building a house of cards?

Yet we do all feel, no we know somehow, that there is something more going on than our personal autobiography, although we erroneously attribute this strong 'ME" feeling to our ego identity most of the time.

But, what is this golden thread of our essential identity, which seems to hold all of our imaginings about who we are, together?

S9
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Sat 31 Oct, 2009 12:31 pm
@Subjectivity9,
Subjectivity9;100835 wrote:
I think that when Heraclitis said, "You can't step into the same river twice," he was not speaking about a thing/object called river, and a person/object (ego me) stepping into that objective river. He was saying that both that river and that person were two different processes, and because they continually moved and change, they could never come together at the exact same point, ever again. (He might have even likened the river to time. That is my guess.)

Now, if you hold back from these two processes, and you say both the river was an 'essential river' and the person was an 'essential person', this is entirely different, isn't it, because now you are juggling conceptual objects (both) which aren't really living, growing and changing constantly. To bring together two conceptual objects is probably a whole lot easier to manage.

Identity is a little like this. Our identity, as an ego self, is basically manufactured like any concept, and so we feel that we can get a hold of it and even own it or even imagine that it is somehow real and permanent. But what is it outside of circumstance and imagination going about building a house of cards?

Yet we do all feel, no we know somehow, that there is something more going on than our personal autobiography, although we erroneously attribute this strong 'ME" feeling to our ego identity most of the time.

But, what is this golden thread of our essential identity, which seems to hold all of our imaginings about who we are, together?

S9



Yes, that thread that binds it altogether into one weave. I have been writing a great deal on this subject and am editing it right now. Should be able to get into my blog shortly.
 
Shostakovich phil
 
Reply Sat 31 Oct, 2009 12:44 pm
@Subjectivity9,
Subjectivity9;100835 wrote:
Quote:
I think that when Heraclitis said, "You can't step into the same river twice," he was not speaking about a thing/object called river, and a person/object (ego me) stepping into that objective river. He was saying that both that river and that person were two different processes, and because they continually moved and change, they could never come together at the exact same point, ever again. (He might have even likened the river to time. That is my guess.)


I look at the saying as a metaphor. As all things that we can experience, including ourselves, change; we can never have the same experience twice ... there will always be something different.

Quote:
But, what is this golden thread of our essential identity, which seems to hold all of our imaginings about who we are, together?


For me right now, it's a piece of classical music being played on Classic King FM. I've heard this symphony many times before. But my experience of listening to it right now, while I'm typing this post, is different, and I can sense it being different. But I can identify with it and the feelings the composer might have had in mind as he wrote it. The feeling comes through in the symphony. Identity can be found in such things that defy any definition ... it's just a feeling ... a mood ... a peaceful contentment in the beauty of a creative work of the imagination ... and this is what is so hard to come to terms with. We cannot quantify a feeling, or subject it to scientific analysis, but we can identitfy with it, and so find our own identity.
 
 

 
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