Sitting there on the heather, on our planetary grain, I shrank from the abysses that opened up on every side, and in the future. The silent darkness, the featureless unknown, were more dread than all the terrors that imagination had mustered. Peering, the mind could see nothing sure, nothing in all human experience to be grasped as certain, except uncertainty itself; nothing but obscurity gendered by a thick haze of theories. Man's science was a mere mist of numbers; his philosophy but a fog of words. His very perception of this rocky grain and all its wonders was but a shifting and a lying apparition. Even oneself, that seeming-central fact, was a mere phantom, so deceptive, that the most honest of men must question his own honesty, so insubstantial that he must even doubt his very existence.
Stored personal memories along with handed down collective memories of stories, legends, and history allows us to collate our interactions with a physical and social world and develop a personal code of survival. In essence, we all become self-styled sages, creating our own book of wisdom based upon our studied observations and practical knowledge gleaned from living and learning. What we quickly discover is that no textbook exist how to conduct our life, because the world has yet to produce a perfect person – an ideal observer – whom is capable of handing down a concrete exemplar of epistemic virtues. We each draw upon the guiding knowledge, theories, and advice available for us in order to explore the paradoxes, ironies, inconsistencies, and the absurdities encountered while living in a supernatural world. We mold our personal collection of information into a practical practicum how to live and die. Each day we define and redefine who we are, determine how we will react today, and chart our quest into an uncertain future.
Shapeshifting requires the ability to transcend your attachments, in particular your ego attachments to identity and who you are. If you can get over your attachment to labeling yourself and your cherishing of your identity, you can be virtually anybody. You can slip in and out of different shells, even different animal forms or deity forms.
Humans recognize the duality, autonomy, and latitude range of the mind and the body, and all humans comprehend their impending mortality. Unlike other animals, humankind knows despair brought about by understanding the inevitability of death of all living creatures. The radius of human thought touching upon the longitude of our transient existence causes infinite pain. Seeking to ameliorate existential anguish incites us to ponder spiritual matters, and this sphere of mental activity spurs us to contemplate the perimeter of unknown frontiers. Our ability to understand the compass of life and death allows us to view the circumference of the world as consisting of a past, a present, and a future in relation to our own lives. How a person views the range of their earthly life and how a person rationalizes their march towards a deathly outback creates a system of beliefs that separate people into classes, and the variations amongst class members’ belief systems supplements who we think we are.
Your identity should not be fully defined by what you do, by being a manager, a wife, a mother of children or a computer programmer
The human mind’s innate ability to imagine and create ensures that we never remain stalled out in who we are. We constantly seek to amend our circumference and circumstances, craft and redraft our emotional, social, political, economic, and artistic being.
Humankind’s greatest gift is that we are indeterminate beings. Unlike the tough and leathery seed of an acorn, which will grow into a magnificent oak tree, none of us has a predetermined final configuration of our ultimate essence. Our mental temperament is pliable. We make conscious and subconscious choices that govern who we become.
In our formative years, every person begins creating a self that can keep him or her company through later stages in life. It requires concentrated effort to create self-hood. The task of creating a fully developed human being is an ongoing process, an open-ended assignment. The goal of self-hood is to evade slipping into a state of thoughtlessness, where we fail to take ownership of our thoughts, deeds, and lifestyle.
Our daily habits – honorable and dishonorable, noble and ignoble, vital and vile – are revelatory. Our sense of self is fashioned partially by what we employ to crank us up in order to charge through every day, or stated otherwise, what vices we partake of and what substances we are addicted to using.
We use the mind to create ourselves. Stuck amid the inevitable gaps between the mint of imagination and the postholes of actuality, we stutter step through the stratum of objective and subjective reality. We constantly amend our internal mental maps. Each day we awaken from the nighttime dream world with a revised identity of ourselves.
The crowd, in fact, is composed of individuals; it must therefore be in every man's power to become what he is, an individual. From becoming an individual no one, no one at all, is excluded, except he who excludes himself by becoming a crowd. To become a crowd, to collect a crowd about one, is on the contrary to affirm the distinctions of human life. The most well-meaning person who talks about these distinctions can easily offend an individual. But then it is not the crowd which possesses power, influence, repute, and mastery over men, but it is the invidious distinctions of human life which despotically ignore the single individual as the weak and impotent, which in a temporal and worldly interest ignore the eternal truth- the single individual.
Identifying someone by his, or her, outward appearance is often the first and most common error in the world
Human history is the ancient story of the umbilical conflict between a lone individual versus a cabalistic society. A love-hate relationship defines our personal history with society, where the suppression of individuality for the sake of the collective good battles the notion that the purpose of society is to enable each person to flourish. A conspicuous feature of cultural development involves societies teaching children the sublimation of unacceptable impulses or idealizations, consciously to transform their inappropriate instinctual impulses into socially acceptable actions or behavior. The paradox rest in the concept that in order for any person to flourish they must preserve the spiritual texture of themselves, a process that requires the individual to resist societal restraint, push off against the community, and reject the walls of traditionalism that seek to pen us in. The climatic defining event in a person’s life represents the liberation of the self from crippling conformism, staunchly rebuffing capitulating to the whimsy of the super ego of society.
People exercise the freedom to present themselves from a vast array of precepts. The modern human mind can engage in reflective thought and selectively determine how to organize the elements of perception. We can consciously elect to depart from stereotypical behavior and transcend the heretofore-established biological behavioral preferences. People can elect to hold prejudices or not, can make rational or irrational decisions to engage in war or not, and can take deliberate steps to arrest destruction of the ecosystem or not. Holding ourselves in check by placing a brake upon the human propensity to strike out in instinctual behavior is a distinct human quality. Restraint from instant gratification of strong impulses represents a unique human behavior trait. By intentionally refraining from committing an instinctual action, humankind asserts its sovereignty from its biological constitution. Unbound from the limitations of its biological nature, a person can employ the mind to devise alternative behavioral choices and the results of numerous behavioral choices culminate to provide a person with a sophisticated definition of the self.
Thinking is a personalized activity that can lead us into a state of happiness or cause us to be sad. Who we are becomes a product of how we think. What we think about and how we integrate knowledge into a comprehensive schema regulates our evolving self-identity. The precision of the human mind and the interplay between cognitive thinking and reactive emotions plays a central role in self-identity.
Previously, as I went through life, I was in full belief of the concept of blending (I was fully convinced that I as a person am completely capable of blending myself in the accordance of friendship, in order to give respect to the differences between people and in order for others to feel that I respect them). However, I have come to learn at this time in my life, that such an attitude is all good for a while, but then there does come a point where you must see and identify yourself; also see and identify others! You have to be able to identify yourself as someone who is made happy by this and as someone who doesn't like that; then when you meet people, discern if those same things are the things that make them happy and if those same things are the things that they don't like, because at a point in time it becomes beneficial to you, to not waste time on blending in behalf of virtue but rather it becomes beneficial to you, to see yourself and go into the direction that makes you happy, taking people with you that are already going in that same direction and who also do not like the things that you do not like. At the end of the day, there are those paths in life, and you have to take one of them, you can't walk down all of them.
A personality alters itself through a series of self-referential experiences. We are not the same as the day before. Much as a person can never set foot in exactly the same river on any given day, we are different each day. Yesterday made us, but the past cannot contain nor restrain us. We can never mentally scroll backward and be who we used to be. We must move forward in the stream of life until the day that our life force dries up and we return to dust.
The choices we make in life determine human identities. A person might choose to avoid or confront their deepest night terrors. A person can elect to live carefully or rashly. A person can embrace ignorance or incessantly work to acquire knowledge of the larger world filled with people, nature, and ideas. A person can live a placid life or boldly seek out vivid encounters is a world filled with anarchy, chaos, hazards, and incomparable beauty and slender. A person can hold onto attachments and fear death or live their life as a mere witness and perceive their personal death as part of the collective story and the culmination of a life will lived. A person can employ their time in a material world to enhance personal pleasures or to develop their innate skills and strive towards attaining self-realization. A person may perceive their existence as pitiful drudgery, or live a courageously, making a statement with their wounds and scars that life is a thrilling mystery filled with longing, love, and holiness.
We are each a product of our biological endowments, culture, and personal history. Culture ideology and cultural events along with transmitted cultural practices influences each of us. We are each the product of our collective interchanges. Our county’s domestic and interlinked international conflicts fuse us together. We are each a molecule in the helix of human consciousness joined in a physical world. We form a coil of connective tissue soldered together by cultural links.
The only manner to blunt in a wholesome and righteous manner the emotional trauma of living under a death sentence is by making every day count, living passionately, and dedicating the journey stumbling through time to accomplishing a master life plan. We can assist each other find meaning in life and undertake a path that make every person’s life a worthy endeavor, but each person bears the personal responsibility for living their life, establishing who they are, and behaving in a manner that provides credence to their self-imposed ideology. If a person persists in shifting personal responsibility for their way of life onto someone else, they he or she fails to discover the meaning of his own existence.
Americans share an affinity to establish a distinctive identity and know one’s self in a physiological, psychological, and spiritual sense, and we strive to attain self-actualization, self-realization, and/or bliss.
We define our identity always in dialogue with, sometimes in struggle against, the things our significant others want to see in us. Even after we outgrow some of these others—our parents, for instance—and they disappear from our lives, the conversation with them continues within us as long as we live.
To know who I am is a species of knowing where I stand. My identity is defined by the commitments and identifications which provide the frame or horizon within which I can try to determine from case to case what is good, or valuable, or what ought to be done, or what I endorse or oppose. In other words, it is the horizon within which I am capable of taking a stand.
[M]y discovering my own identity doesn't mean that I work it out in isolation, but that I negotiate it through dialogue, partly overt, partly internal, with others.
We become full human agents, capable of understanding ourselves, and hence of defining our identity, through our acquisition of rich human languages of expression.
We build a self-image from stored memories including a swarm of physical and social interactions, evocative emotions, and other associative experiences. Selfhood also comes from the language, symbols, and artifacts, which potent combinations create cultural beliefs. We build a self upon real as well as imaginary experiences. A person’s rational and irrational beliefs forge a sense of self. The books that we read, the music we listen to, the films we watch, and what church or other social gatherings we attend constitute meaningful activities that congeal and work together to shape our sense of identity. Cultural determinants drive how we work, play, worship, and raise our children. Culture has its own sources of reinforcement that can influence members of society to adopt an interdependent, communal sense of self, or an independent, individualistic sense of self. Culture is not fate, but none of us is immune from the great octopus of culture; its tentacles touch us every direction that we turn. Our self-identity is subtlety influenced by the prevailing political-social culture as well as affected by our perceived social status, economic or otherwise.
To know our refuse is to know ourselves. We mark our own trail from past to present with what we've used and consumed, fondled, rejected, outgrown.
Disparate from animals, human beings are constantly interpreting who we are. The mental rhythm of the human mind is a stream of thought that is constantly in motion. The development of conscious awareness is a lifetime process of interpreting the external world by employing the tools of observation, memory, and imagination; supplemented by rational thoughts, meditative reflections, intuition, and freelance conjure. Every day we can consciously work to alter our being or remain mentally stagnant.
Necessary features of the human mind impose structure upon our experiences. Language acts as a gatekeeper for the mind. We learn and embark on personal transformation by formulating, revising, and refining our conception of the world each time that we encounter new facts, experiences, ideas, and viewpoints. To understand the world a person must employ reason and organize their episodic personal experiences into a system of narrative thought. The language that we employ to internalize our personal experiences constructs our mental system, and our mental thoughts in turn regulate us. We become of a personification of our language, as expressed in narrative stories of the self.
I am metaphysical being, mystical and emotional, skeptical and cynical, happy and boisterous, loud and bawdy, quiet and melancholy, tender and cruel, full of mirth and despair. Inherent inconsistences mark me as part of nature, which is neither cruel nor fair, or reliable or predictable.
All of us share conscious recognition of our individual self. Each of us is more than a product of our conscious thoughts. The dictation of our unconscious mind also affects our behavior. The unconsciousness cogitates upon problems that are too harsh to submit to conscious resolution. The unconscious mind frequently directs us to take action that a rational, conscious mind would eschew. Resembling a two-sided coin, both our conscious and unconscious minds contribute to our thought processes. Collaborative thoughts lead to action, and repeated actions result in the development of behavior patterns, and ingrained behavior patterns lead to a sense of identity.
We are always in the process of becoming. Self-identity is a fusion of our prior decisions and our current thoughts.
Everything I touch makes me a little bit more like the thing I’m touching, so I’d better start paying attention to what I’m touching.
Being gay is not just what I do, but who I am. It is part of how I choose to live my life even if I never chose.