So simple, isn't it? When we think "identity", what we mean, and what it has always meant, is the coupling between the state of an organisms brain,
and the interacted-with "object" in the external world.
You can't have identity without the context of a world for a background. Inside your own head, at night, when you sleep, we recall
"images" formed during a day, week or lifes experiences. Our background, or our "unconscious", is really a bodily phenomena, moored to the oldest
part of our brain, the brain-stem and cerebellum; the images that unfold are images from our lived lives. They're translations, very often, as the
brain-mind likes to convert the bodily into the image, so that our mental worlds dramatically "inform" consciousness of unresolved conflicts within
When you see your consciousness in terms of biological evolution, you discover that there is a deep continuity of homeodynamics from the very get go:
the universes creation of feedback mechanisms that maintain biochemical thermoequilibrium. When one considers ones consciousness as a product of this
process - a product that somehow reflects on this process and experiences awe - we can recognize the way our consciousness becomes organized both in
terms of its intrinsic structure and expected environmental objects (mental or physical).
There are multiple 'coherencies', or identity states, in the lives of human beings. These states are "coherent" in that they sustain meaningful
relations with the environment. However, there are states that are mutually incompatible. For example, picture a little boy, 8 years old, who gets
beat by his dad every night. At nighttime, his circadian rhythms inform him through fear that he should take precautions, and thus hide himself. Fear
motivates protective action in this particular organism-environment coupling, and so his brain is particularly wired to the threat of the object known
as "father"; when father appears in mind, the amygdala triggers fear. If the trauma is deep enough, even words slightly linked with father can
trigger affect changes, simply because the originating fear has proven overwhelming for the mind-brain to inhibit.
In life, the mind is more-or-less stereotyped in it's processing of the world. We think we think clearly - and that's the point: we seek coherency.
We can even tell ourselves that we 'don't think were competent', but even then, we use the confidence of assertion to express something; so what
does that say? It says that we ultimately act to defend ourselves because our minds have evolved to do just that: represent the intentions of the
organism in a way that conduces to preset genetic regulations. Preset genetic regulatory factors (DNA) maintain the memory of "what worked" in the
past, and so the majority of human beings are imprinted with a certain dynamic affect sensitivity that conforms to the species norm, which is what we
see, for instance, in the baby's response to a smile or grimace, a loud or soft voice, a slow moving or fast moving body. Everyone knows which one of
these a baby will naturally prefer.