It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Identity and Misidentification

page: 1
20
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 3 2016 @ 02:54 PM
link   


Identity

and

Misidentification



“Nets are for catching fish; after one gets the fish, one forgets the net. Traps are for catching rabbits; after one gets the rabbit, one forgets the trap. Words are for getting meaning; after one gets the meaning, one forgets the words. Where can I find people who have forgotten words, and have a word with them?”
– Zhuangzi



The greatest difficulties lie where we do not look for them, but here is a less-than-difficult fact: to identify as something other than who or what one is is to misidentify. For an obvious answer to the question of who or what one is, honouring the most rigorous of taxonomies and also the simplest of conversations, the species suffices for the “what” while the proper noun suffices for the “who”.

“My name is ________. I am a homo sapien. Nice to meet you.” Identity crisis averted.

Despite the simplicity of this thought, the fact that one can point to her identity long before she could ever explain it, and the ease with which one can differentiate herself from the other objects in the world (an infant can do it), personal identity has become exceedingly confusing for an exceedingly conformist imagination. Our strange, ugly, mostly meaningless classifications of one another have served best to reinforce rather than to clarify this confusion. Along with the hubris of identity politics, the false sense of community between otherwise disparate peoples, the false sense of division between otherwise adjacent ones, not to mention a wounded and crippled language, we are left with nothing but the dubious lines along which people try to divide themselves, and divide wrongly.

Leibniz made it clear that, if what is true of x is not true of y, x is not identical to y. It is not only a matter of common sense, but also of metaphysical axioms and first principles that we are individuals before we are members of groups. Why not act like it? One identifies himself by raising his hand, by speaking, by referring, by pointing to himself. Any other identity, whether it be class, experience, or category, simply does not suffice where dental records and fingerprints will, and a quick glance in the mirror answers the questions regarding who or what one is before it is even asked.

Nonetheless, we never articulate an identity for it’s own to sake, but for personal or political gain. Identities serve only to otherize, dehumanize, collectivize, and to deprive of individual qualities. We are the heirs of the soul concept after all, which besides being a lullaby for those weary of life, was also an identity.

In typically narcissistic and self-congratulatory form, we engage in identity politics in order to serve ourselves up in a verbal showcase, a kind of branding not unlike fashion, so that we may wallow in it. Labelling oneself in such a way is posey, a siren-song for the tribalistic, mere finery—not for the sake of others mind you, but for our own. Obfuscated beneath a fog of more and more “identities”, one has abandoned all hope for self-discovery in favor of trite nounism and propaganda—Identity politics.

That isn’t to say that we should rid the language of labels. That would be horrendous. I just wonder if one might frequently tend to some ontological housekeeping, to engage in the “reification of names” like Confucius, the world might be a better place. How many atrocities have been committed in the name of identity? Race, class, sexuality, caste, religion, ideology—the very act of categorizing human beings according to these generalities has led to every atrocity committed in their virtue.

Besides, each of us has a suitable enough label already. We each have a name. True, it is a remnant from the time when you were too innocent to label yourself, but it does deserve honor for that very reason, not only as the identity that has stood by you the longest, but as the one label that pertains to you and no other: an individual, an object, a thing in the world, a human being. A prerequisite to membership in a family, a community, a society, is to have a name. Every human culture engages in name-giving. Because of that, it is the only membership card we need, and it is the only label worth having. It is the “proper” noun, after all.

But Oscar Wilde was surely right when he said “Life imitates art far more than Art imitates Life”. Conformity, tribalism and groupthink demand such a principle—so does identity. Though one may imagine himself as part of some social group, some classification or other, he would be hard-pressed to prove that he is a member of said group by any realistic measure—or that there is such a group at all. Identity is no group boundary. All he could ever do is act it out, to fulfil the stereotypes and norms instead of break them, because sooner or later those in power decide what it means to be that identity. All the better to forget oneself.

It doesn’t matter anyways. Dividing a society, a species, or a whole into groups would involve an actual division instead of the purely mental ones the identity politicians are prone to. But alas, the members of abstract groups such as race or religion or sexuality are often so varied, so manifold and sundry and distant from one another, that any grouping would be impossible. The overlap is immense, rendering any epistemological approach to identity politics useless. That never stops them from trying.

(As an aside, since we’re in the habit of grouping individuals into minorities and majorities according to their visible qualities, we might as well use our full range of senses and group according to other notable and sensible qualities as well. Among the visible minorities, let’s define our auditory and olfactory minorities, giving those with high voice and those tending to a musty odour communities of their very own from which they can derive their false sense of solidarity. Perhaps it would be more permissible to group others according to height or mass or shoe size. I wonder if the identity politics of the blind is likely more forgiving.)

Your gay community, your black community, your white community, your trans community, your whatever community—these are communities like bald is a species. To restrict communion and identity to within these false communities is to spit on the real communities: our family, our friends, our neighbours, our countrymen.

Consider that if your neighbour’s house was on fire, would you avoid acting because she is transgendered? because he is gay? because she is black? because she claims membership to some social group? Of course not. None of these would factor into your judgement, unless of course you too were an identity politician, to put identity before reality.

Such mental segregation suggests the absurdity that one can share an experience with someone they’ve never shared an experience with, someone on the other side of the world, of a different religion—hell of a different time!—simply because some quality is of vague similarity; while your neighbour, who, though appearing or acting different than you, has less of a stake in your well being than some dead and distant ancestor.

All of it false. All of it egoism.

Identity and identity politics is the art of misidentification. Begin the reification of names.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis




posted on May, 3 2016 @ 02:59 PM
link   
I'm not really a mouse. I hope you guys realize that.

There is some really good content in the OP.
edit on 3-5-2016 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 05:05 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope




We each have a name. True, it is a remnant from the time when you were too innocent to label yourself, but it does deserve honor for that very reason, not only as the identity that has stood by you the longest, but as the one label that pertains to you and no other


As usual another great thread....however go back to step 1 - change your handle. Practise what you preach; beginning with "misanthrope". You spend far too much on humankind on ATS to even be remotely considered a misanthrope.

Admit it, you are a philanthropist in disguise!



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 09:54 PM
link   

originally posted by: TheConstruKctionofLight
a reply to: LesMisanthrope




We each have a name. True, it is a remnant from the time when you were too innocent to label yourself, but it does deserve honor for that very reason, not only as the identity that has stood by you the longest, but as the one label that pertains to you and no other


As usual another great thread....however go back to step 1 - change your handle. Practise what you preach; beginning with "misanthrope". You spend far too much on humankind on ATS to even be remotely considered a misanthrope.

Admit it, you are a philanthropist in disguise!


Maybe, but only maybe.



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 02:19 AM
link   

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
Identity

and

Misidentification



“Nets are for catching fish; after one gets the fish, one forgets the net. Traps are for catching rabbits; after one gets the rabbit, one forgets the trap. Words are for getting meaning; after one gets the meaning, one forgets the words. Where can I find people who have forgotten words, and have a word with them?”
– Zhuangzi

Otherwise known as; "To speak is to lie!" - Lao Tsu
"One must descend from the 'mountain-top' to even speak to teach!"


The greatest difficulties lie where we do not look for them,

Any and ALL 'problems' exist in the imagination/ego!


but here is a less-than-difficult fact: to identify as something other than who or what one is is to misidentify.

Error!
To 'identify' as anything, precludes the entirety of who and what we actually are!
Every definition must, perforce, include the entirety of the Universe!
The definition of an apple includes the 'rick' that it is not, the 'moon' that it is not.
For every thing that we 'are', there is a Universe that, all of a sudden, is excluded from our 'Self!"!


For an obvious answer to the question of who or what one is

If you are looking for 'correct' you are going to have to transcend the mundanity of the 'obvious'.
Everyone 'knows' what is 'obvious' (to them)!
IF there were such an answer as you suggest, that would not be the primary questions; What is life? Who and what am I?


Leibniz made it clear that, if what is true of x is not true of y, x is not identical to y.

Actually, that is just a retelling of Aristotle's long refuted (by quantum mechanics) 'laws of logic'!

"All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense." -Robert Anton Wilson

"For every Perspective, there is an equal and opposite Perspective!" - The First Law of Soul Dynamics

"There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil." - Alfred North Whitehead


It is not only a matter of common sense, but also of metaphysical axioms and first principles that we are individuals before we are members of groups.

Absolute nonsense!
Are you making this crap up as you go along?
Seriously?

It must get rather lonely in the box (isolation chamber) of the imagination, bound on all sides with definitions and descriptions; this not that, this not that, etc... etc... etc..., with a neatly arranged bow on top.
All 'neat' and 'orderly'.
THAT is 'identity'!
Imaginary limitations!
All 'definitions' and 'descriptions' and 'identity' = ego!
Ego = imagination!
You ARE whatever you imagine yourself to be!
You are an imaginary creature, all ego!
Reality is a huge make-believe, egoic construct (like the Matrix)!
To believe' the 'make-believe' (religion) is insanity!

"Cogito Ergo Sum!"
"I think, therefore I am!" - Descartes

This saying is exactly true, as it refers to the egoic construct of autonomous existence of a 'self', an 'I', as opposed to a 'you'/'other'.
'Ego' is the same, one and the same, as 'thought'!
Hence 'thought' being where this (egoic) 'self' exists. That is the 'I' to which the quote refers!
No 'thought/ego' = no egoic 'I'!
There can be no 'I' without 'thought'.
Thought, though, does not 'create' the egoic "I", they are one and the same, as perceived!
We don't 'think outside the box', 'thought' IS the box!

The above referenced 'I', or small 's' 'self' cannot exist in a thoughtless state, such as a Zen state where no such distinctions can be perceived.
There only exists 'one', (capital 'S') 'Self!', which is 'Universally all inclusive'. Which does not disappear when 'thought' is no longer perceived!
Ask any successful meditator, or check it out yourself.
Capisce'?

It is 'thought' that says, "I am not that!"

"Thou Art That!"

tat tvam asi (en.wikipedia.org...)

Schizophrenia is the fragmentation of that which is One!
Ego! Pride!

Unconditional Love unites all wounded/schizophrenic fragments into the healthy One!
Unless you have ever transcended your imaginary limitations, that is, painfully, your 'reality'!

All 'identity/duality' is 'imaginary', just as 'we' are!
Just as the Universe of 'things', all 'separate' and floaty in space, Is!
Without the duality of the ego, there can be no 'things' to perceive!
So ego is not a 'bad thing', but believing it IS insanity!

Metaphysically, in Reality; we are all One Omni- Self!
Even the ignorant, greedy, selfish ones!


one has abandoned all hope for self-discovery

Every unique moment of Universal existence is a unique moment of 'Self!' discovery!











edit on 4-5-2016 by namelesss because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 02:34 AM
link   
a reply to: namelesss




Absolute nonsense! Are you making this crap up as you go along? Seriously?


I couldn't eat enough to vomit enough. One omnipresent self? There only exists one? Word salad, that when read, is found to be utterly meaningless.

Descartes is the most overrated philosopher of all time. It is no wonder he makes his rounds among the pseudo-spiritual.

Transcending reality is just another phrase for running from reality.



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 02:36 AM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

#ing eh right lesmis!

The threads get better and better as time goes on, I find myself agreeing with you all the time, and they say this "movement" is the anti tribalism movement, the liberal enlightenment movement, directed by free thought and intellectualism.. My question is, in order to gain political gravitas won't we and those who think like us, have to engage in some form of identity politics, even if only to organize? Once this "movement" gains steam the SJW and the regressive leftists are gone!



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 02:47 AM
link   
a reply to: TechniXcality




My question is, in order to gain political gravitas won't we and those who think like us, have to engage in some form of identity politics, even if only to organize?


I would have to think about it seriously and at great length, but I hope not. It would only exasperate the problem. The war should to be waged in the marketplace of ideas, not the marketplace of identities. We should only identify as ourselves. I know that isn't a sufficient enough answer, but that is really all I have at the moment.



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 08:42 AM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I don't believe that Individual Identity is so easily defined.

Is the individual’s name alone confirmation of their identity?
No. I can lie to others and trick them into believing my name is John Smith. Furthermore, I could become delusional and believe my name is John Smith when it is not. What happens when myself and a real John Smith are at the same place?

What about their body?
No. People can have multiple organ transplants throughout their lives and thus their physical body at age 80 is not, aside from the expected physical deterioration, what it was at age 25. So If I have Joe's lung, Bill's heart and Barry's kidney, does my body still identity as my own?

(Yes, this is a reference to the Theseus' paradox, as I thought the philosophical themes were relevant to this discussion.)

Therefore, the following question needs to be examined:

What is the chief feature or attribute that distinguishes us as individuals from others?


edit on 4/5/2016 by Dark Ghost because: revamped post for clarity purposes



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 09:50 AM
link   
a reply to: Dark Ghost

Of course the name alone isn't indication of identity, but it suffices as the noun to be modified.

Yes bodies change. So what? Nothing else is occupying the same place in space and time. Dental records, finger prints , DNA, suffice to identify where the individual cannot identify himself.



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 10:03 AM
link   

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
Nothing else is occupying the same place in space and time. Dental records, finger prints , DNA, suffice to identify where the individual cannot identify himself.


i) What is this "else" you speak of?

ii) And what of twins, triplets or quadruplets? Do they each have their own unique identifier?



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 12:58 PM
link   
a reply to: Dark Ghost

i) What is this "else" you speak of?

Nothing besides what is occupying a certain position in space and time. We can call it whatever we want: a body, a person, a human, or Bob—it is a matter of names after all.

ii) And what of twins, triplets or quadruplets? Do they each have their own unique identifier?

According to the Leibniz’s identity of indiscernables (if all that is true of x is not true of y, x is not identical to y) the twins are not identical on the grounds that they are not occupying the same position in space.

There is a fascinating book called “The Man who mistook his wife for a hat” by Oliver Sacks who throws further wrenches into the philosophy of identity with his study of split-brain or split-personality patients. I highly recommend it.

Personally, I am under the belief that nothing is identical. I have concluded the question of personal identity is a meaningless one.



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 01:59 PM
link   
Is one's 'identity' not the collection of memories that each individual has, as all are unique collections.



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 04:04 PM
link   

originally posted by: johnb
Is one's 'identity' not the collection of memories that each individual has, as all are unique collections.


Not just the memories contribute to your unique identifier, but also the composition of your body, it's historical relationship with its surroundings, even the influence from stars in the sky , genetics, brain chemistry, and conditioning. So unique in fact, that it is impossible to create another one exactly like you. To do so, would require 100% power and influence over everything and every event that occurred after the Big Bang. All the way to when your parents got together and when you were born to the moment you typed that post. We're each one of a kind.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 06:06 AM
link   

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: namelesss




Absolute nonsense! Are you making this crap up as you go along? Seriously?


I couldn't eat enough to vomit enough. One omnipresent self? There only exists one? Word salad, that when read, is found to be utterly meaningless.

Any and ALL 'meaning' exists in the 'thoughts' of the beholder.
'Reading' doesn't render 'meaning', 'thought' does.
That you are incapable of finding 'meaning' merely highlights your own experiential and intellectual limitations!


Descartes is the most overrated philosopher of all time. It is no wonder he makes his rounds among the pseudo-spiritual.

Transcending reality is just another phrase for running from reality.

"Transcending reality" is your own strawman fallacy, those words are not mine! Sad...
You are the blind arguing that light and color does not exist, due to your own limitations.
Your 'thoughts' here are irrelevant because you have not said anything, just casting ad-homs (because you have nothing else) does not an intelligent discussion make!
Have a lovely night.







edit on 7-5-2016 by namelesss because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 09:00 AM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Words to be read, digested and analyzed, then interpreted through personal subjective thought processes.



"Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching


www.humiliationstudies.org...



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 05:52 PM
link   
a reply to: namelesss

a reply to: namelesss

Here is your reference to transcending reality:

"Unless you have ever transcended your imaginary limitations, that is, painfully, your 'reality'! "

Along with that you mentioned "omni-self", Self, little self, and so on. The fact that I cannot point to anything in the world nor imagine anything in the world you are speaking about, leaves me with the task of tryin to discover what in the world you are talking about, where you refuse to show it.

That's what I mean by meaningless: concepts without content. In order to have something to discuss, there needs to be something to discuss, but you have nothing.

I would never attack your character because I do not know your character. I only attacked what you wrote, which is found to be lacking.

We are not one self, nor is there one being, which can be determined by looking outside.

Good day.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 02:52 AM
link   

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: namelesss

a reply to: namelesss

Here is your reference to transcending reality:

"Unless you have ever transcended your imaginary limitations, that is, painfully, your 'reality'! "

I still cannot get "transcend reality" from my statement that; unless you can transcend your own (imaginary) 'limitations', the resultant 'limitations' will be the entirety of your perceived 'reality'.



Along with that you mentioned "omni-self", Self, little self, and so on. The fact that I cannot point to anything in the world nor imagine anything in the world you are speaking about, leaves me with the task of tryin to discover what in the world you are talking about, where you refuse to show it.

Pick any single word or phrase that you have difficulty understanding, and if understanding is possible (if it is 'conditional' and suitable to 'concepts/thought'), and if you are actually willing to put in the effort of understanding, I'll be happy to do what I can to elucidate! My pleasure!
That is the relationship between honest intelligent ignorance and honest intelligent Knowledge/experience/perception!
One process of crapping all over a 'bad theory' is to ask such intelligent and clear questions that the theorists ends falling on his own sword. Simple intelligent (and pointed) questions.
If I'm speaking out of my ass, we will all find out rather quickly.
But, since I've 'been there/here', and you haven't, it behooves you to ask. IF really interested in, perhaps, learning another Perspective of the same Reality.


That's what I mean by meaningless: concepts without content. In order to have something to discuss, there needs to be something to discuss, but you have nothing.

You are just blind to what I bring to the table.
ALL 'meaning' exists in the eye (thoughts/imagination) of the beholder.
Perhaps I can help you fill in some of your blanks?
IF you like.


We are not one self, nor is there one being, which can be determined by looking outside.

Again, you chant from your ignorance. That is an immature thing.
I can help you turn that ignorance into understanding, Knowledge.
But that requires respectful questions, and careful active listening, and calories burned in the attempt.


Good day.

Back atcha! *__-



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 07:44 AM
link   
a reply to: namelesss

That is a fair request. I apologize for my crass replies. Usually when speaking with meditators and the types who are spiritual to a fault, who capitalize some words for arbitrary reasons while leaving other ones lowercase, speaking in cliché and platitude, the conversation goes no where. Usually they wish to sound profound while not putting much substance forward. I shouldn't have assumed that was the case with you.

What is an Omni-self? And why, in Metaphysics and Reality, are we all One?



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 07:16 AM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



new topics

top topics



 
20
<<   2 >>

log in

join