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Identity and Misidentification

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posted on May, 9 2016 @ 11:07 PM

originally posted by: Aussieamandarc


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


You may have said it all..words are all we have.

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 02:26 AM

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
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?

Thank you for the kind words!
I really do appreciate the mountain of 'baggage' this entire subject comes with, and your ability to see it and willingness to cut through!
To wherever... *__-
Philosophy, at one time, was a recommended 'path' (into Enlightenment/unconditional Love; the actual experience of Our Universality).
No longer as 'thought' is dying.

Moving on, all 'thought', all 'concepts', all that can be imagined, are 'duality'.

Any 'words' about 'Oneness/Unity' are going to be, in that larger picture, lies.
"To speak is to lie!" - Lao Tsu

(And if you ever wonder why I might (what might appear to be frivolously) using 'capitals' on some words, or semi-quotes, feel free to ask! There IS a meaning to this apparent madness! *__- )

You ask a good and fair question that has inspired volumes, of which I shall attempt to offer the slightest glimpse, from a very particular Perspective; science and logic.

All I can offer is 'concepts', but 'concepts' doesn't = experience.
you can understand about an apple what is to be thought/conceived, but until you consume the apple, become one with the apple, you have no knowledge of the apple.
You know (something) 'about' it'.

The 'Reality' that we perceive is of a certain 'magnification'.
As magnification is reduced, what was once separate and distinct 'objects' merge into a larger object, and so on, and so forth...
You are no longer stubbing your toe on a rock in the yard, but on a planet, or a galaxy!
It's 'Perspective'.
Now break out the microscope and look at all this 'matter/stuff'; it doesn't make any difference what you put before the 'microscope/Perspective' at this point, everything, EVERYTHING, from rocks to oceans to planets to thoughts and dreams and imaginary unicorns or me or you or anything...
ALL is made of the exact same 'stuff', 'information waves', 'Mindstuff'!
One Mind!
One Consciousness!
Many unique Perspectives (us) at every point in the Universe, reflecting the One (unchanging, ALL inclusive) Universal Reality.
Knowing Self, ALL is Known (experienced/perceived)!
Yes, the appearance, due to various factors, is that ultimately, Reality is this 'duality' by which We/Universe can be Known.
As Einstein quipped; "... a persistent illusion!"

The duality of thought/imagination is where ALL 'identity' exists, all that we imagine ourselves to be, all that we think we are, and are not, all that we 'conceive' that we are... all 'imagination', all 'ego'.
All 'imaginary', like everything else!
That is why the only true insanity, that I have found, is 'believing' anything in this 'make-believe' Reality!

Well, before I type myself into oblivion, have I clarified anything?
Do you have any specific questions that I can clarify?

Let me end with a quote I saw here somewhere, from Orwell's - '1984';

"How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four!"
"Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are One!
Sometimes they are all of them at once!
You must try harder!
It is not easy to become sane!"

edit on 10-5-2016 by namelesss because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 09:19 AM

Identities serve only to otherize, dehumanize, collectivize, and to deprive of individual qualities.

I disagree.

My daily life brings me to contemplate my cultural or collective identity often, living in a country that is not my native one.

I have, as all humans, a drive to feel belongingness, that I am attached or part of something larger than myself. We want to acknowledge some sort of "belonging".

One of the things I find is that contrary to what some seem to think, people are not always less judgmental or less sympathetic to those they identify with.
Most of us judge our family members much more harshly and with less tolerance than those less close to us.

In peoples of the same cultural identity, religion, nationality, the assumption that the other person has had the same education or teachings in morals and beliefs can be a cause of "empathic laziness" (the only term I come up with off the top of my head right now).

By that I mean, a tendency to assume much about the mind and intents of the other.
That's what our collective languages of politess and morality are- a short cut to communicating emotional states and intents. That way they don't need to make any effort to understand and look further into the individual.

So here's what I found- if someone makes a mistake in the code of behavior those around will be very quick to condemn them and misinterpret them. Something I say or do could be an expression of hostility in this culture (and I didn't know that), and they will quickly assume I am hostile towards them and respond in an appropriate fashion (with defensive hostility).

If I make it known to them that I am a foreigner- I am not one of you, then that puts a hesitation on the assumption- wait, okay, what did she mean by that? Maybe it isn't what we mean when we do that.....
The person is more willing to look closer, be a bit more receptive, and we have a better chance of getting to know each other as individuals.

It seems paradoxical, that in making a distinction, I avoid rejection from the group I am not identifying with, and actually create a chance at us recognizing each other as individuals, but that is what happens.

Besides, the identification is not a totally baseless thing- I found Americans have certain deep seated values, beliefs and morals (yes, yes we do- we hate to admit it, but we do) that are very hard to change and so, in pointing out this identity, I give them some ideas about who I am and what to expect from me. It might not communicate all that I am in totality and it might even open the door to some misconceptions. But I still find that it invites others to communicate openly with me about what their assumptions and conceptions might be, and find out.

I have more to who I am as an individual than the collectives I identify with, but acknowledging them doesn't take my many aspects of personality away from me.
I do not feel less human because I actually relate to other humans.
And I certainly feel that being an "other" to someone is not a bad thing. The wonderful thing about others is that they are "other" and different!

edit on 10-5-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-5-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 05:10 PM
a reply to: Bluesma

I can understand the use of an identity. Surely identities, stereotypes, conventional images serve a use as formulas for when we require comfort and belonging. But in concrete terms, every time we must refer to an identity in our heads, instead of referring to the identity before us, we are not acknowledging, learning from, nor valuing their reality. You said it yourself: you're giving them ideas of who you are, when who and what you are stands right before their eyes.

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 01:35 AM

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: Bluesma

I can understand the use of an identity. Surely identities, stereotypes, conventional images serve a use as formulas for when we require comfort and belonging. But in concrete terms, every time we must refer to an identity in our heads, instead of referring to the identity before us, we are not acknowledging, learning from, nor valuing their reality. You said it yourself: you're giving them ideas of who you are, when who and what you are stands right before their eyes.

But I don't think it is reasonable, or realistic, to expect us to get to know each individual we see before us to that extent - all the complexities of who they are inside, as an individual.

Perhaps it is possible if one lives in a very small community, small village, that they stay within. You DO find that sort of thing in those contexts. In our little village, everyone knows everyone else, everyone knows everyones history, heck, I am sure the guy who owns the little café (for that is all we have in our village, a bar/cafe which also serves as a post office and a tiny restaurant) knows when I have a bowel movement.

But if I go just a couple miles further, and want to take part in other commerce, I am in a city of so many people that not only would it be difficult to strike up a personal relationship with every person I must interact with, frankly, I would not want the responsibility of nurturing all those relationships!!!

When people know everything about who you are, that creates all kinds of vulnerabilities and dependancies....There is responsibility involved in being conscious of those parts of another.

I think there is a place and time for superficial exchanges and identities. I certainly wouldn't want my life and relations to be made exclusively of that, but I actually work hard on developing an ego, a sense of boundry, because I find the lack of self containment by an identity causes me much suffering, as well as for others! It does others a favor when I uphold my own boundries with identity!

But in any case, I continue to see that who I am as individual did not form in a vacuum or on a deserted island. I am a mix of influences from others, and I acknowledge that openly. I actually think it is a mistake to believe otherwise. There is too much evidence that our environment and others impact our development of self image, personality and behavior, even subconsciously, to make any claim of total disconnection.
edit on 11-5-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:58 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

But I don't think it is reasonable, or realistic, to expect us to get to know each individual we see before us to that extent - all the complexities of who they are inside, as an individual.

I don't expect anyone to get to know each individual we see before us to that extent. I actually expect us to do the opposite: to assume, to stereotype and to misidentify. All this for economy, to make our lives easier. My point is nothing is an identity if it has been misidentified.

Yes our environment influences and impacts our development. No one is doubting that, nor has anyone argued otherwise. I'm not sure what total disconnection has to do with anything. But being influenced by the same environment and the same ideas does not lead to a us possessing a similar identity. Because I believe the same as you or was raised in the same village does not make us share any identity.

Identity is who or what one is, not who or what one thinks she is, not who or what she wants others to believe she is. Ego is not identity. There is no unit of measure with which I can identify with others on account of what they think or believe or which group they consider themselves within. I cannot apply group characteristics to the individuals of that group in any identifiable way—not unless they are attempting to live up to some false identity, one of stereotypes and mimicry.

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 12:27 PM
Hm. I'll probably have to ponder what you say there to be sure I get it.
It is evening, and my mind is clearer in the morning time.
But I think I am not understanding what you consider to be "identity".

A group of people may all have a similar way of walking.
They may not even recognize that, they may not have made any conscious effort to live up to, or mimic each other,
it was just a natural development that happened subconsciously early on.
That makes something they have in common, and a characteristic that is part of each individual, no matter what else they think or feel themselves to be.

In fact, that similarity only becomes evident to their conscious awareness when they step out of the environment and find themselves amongst people who do not walk the same way- then they know, they have, as part of who they are (physically, observably) a certain group they identify with.

They may have other groups they also identify with, through other commonalities as well.

I'll see what I comprehend tomorrow. I might not get what you mean yet.

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 01:38 PM
a reply to: Bluesma

It is perhaps a little convoluted. I tend to hide a morality beneath an overly verbose facade. I’ll try to explain it better.

Mainly it is an attack on Identity Politics, the notion that we can divide the species into identities according to qualities and characteristics. I hold that such division and categorizing has led to every atrocity man has committed against his species.

To identify as anything other than what one is is to misidentify. With this premise in mind, in tandem with the identity of indiscernables (Leibniz), there is no sense in identifying with others according to qualitative characteristics (what they look like, smell like, what they believe, what words they use to describe themselves, etc.).

This isn’t to say we should ditch empathy or never acknowledge our shared humanity, our shared experiences, our similarities and differences, only that we should first identify ourselves and others for who and what they are in order to recognize their originality, their rarity, the fact that no other being such as this individual has existed before nor will exist again, insights which often lay hidden beneath a cloak of conformity.

The proper noun, the particular, is the best term under which we ascribe characteristics and descriptions of a particular identity. I've tried this with beggars. No longer are they beggars to me because I've asked for their names in return. When I pass them I now know how to consider and value them. Jim is grateful and humble; Ethan is a little demanding; and so on.

Lastly, that grouping individuals implies a group, for instance, people in a certain house, people in a certain geographic area, where there is a real divide. As far as group identities go, these groups require a sense of community for the sake of society, whereas finding community with others according to skin-color, sexuality, gender, religious beliefs, and so on, do not.

posted on May, 12 2016 @ 03:04 AM
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

It just sounds to me like you are saying you feel Social Identity has no validity or truth, no useful or beneficial aspects to it, and should be rejected altogether, in how we regard ourselves or others.
That only the Self-Identity is valid and should be retained?

It's possible my own personal experience may be a bias I am unable to get past when I consider your position here. Because I find benefits as well as drawbacks, to the referencing of social identity.

The closest I can get to agreement is my view that problems and conflicts arise when two things come in -

1- Idealistic identification- in which one identifies with a group through characteristics they aspire to but do not really have. Like if I decide to identify myself as a musician, when I have no developed musical skills developed.
It's exactly the same sorts of problems one can have with their individual self identity when they consider themselves an "individual with musical skills". (with no acknowledgement of being part of a catagory of people who call themselves "musicians").
Realistic self image is going to be important whether we are pointing at what we have in common with others or focusing only upon our self as individual.

2- Malignant disassociation- (not sure what to call this) when one feels an exagerrated repulsion to others; a sort of defensive fear of "other".
The "us" versus "them" (or outsiders, non-members, barbarians!) attitude is where the violence and danger comes in. It is not that perception of separation that is the problem!
It is the feelings about the perception.

Whether two people regard each other from their social identity (as part of different groupings);
Or from their self identity ( as individuals only),
You get the same problem if they are ones who have that "fear of other".
The only difference is that the potential for violence born of that defensive attitude is on a smaller scale. There won't be a war or battle, but a fist fight or shooting between them.

By limiting peoples identity to individual only, you can get individuals fighting each other, within the same country, instead of going to battle en groupe against another country. But you do not rid the people of fear of otherness.

THIS is where I think the moral is mistaken, and it is the argument I bring into every discussion in which the wierd current PC thing in the US comes up in which one should refrain from being aware of any particularities in the person. If a person has dark skin, one must not acknowledge that, for to perceive a difference is synonymous with "hating".

There are some for whom "other" is felt as exciting because different, to be discovered and explored because different from self.

Human psychology makes women a universal symbol of "other" because it is the first "other" a baby has experience of, so yes, it is the "Other" sex as Simone DeBeauvoir designated, but her mistake was the same assumption- that "Other" or "Not I" (or "Not Us"- same thing) automatically means "Inferior" (inferior to Me, Inferior to Us).

She too, came up with the solution try real hard not percieve "others" and not to BE Percieved as an "other".
(what? because humans are all unaoidably narcissistic? We cannot avoid considering our Self, or Our Group, as superior to all others????)

I say, instead, recognize that someone or a group being "not I" or "not Us" is not to be feared. We get back to the idea, so hard for some to embrace, of "different but equal".

edit on 12-5-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 12 2016 @ 03:24 AM
-wait, you do admit that social identity in term of physical location and dependancy has some validity for survival. I failed to acknowledge that.

I still uphold that social identity has the opposite for me- of stimulating me to want to get to know others more in depth. Even if it is of a sort of conceptual tribe- say, LGBT- it is attracts my curiosity and desire to get to know them better and learn their experience. It might start sort of superficially, but this is how it runs then into a deeper knowledge of the individual with time.

I also still prefer the cover/protection of social identity at times- I do not want everyone I come across to know me as an individual. I am very troubled when a cashier I don't know blurts out their knowledge of me personally (which happens often as we stand out a bit). I would rather have strangers assume false things about me as being part of some larger conceptual group, then to know where exactly I live, what possessions, interests, and activities I have as an individual!

I'd like to keep that information to a smaller circle of intimates. I don't mind the misidentification that strangers do. It can be a good thing.
edit on 12-5-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 12 2016 @ 06:56 AM
... having come back and read my posts again, I am terribly afraid that I am doing what I once did to thread of Astyanax, in which I explored my thinking at great length, while having totally misinterpretted the topic.... and remain ever ready for the revenge he swore to have upon me for it someday. I used to think this was a harmless mistake but have learned it really upsets some folk badly.

I cannot delete my posts now, but if you want to ask a mod to take them out, that is fine with me.
I'll leave the debate to get back on the rails now!

posted on May, 12 2016 @ 07:01 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

It happens to all of us at one time or another. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Especially now that you have openly stated that you feel you made a mistake and didn't intend to anger anyone.

posted on May, 12 2016 @ 07:30 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

I don't see where the exploration of your (or anyone's) thoughts could cause anger here, unless the OP thinks in black and white. It is only natural for people to categorize others into a societal acceptable identity perhaps because we need bonding and community. This may or may not be a misinterpretation - probably not, as we all need to feel we belong, are accepted, are wanted. I believe each person is unique within creation, although our uniqueness can be lost or given away within a community. This may be dependent on many factors, the prevalent one being the pressure to conform to a misinterpretation of what makes a healthy society and a healthy individual.
edit on 12-5-2016 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 12 2016 @ 10:03 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

I am a fan of your thinking, the exploration of your thinking, and your presence. Please write what you wish. This thread would have died long ago.

Do you get a little anxious when waiting for a reply from others? I think if this conversation was face to face, in view of each other’s bodies and their language, conversations like these would be so much easier, and likely, more pleasant. It is also likely we would look forward to further discussions, because we’d be more like friends rather than opponents. I’ll tell you one thing, a friendship never requires a shared social identity, and maybe that is what I’m suggesting.

Yes, social identities as they are traditionally described are invalid to me. They are no more than stereotypes. Not only that, but as I asserted earlier, it is the compelling reasoning behind human atrocity. And I don’t know what is worse or what comes first, that we stereotype others or we stereotype ourselves by fulfilling the requirements of such an identity. Do they have a use? Sure, but so do lies.

I fully agree that we should be allowed to point out each other’s differences. How else could we love them? Variety is one of the beauties of humanity, and pointing that out is not “otherizing” others as some would have us believe. I think the opposite is the case: that to collectivize others, and thereby remove their individual character, is to dehumanize and make them into The Other (still unsure whether I like that term or not). But I don’t think we should group others according to similarities and differences. We might as well group people into the bad-smelling, the low-voiced, the flexible, and so on. These are notable qualities as well, but always secondary to character and value, which can only be discerned from meeting someone.

I think you’re absolutely right about de Beauvoir, but at least she does give a clue into the type of thinking we’re dealing with when it comes to identity politics.

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