12 comments on “Hold Onto Your Identity Loosely

  1. “The day you stop learning is the day you stop living…” – whether Einstein or Asimov or worded differently, the concept is key. Never close the door on new information and new experiences!

    I particularly like the comment about “…test it personally.” I’ve been guilty of *not* doing this in the past (hell, guilty of plenty of the things you mention!), but it’s amazing what you really LEARN when you experience something first-hand yourself. It is invaluable.

  2. Thanks for sharing that insight Billy. Yeah, I have been guilty of those things as well, which is why it seemed important to discuss it. It’s easy to romanticize a new concept and shut out everything else. Of course, I don’t want to be a chameleon either. I guess there is an art to finding a balance in that regard.

  3. Nicely written, Aaron. I also like your mentioning of the danger of romanticizing a new concept as the brand new end-all.

    A few questions for you: instead of identifying strongly as the “doer” of your actions, would it be just as well to simply do the thing and take innovations and derivations in stride? We might think of this as a more fluid sense of identity, yeah? Don’t get me completely wrong, of course we all have our personal paradigms and filters, but perhaps everything that comes and goes is all still a part of us… for example, ARE we just bi-pedal animals? Even that’s a fluid thing, I’m sure that you’ve heard of feral children for instance.

    How about adopting a HUGELY larger sense of identity? Really expanding the concept of being a human with a sense of identity so large that we each only identify as humans being humans, in which no single activity, filter, or paradigm is used to define someone, or even oneself. These filters would seem ridiculous outside of its own activity with such an expanded sense of self.

  4. Hi Frank. Thanks for this response! When I talked about being just “bi-pedal animals” I was referencing my concern for the the anthropocentric lens many people view the world through and the concurrent identity of domineers over the planet and everything on it. It was a case for a “smaller” identity. However, as you point out, this term is of course fluid like any label, descriptor, or “identity.”

    As far as “adopting a HUGELY larger sense of identity,” this is a great idea to discuss. I think what I could have elaborated on more is having no identity. The philosopher Martin Heidegger talks about moving our conception of “I” from within our self constructs to the ever changing flow and mystery that is life and the evolving universe. This was a bit too much to get into in the post and probably here too, but, I think this idea can extend to beyond “humans being humans” even all the way to humans being the universe being conscious of itself…

    On a more “practical” level, I think this is why I am interested in hunter gatherer societies as I think they existed in more immediacy in pre-agricultural and hierarchical societies and their lives were more attuned to humans being humans, free from narrow identities with many of the characteristics you describe. What do you think?

  5. Awesone response, very good points to bring up! I have a few ideas about what you’ve brought up.

    By definition, it’s almost impossible for humans to escape an anthropocentric POV. However, I think it is possible to temper it by remaining with a fluid identity and minimize its impact as a rigid mindset.

    Yes, it can be quite a large and wonderful subject to get into but we can still gain something about it, little by little.

    I really like your thoughts about simplifying our mindsets now and using our impressions of our hunter gatherer ancestors as a guide. Two things though, if we do attempt to view this from outside of an anthropocentric and self view, it’s now become difficult to say that we are evolving in “bad” ways… to an outsider, we would become another just species with local and evolving cultural practices. Secondly, I highly doubt humans in any time or culture looked upon itself as premodern. What I mean is that their had to be numerous innovations and new thoughts of culture in even hunter gatherer societies which were met with various levels of social approval, mild tolerance and disdain. If we are to look upon another group as a model of behavior, we must remember to especially scrutinize their views of their present and the future, or at least their most likely outlooks on these.

  6. I love this Aaron!!! 🙂 The ONLY thing that never changes in this world is the idea that CHANGE IS INEVITABLE. Change is constant. We evolve. Everything does. Nothing NEVER changes except change itself! And maybe, from a spiritual perspective, our souls. But that’s a different post 😉 haha 🙂 We, as humans, are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE every several years as our cells completely and totally regenerate into something new. Its fascinating. And we attach so much significance to these cells (including synapses, thoughts, ideas…EGO). Alas, its a wonderful reminder of impermanence and FLOW. Thanks! 🙂

  7. I loved this post. One of the best ones on this site, as a matter of fact. I would love to read more about being an Epistemocrat. I have never heard that term before and I find it intriguing.

  8. Pingback: Successfully Numb | Exist Anew

  9. Pingback: Overcoming Self-Deception | Exist Anew

  10. Pingback: Episode #113: Don’t beat yourself up . . . or off – Jay Jack Uncensored

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s