Saturday, 3 November 2012

Definition


Have you ever been so convinced of who you were, and utterly consumed by your definition?

Have you ever worked with only one goal?
Have you ever believed with every fibre of your being?
Have you ever loved with all your heart?




…… Have you ever changed?

How is it possible that we can be so completely defined and then change direction and be defined by something else? Are we still the same person? If we dedicated our lives to one pursuit and then changed is it still the same life or is it a new life? Are you then a new being?

People talk of development and maturity of an individual and how this impacts their identity. But development is when ideas build on themselves and interact with the previous existence to create a related, and only slightly different, version and, through many minute changes, the whole morphs. But what about when this change is beyond recognition of the previous incarnation and conflicts directly? How can it be development when the old is not related to the new? I am aware I am asking the same question again and again but it is pivotal. Am I a development of my past or am I a reincarnation and an entirely different entity?

I used to think that I was a sum of my experiences but it suddenly occurred to me that there are key moments in my life where something has changed in me that I previously thought was permanent and key to who I was.

This sounds bizarre but think about it. I will use love as an example as it is probably the one that has affected most people. Being completely in love feels permanent. If it doesn’t; then it’s not love. But almost all couples will break up as a relationship only needs to last once for each person to have a partner forever. When a couple breaks up there is heartbreak and eventually falling out of love. So either love feeling permanent is an illusion or the person isn’t the same person any more.

If love being permanent is an illusion then how can we trust our perception of ourselves at all? And therefore any notion of identity is void. This works with any self-definition whether it is love, ambition or beliefs. What if we chose an identity? Are we really fickle enough to believe our own self-definition and become what we decide we are? Society tells us that we should have purpose and dedicate ourselves to this. This would work if everyone stayed with the same definition and they all worked together. a perfect world would not change and every individual would be totally independent as it is the breakdown of chains of reliance that create imperfection. As we are not independent is this what causes our shift in self-identity? This would create a vicious circle as cause and effect rippled through the network of people on the planet as we flux to try and create a homoeostatic balance where we can all coexist simultaneously. This is truly disturbing.

The only way for the idea of identity to exist is that our identities are not fluids that flow into each other, but are brittle and shatter to destroy the old and create a new being.

However we all are not sufferers of multiple personality disorder. Do not confuse personality with identity. Identity is the characteristics determining who or what a person is, Personality is the characteristics that form an individual’s character, (oxford dictionary). Therefore we can change our identity without changing our character.

Therefore I have the same personality but I am not the same person as I was before and may have been through many entities to get to the person I am today.  I’m not sure how I feel about this or how to end this post.

Food for thought.