Identity

Who am I?

I don’t know who I am apart from what I want and what I do…

I have always assumed that what I do defines me, and what I want gives me the trajectory.

Is there anyone behind the persona? Or am I all “Oz The Great and Powerful” with no man behind the curtain?

What if I am merely a hologram or projection?

I don’t know if there is anything underneath my ambition and will… What if I am merely a husk doll in the shape of a man? What if I am nothing more than dried leaves acting aimlessly because I have adopted a “ethos package” with a set of attitudes, actions, and thoughts, arbitrarily?

What if my life has no meaning? Merely searching for meaning is a worthless meaning.

What if I don’t matter?

What if nothing arises from my nothing?

What if all that is there is merely smoke and phantasms, and are of no substance? What if it is all magic tricks and illusions?

If the persona kills the original, and takes on a form of life, then what?

What if there is a self beneath the projection that we desire others to view us as? What is our truest nature and our truest self?

I must make a list of the things which I think that I am in an attempt to understand myself and determine my true identity. However, are preferences and taste valid things by which to determine identity?

Taste and preferences change. Now, Self-Identity is a fluid construct, and is not at all immovable. In fact, it would be accurate to say that our self-perception is always growing changing and evolving, which means that identity is a product of the is/ought dilemma and also lies in the crisis of being vs becoming.

What is the basis of identity? I would argue that it is at least partially found in relationships. These relationships are four-fold: 1. Relationship to himself – his mind, spirit, body and will; 2. Relationship to others: family, friends, community, society, world; 3. Relationship to the Natural world and universe; and 4. Relationship to God, Philosophy, the Divine, the Supernatural, ideas, Art, etc – I include anything that helps Man transcend himself and his limited potential.

For the purposes of this musing, I am going to assume that I exist, and that my general perceptions of reality more or less approximate at least a functional reality that is universally perceived by others of the human race.

1. Relationship to Self
I invest great time into myself: I read, I learn, I contemplate, I experience as much as I can. I try new foods, and I generally try to eat healthily. I exercise somewhat. I promote healthy self-talk and internal monologs. I explore new attitudes, tastes, and preferences. I do not do drugs, except for a little bourbon/scotch and the occasional cigar. I listen to music, and view art. I spend much time and energy in developing my character, my force of will, my integrity. I seek to become increasingly Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. I am a Thinker. I am a Dreamer. I am a Man. I like novelty. I like words, and have a decent vocabulary. I like Classical Music, and Opera. Art moves me and has great power, and I love creating it. I am a Creator, and a Destroyer. I like skydiving, rock climbing, and hiking. I play Cello, Ukulele, drums, and I sing. I love Early Grey tea, both sweetened and iced, or sweetened and hot. Shiny things attract my attention. I love the taste and experience of eating meat. I love how it makes me feel. I love testosterone rushes. I am fairly strong. I am also Strong willed. I have decent discipline. I have much control over my emotions, but I am seeking to let them be a bit more free in order to bolster the efficacy of my art. I am a Director. I like th way sunshine feels upon my face. I don’t generally like being wet. I love orange juice and the colors red and blue, though I don’t like them together. I love and need light. I love driving fast. I try to live according to an ethical code.

2. Relationship to Others
I am the First Born Son to a Pastor/Theologian and a Nurse/Teacher/Missionary. I am the eldest brother to an aspiring Naval officer, a U.S. Marine Corp 2nd Lt, and a College student. I am the 4th generation in the Hiatt family that has borne the name James. I am the grandson to a Coast Guard Quarter Master Master Chief Petty Officer (QMCM), and grandson to a Navy airplane Mechanic. My lineage includes Gods and Kings, Heroes and Legends, Saints and Popes. I am a fiercely loyal friend, and once who challenges others to be excellent. I am a Leader, and a terrible follower. I am intent upon changing the world for the better. I want to impact my community, society, and the world first through my art, and then through politics. I want to help everyone. I want to open minds, imaginations, and hearts.

3. Relationship to Nature.
I love nature, I recycle, I minimize my carbon footprint. I hike, backpack, camp, rock climb, etc. I leave no trace. I support environmentalists and policies which protect nature and natural resources. I support and study science which has understanding the world around us as it’s chief goal.

4. Relationship to the Unseen/Divine
I am philosophically bent. Contemplating and discussing the nature of the universe are two of my favorite activities.
I was raised Protestant (Nazarene – Wesleyan Holiness) Christian, and I suppose that While intellectually I am agnostic, by pure feeling, I sense (and hope) that there is something more out there. I can create systematic theologies or internally consistent philosophies once I assume a couple of baseline axioms from which I can build. However, all of those axioms are inherently unprovable which makes all knowledge suspect, right down to epistemology. I love ideas, and playing with them, and I hold none too dear. I am seeking Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Excellence and wherever I find them I shall adopt. I create Art in the pursuit of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Excellence.

In addition to those pieces of knowledge about myself, I am human. I am subject to all of the feelings, thoughts, reactions, senses, etc that broadly define us and am a product and contributor to the greater human experience.

I suppose that generally, this is who I am.

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