– an informal discourse by Tony Blau Veldt
We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.
Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others?
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
I recently, around a half-year ago, composed what began as a few aphorisms about identity. Every notion permeated through my thoughts and bred several more ideas, like a simultaneously wondrous and nagging literary Hydra. I couldn’t stop writing. In my attempts to articulate ideas about the nature of who we are, or at least who we perceive ourselves to be, and the ensuing ideas that therein blossomed organically, I found far more questions than answers, and was bemused by the endless variables and mysteries that fall under the umbrella of “identity”. Given the arbitrary nature of how we come across our beliefs, the dangerous and fallacious ways that we use them to define ourselves and how we work hard to manifest them in our lives only to have them change again, it occurred to me that I do not believe there is such a thing as the “Self” at the conscious level – there is merely perception of, also referred to as “identity”; you are a mask, a construct that’s been shaped by yourself, society and chance. You are not “you”; you don’t know what “you” is or what “you” is supposed to be, or if “you” is even supposed to be something because you mentally evolve every single moment of every day and swim through paths in the metaphysical gel of time that are entirely uncharted and unprecedented, ultimately leading to a series of conclusions that cannot be written, conceived of or planned for – you merely blink and a new culmination has already become. Something constantly in motion, ever evolving, ever growing, ever changing, even if a mere abstraction, has no definitive state. Impermanence, as a law of nature, dictates that change is the only constant. You are no exception. Your identity – or, your perceived “Self” – therefore, exists for no more than the smallest slice of time and is then replaced by another. Is it ever your true “Self? Or an ephemeral, costumed idea based off of what others believe and life circumstance? The modest door to uncertainty about the existence of my truth, whether it was attainable and in what intervals it could exist, was actually a set of floodgates, and gave birth to a great deal of other doubts and reservations; while parts of you may always remain the same, are they so profound as to be considered “you”? Is the idea of having an identity a necessity? Is it truly unique or at least have the capacity to be so? And, if never a distinct, individual “Self” truly exists, is it entirely in vain, despite what nature and society dictate, to strive to shed away layers of influence one after the other in hopes of reaching a purer, truer “you”? Even if a definitive conclusion never arises, I believe we must be vigilant in breaking down the dam of ignorance about these matters – to examine that which we let control and define us and to not be afraid to question everything about ourselves. No matter how much discomfort it may bring to our complacency and no matter how frustrating the roadblocks and dead ends and continued ambivalence can be, we must acknowledge all that we do not know about identity and its many variables, yet be uncompromising in finding as much of our truth as we can and steadfastly standing by it. This is Lattice Soul.
PART I: Circumstantial Identity
Unyielding Circumstance, Intervals of Identity
The idea you have of “you”, both in empirical and ideological properties, are constructs, a mask put together by genetic lottery and indulgences in arbitrarily available cultures – arbitrarily available insofar as you were provided very limited and very circumstantial options in which choose from. You are a product of your environment and pure circumstance, of events that shaped you; you did not choose so many of the dilemmas and revelations you’ve had in life thus far, those unprecedented predicaments in which you’ve been presented with but a few (or zero) options and had to choose a path, none of which you, under “normal circumstances”, would’ve chosen. You, beginning with your birth to parents you did not choose and into a culture and time you did not choose, are thus a product of pure chance, unyielding circumstance, neither of which lend credence to the idea that you are “special” or were “chosen” for some life of greatness. That’s what makes life encompass the very essence we often attribute to it, the very idea that “life” is not just a duration of breath in a body, but an entire, infinite experience in which you are merely a player, an actor. Life is not your story no matter how much you wish it to be. Life isn’t the act of being alive, life is a book that never ends with innumerable lessons and teachings and a painting you will never stop adding strokes to, your shared canvas on which to infinitely create and destroy. You’ve heard the expression “that’s life” to describe things that hurt and that are out of your control. Life is just that: out of control. Life is a film comprised of trillions of frames of out of control, unyielding circumstances – it stops for nobody and ignores your pleas for mercy.
Within life’s very framework of which you are an actor, within the blank canvas and unpredictable circumstance, within the abounding potential for both chaos and beauty, there is no control over nor any concrete sense of “you”. Even as little as a month ago, you had no idea that you would be who you are now and never would’ve chosen to make those decisions that you have. In all probability, by now, you’ve lived geographically in a place you never knew that you would and worked a job you never expected to and had people organically ebb and flow out of your life that all played some role, and, though all so different, had two things in common: 1) they were never even expected to cross your path at all and 2) they impacted you, shaped you in some way. Additionally, for many of them, you weren’t planning their departure, either. The multitude of souls is an ocean, droplets of humanity, atoms of both positive and negative passions – you merely spectate your world from the shores, choose never which waves come and go. Life, and those people that have affected you, are simply tides – rising and falling, pursuing and retreating. They all helped shape the idea of what you are today, but this is only “today”, an arbitrarily assigned window of time. We invented the year, much like we invented the month and the week, the day and the hour and the minute, and continued to assign smaller and smaller denominations in which to numerically divide up our intervals of existence as a way to make a structure for optimal times for work, food, play, social time, and to be able to make a point of reference and context to recollect stories of the past. How often, within the triviality of any given interval, have you changed? How different will you be tomorrow? Your world?
- Sliver of Place + Sliver of Time = Unyielding Circumstance
- Unyielding Circumstance X 1,000,000,000,000, = You
Taste and Change: Lack of Control
We must also accept the possibility that in addition to the gargantuan nature of unplanned and uncontrollable circumstance, life as an infinite concept, the arbitrary nature of time, and our inability to have control over any of them, even our merely perceived uniqueness may not entirely belong to us, but chance, perhaps fate, causality, God. Try to dictate who you love. Try to dictate who stays and who goes. Try to dictate who dies in an automobile accident and who does not. You are in control of almost nothing and how it shapes your perceived identity, even the smallest, most personal of things – it is permissible to choose between chocolate and vanilla, of course, but there is a matter in which you have no choice: which one you want to choose. You cannot choose what you like, what you find pleasurable. Even an example of taste within ideas rather than flavors, such as a favoring of comedy films over horror films or rap music over jazz music, gives no different of a result; flavors in food operate on a different level of sensation from that of music and film tastes, but all the same, your various senses are absorbing stimuli and subsequently processing and interpreting and the conclusion of liking or disliking comes about without your consent. There are “chocolate people”, there are “vanilla people”, and while they are different, what they have in common is that they are a slave to the current type that they are. The tastes may change. Your freedom to decide them will not.
But what does it mean when tastes change? When you try different styles of dress, ways of doing your hair? Different ways of speaking and mannerisms and embracing different cultures and ideas and trends? Are you doing what you perceive you like in that exact moment? Hundreds of thousands of trillions of intervals of “like” throughout your life? Or, is it that you never truly “like” your perceived identity or “like” your tastes, because, if you have the need to change eventually, you never knew (and perhaps will never know) true enjoyment? Last month you combed your hair down on your forehead because you “liked” it the most. This month you flip the front up because you “like” this the most. A month from now, you’ll cut a couple inches off, dye it a few shades darker and comb it the opposite direction because that and that alone is the only thing you’ll “like”. The same variance is seen in clothing, makeup, piercings, accessories like glasses and bracelets, shoes, perhaps even the way you walk or your various facial expressions. Is it because tastes and who you are change? Or is it because you never truly know what your tastes are and every trivial interval of what you “like” is really only an assessment, a trial to find the one, true thing you do like? Perhaps, if possible, if you believe you find what you truly like, who you truly are, and what is essential to the the definition of “you”, it is not that you just began to like it, but that you always liked it, even before you’d ever experienced it, and just never knew you even possessed that characteristic. When you taste an apple for the first time in your life, and you like it, did you just begin to like it upon contact? Or did you already like it but only just discovered it?
Furthermore: what does it mean that some tastes change and some do not? Take into consideration that while you physically have replaced every cell in your body every seven years, certain parts of you transcend, adding weight to the idea that a soul lives independent of the body, that there exists an independent “Self” – some “chocolate people” forever remain “chocolate people” even though their brains and taste buds have physically been changed. And, yet, why do some not remain “chocolate people”? Why is there an inconsistency, or randomness to these processes within our species as a whole? The capacity for the real “you” may have existed since your beginning, perhaps before. For who is to say when the “program” for natural, independent-of-culture parts of what you are was inserted? One month? A year? Halfway through the pregnancy? Five minutes before birth? The very moment in time when you came into contact with what was being perceived? Cradle to grave, are you achieving trillions of intervals of ever-evolving “real”? Or are you merely impelled by shadows on the wall distracting you from the “real” real? Are you living a “Self” or an “identity”? And how much control do you possess over the outcome of either?
PART II: Powerless To What You Cannot Control Or Know
Identity and Labels – a True Necessity
Identity is as necessary as oxygen. This I emphatically believe. We, as a species, absolutely panic when we don’t feel a sense of being, of belonging, not to other people, necessarily, but to ideas, ideologies. And within our beliefs comes a challenge, often a refusal to compromise. A staunch liberal or conservative, for example, will often refuse to see an opposing viewpoint in a debate (though they often pretend to be diplomatic). Moreover, they don’t consider their views a strong part of their interests, but a strong part of who they are as a human being, an intrinsic characteristic, perhaps. But if characteristics like these are not essential to who a person is, and should not be considered a part of their identity, then why do people so often choose to expound them and wear them on their sleeve to the point where they become synonymous with them? They love being who they are and loving what they love, and cannot be told they should or must be something else. The only requirement in what you identify with is that you simply identify with it. This cannot be taken away, even with a gun to your head; what is in your mind is what is in your mind, no matter how many times they tell you 2+2 equals 5. If it were possible to invade somebody’s brain and attempt to pillage their perception of identity, no matter how much it seems to you what you’re removing does not belong in their head and you are doing what is right, you might as well kill that person. That perception of identity supersedes all, it’s the reason for even necessitating physiological survival, for food, for water, for oxygen and warmth. An inherent sense of what you are is more important to people than anything else; we feel fear more so out of uncertainty as to whether or not we have a self-understood home in our mind and heart that we can sleep and dream within than we do with the uncertainty as to whether or not we exist. You have to exist to even begin to have an identity, but people aren’t afraid of solipsism, they’re afraid of losing their often trivial versions of “truth”. We don’t define ourselves through our existence and our original thought, but by exterior, superfluous trivialities. Intellect and self-reliance have become but feeble and frivolous in a world where we preach not “I think; therefore I am”, but “I am a Christian; therefore I am”, “I am a Green Bay Packers fan; therefore I am”, “I am a Republican; therefore I am”, “I do yoga; therefore I am”, “I am a vegetarian; therefore I am”; “I am a lover of Abercrombie products; therefore I am”, “I am a lawyer; therefore I am”, “I am a pharmacist; therefore I am” etc. We define ourselves by peripheral, secondary, always specious labels that we neither invented nor amend to fit our unique mould. Every person is as guilty as the next; I believe many even secretly hate it but do nothing to stop it from controlling their interaction with the world. The first thing people invariably ask one another when they first meet is “what do you do”? We say “I am an accountant”, as if that is our identity, as if that makes us the flesh we are, the soul we are; we ought to say “I work as an accountant” because that is what you do to earn a paycheck, but is it your nature? When asked what you want to be one day, shouldn’t you say “happy” instead of “an accountant”? Shouldn’t you say “I want to be me, and I’ll probably work as an accountant for a day job”? Identity, by our own doing, is blood – it is war and peace and love and hate and passion and energy and sorrow and jubilee and the momentum for the victories and the downfalls of our species. And, yet, despite such extremes, it is only real because we fallaciously make it so. Not only do we lend credence to such a frivolous device, but we do it for all of the wrong reasons. Conformity. Acceptance. A spuriously spiritual home and a sense of quiet complacency within our own bosom.
Why a Necessity For a Concept You Know Nothing About?
Ignorance is bliss. Despite these negatively enlightening truths, you still want to be that, that idea of “you”. You crave it. You feast upon the idea of you being the things you believe define you because when identity is taken, when autonomous thinking is taken, you have been stripped of the soul, you have been robbed of the reasons to even exist. I’d say our best things in this life are love and wisdom, they’re admirable and fulfilling, but they are impossible to realize without a sense of self, for only a self that thinks and feels can confirm or deny that either of these notions are true to the individual. You don’t just need, but want identity. But why does one want something when they do not even know what that something is? How can you know something is desirable when it’s something you’ve never known if you felt? “Love” has no definition; if one should attempt to put love into words, they’re still creating a definition entirely unique to themselves and themselves alone, and, yet, it’s discussed so openly, with such alleged congruence; love is a part of a very universal, mutual discourse like descriptions of a shared sight of a sunset or discussions of the pain from a broken tibia or the sensation of putting salt on a tongue. Additionally, this unique definition is based off of testimony from the rest of the world and of its people’s past; each definition comes from public nurturing of ideas through all forms of media and history, as well as personal nurturing through family, friends, influential elders, and religious backgrounds – these all muddy the waters of what one believes love is and can be. Your opinion is hardly your own, and, furthermore, that uniquely amalgamized chop suey of an opinion is to be understood by nobody but yourself and yet we openly discuss and aspire for this concept – one we have zero understanding of as individuals, let alone as an entire species. Implore several people: “define love”. Though it is only based off of an abstraction, ironically, their responses will be very similar; we are able to discuss and share ideas for this thing that we carry no knowledge of. We also, despite having no true concept of love, are able to want it. That is love, but it serves as a perfect illustration, for it is the exact same as the “Self” in its indefinable, yet ironically easy-to-discuss way of existing.
Nobody truly knows what the “Self” is until they know what it is, and, once attained, they cannot describe to anyone else how to find it, what it feels like, and neither can confirm nor deny that that other person too has a “Self”. Despite its difficulty to attain, define or teach, and lack of proof of its existence, we all want a “Self”. We have no concept, not a whit of an idea of what a “Self” truly is; it cannot be captured in a jar, it cannot be put into a box, it cannot be seen with a telescope or heard with a stethoscope or accurately and unanimously defined in a dictionary. There is no proof that it’s even real. But we want it. Not even because we’re told or taught to want it, but, in this instance, we know, deep down, like we know that we exist, that we want it. Like love. So why do we crave what we can’t begin to define or what we don’t even have any knowledge of? Identity is a necessity that we are inexplicably enslaved to and are unable to define, yes, but we can get a better idea as to the “how” and “why” of the matter if we attempt to poke holes in our history, our influence, our very lives and the world we inhabit.
Shedding Light on the Unknown: Combating the Consciences
Your attempt to be something set up for you by the world impedes the natural, upon who you really are. You live a pluralist lifestyle, where you see a multitude of options – boxed, trite, canned options that are frivolous and limited from which you must make a choice. What exists beyond options A-E on paper? If you could take the pen and write in your own, what could they possibly be? There allegedly exists such a thing as free thinking, but free action is far more difficult to express; the mind doing the free thinking was molded by a bastardizing artistry known as “society” and thus has its inhibitions, its fears, its doubts. What would you say and do if you were not afraid of what people thought? What free actions would you take? Can you maintain strong will over conscious decisions? And, those very fears, even if they feel overcome, may very well be a hinderance at the unconscious level. Do you feel you always consciously avoid disappointing people? Being the minority? Being the odd person out? No – it is often not conscious. You almost certainly react in these situations in a conformist way, but not even of your own volition. Being that these actions are born of unconscious, how does one begin to attempt to quell such things? Knowing that the unconscious, by its very definition, is out of your control?
In order to control your actions, to come to a closer understanding of that idea, the “Self”, one must maintain control of whatever they consciously can, often including stopping on a dime and thinking when you are instead used to a knee-jerk reaction of conditioning. This is no easy task; thinking is creating – creating scenarios and using valuable mental capacity to extrapolate upon different possibilities – and is essentially an artistic endeavor. Thinking, therefore, like any artistic endeavor, takes practice, as does the ability to stop a reaction in order to permit the thinking to take place. In practicing, one must look past the values they were taught, see through the mores and expectations of the societies they’ve inhabited. These are a reflection of place – “place” physically and ideologically, “place” meaning relative religiously, racially and culturally, which are in themselves relative geographically and to their period in time, all of which have evolved both scientifically and socially. In order to do so, meditate on what you are told, scrutinize the world in which you live. I now see what my state, region and country told me. I now see what Christianity told me. I now see what being white and middle class told me. I now see what the late twentieth century, and the umbrella structure that encapsulates all inculcated – both through my upbringing and into my late teenage and early twenties years – told me. These are conscious thoughts, these satellites of influence are not difficult to list. You may take 99 percent of what you’ve learned, and, thus, who you are, and point a finger at something or someone or several factors that helped shape you that way. You can easily speak about them. Identify them and use that conscious acknowledgement to meditate on how they make you think, act and react. Vigilantly shaping your conscious world, thinking before acting and reacting, learning about all things in life and embracing what you do not know and are not comfortable with – these are things that I see people avoid doing that would benefit us all insofar as they would bring us to a better understanding of our differences and they ways in which we choose to live them which in turn would expand our knowledge and eliminate our prejudices and thusly help to shape our unconscious to not be our own worst enemy sleeping dormantly under our skulls. But what of that which hides beneath the conscious and unconscious? What of that which is uniquely you? What is the true “Self”, the one that may live independently of influence? Does it exist? And does one ever find it? Or, is the way you are the way you are supposed to be? Are we all given the capacity to find the unique voice buried within the bedrock of our soul or are we all meant to be reactive, receptive beings who only imitate and recreate?
PART III: Your Truest “Self”
Finding Your Truth
Experiencing as much as possible provides you options and possibilities, but the only real way to find your truth is to simply live for many years – to have victories, to have defeats, to make mistakes and analyze your performances after the fact. These are the soul’s proactive and reactive approaches to life, an initiative-taking that was sometimes prompted by something deeper and a reactionary moment that cannot necessarily be attributed to what you were taught and what you’ve seen. These are the candid moments of naked reality that trickle through the cracks of your exoskeleton of false identity. Examine your past – why did you react the way you did in extreme situations? In times of danger or stress, in times of really needing a friend or needing to be a friend, in times of sheer jubilee or or times of absolute, rock bottom depression? These reactions all happen, we perhaps assume arbitrarily, yet we never do not act in accordance with our own laws. We absorb the entire painting of identity – we swallow the overarching cultures, their morals, religion, expectations, dress, music, food, literature, philosophy, language, work habits, decor, architecture, science, math, customs, films, preferred domesticated animals – and where we end up is where we end up, but there is something within us, after having seen enough, that not only holds the capability, but, at times, the unadulterated, uncompromising will to smear the whole damn canvas and make it something beautiful to us and us alone.
However, this requires taking initiative, and taking initiative with situations is a difficult task. Thinking for one’s self is a difficult task. Acting initially, without prompt or considering too many consequences, is a difficult task. Proactive thinking is difficult. And, perhaps, a paradox exists: trying to become “you” can too impose upon the natural; your attempt to chase down truth could make you overstep it and not let the chips fall where they “should”. The “Self” cannot be found by force. But in a situation where we can willfully pursue “you”, without forcing a change, we would come closer to carving a true identity, manifesting a unique blueprint to our character. We unfortunately live in an extremely reactive, digital epoch – an era based around an insatiable thirst for immediate gratification and validation that is more easily realized and achieved by imitation than deep, meticulously composed thought and also possesses a ubiquity, tempo and hunger for stimulation that make it difficult to forget that you are capable of finding a quiet, isolated place to compose original thought and meditate on you. Initiative to produce an individual thought is difficult to come by. Rather than a society of thinkers, we’re a society of reactors. We do not produce a quote, but find a meme that says something we agree with and share it. Rather than explore and expel fragments of the real “you”, we find something that we feel is representative, something peripheral, an “idea of you”. Our mirrors speak metaphorical volumes; we stare through a cheap, insipid copy of our God-given flesh and truth, and, rather than acknowledge and combat its reactive approach, take it to be the real us.
1) Am I proactive and original? Or am I amongst the multitude of reactors, the imitators?
2) What is my culture? The culture that lives alone in me?
These two questions are completely congruent. Culture is identity – the single most necessary thing for a human being apart from food, water and oxygen. This is why we war with and kill each other over disagreements of what happens after death; this is why we scream like imbecilic banshees when our team wins or loses in overtime; this is why our blood boils when someone makes an innocuous joke about the country our great-great-great-great grandparents came from that we have absolutely zero ties with. This is why we pretend to like people we don’t and this is why we accept beliefs that are not our own. Culture. Identity. We’ve established that we are so hopelessly afraid of not having one. But is it so impossible to satisfy that need by creating something ourselves? Is your soul, your culture a manifestation of what you are told? Or will you dictate your own direction? Write your own constitution? I was fitted into a shoe by society, one that would dictate the type of print I’m supposed to leave in the sands of history. It’s near impossible to remove the shoe entirely, but I tore the treads, changed the laces, drew pictures on the tongue. I dictate the rhythm and direction in which the feet plant themselves in the sand and these are the steps I will take until the damn thing rips at the seams and I am free. To be reactive would be to surf Facebook and come across a photo with text that says something of this sentiment and click ‘Share’. To be proactive is to find you, not by finding the things you like that others have already done, but to create. Explore, express, fill your canvas. Quote yourself. Stop reacting and becoming sharers, regurgitators, copiers, engagers in circular discourse of insipid frivolity. Who you are, your unique blueprint, is an individual kind of beautiful. Don’t let people compare that beauty to a rose; the roses ought be compared to you. Have you ever had somebody love you so much? So, so, so much that you felt it when they weren’t even around? Good. Have you ever had somebody hate you so much? So, so, so much that you felt it when they weren’t even around? Good. You’ve stirred up passions. Roses are but mere representations of passion – homages, symbols; you are the real thing.
Live it, Love it, Express it.
It absolutely behooves one to discover their truth and let it breathe, for their sake and nobody else’s, especially in our society’s entrapment of endless stimuli, where the world itself has turned into a dead television channel of static patterns and audible, roaring nothingness. Lost somewhere between the hellish blur and bellowing din is a genuine signal, yet its modesty and truth will only be discernible to those who can block out the spurious waves. And how? You already possess methods for eradicating these devilish distractions. The door is in front of you, but only you can decide to pass through. Do not know the path; walk the path. Your truth is the most necessary light; all other notions in life illuminate the path on which you currently walk, the path that has been shaped by the world, the one that lends you comfort and complacency; your truth doesn’t better illuminate this path, nor frame it in a different light, but instead shines upon a wholly separate one. It is my contention that this path, known and recognized only by you, when and if found, cannot even be preached or shared. Because God will not smack you upside the head and tell you it is your ultimate truth, you and you alone can know it. Just like love. You will never be able to prove it to anyone, not even yourself. Proof is to be dismissed in favor of intuition. Your truth is your truth for this very reason; even if you could show proof that it was “your truth”, people would fail to understand why it works for you. And why should truth require anyone’s consent?
Identity is many things:
- it’s a mere construct – brought to our reality only through our perception
- it’s of circumstance – the places we’ve occupied physically and in time, the ones that have thus offered us certain cultures and circumstances, have unequivocally shaped us (and not of our own volition). These are of “unyielding circumstance” and a lack of choice.
- it’s a mask – a particular color that we wear in and out of different moments because we are physically human but socially chameleons; we don’t wear altering colors of our own volition, but because it’s Darwinian, self-preservation; our very need to blend in our environment socially is as necessary to our survival as the chameleon’s need to blend in with their environment physically is to theirs.
- it’s ephemeral and elusive- its existence, if it all, lives from but nanosecond to nanosecond (a unit chosen for complete lack of possibility to describe the smallest interval of time mathematically possible). Identity – the idea of “you” – is in constant evolution, and tastes changing begs of us to ponder about if we ever truly know ourselves or if we merely think we do from interval to interval. No packaged, set-in-stone person can truly exist, no matter how much we believe we can be one. Our tastes change (and our freedom to decide them will not).
- it’s comfort and necessity – with or without the conformist aspect, even in complete isolation, we often adhere to pre-prescribed labels and options that society has presented to us because we feel the need to be something in order “to be”, to exist, to feel we have a home. With no labels and no ideologies we are emotional, spiritual and intellectual islands. What we regard to be true, and the way we think those exterior truths live within us are drugs for many. A peripheral part of our lives, which we can mistakenly regard as part of who we truly are, can get into someone’s blood and become something they must defend emphatically, often to death itself. It is the quintessential irony – something we can understand the completely arbitrary, dangerous nature of and yet still want to be taken over by. We make it necessary for ourselves.
- it’s indescribable – using “love” as a comparative underscore, we know there is no set schema or definition to identity and what its necessary components are. Ironically, as mentioned, it is a great source of comfort and a necessity for us, and somehow is openly discussed as if two participating parties have common ground.
- it’s unique – or has the potential for such. In its rarest moments, one which we can only aspire to and reach for in a higher, Platonic way, it is a way to express a singular voice, one, that no matter how misunderstood to the world, is beautiful to its own beholder. This is the highest form of identity, something that makes sense to you alone, that brings happiness and peace to you alone, something that you found in you and extrapolated upon and nurtured and grew by yourself. I see this not only as the highest potential for identity as a concept, I see it as the highest potential for a connection to God, a connection to truth that many never get, a connection that is painful to achieve because venturing from comfort and complacency is the most difficult prospect most of us will ever have to face in our lives.
The reward should be great, we ought find the most sublime peace of mind from at least earnestly attempting to shed the superfluous and superficial in favor of a core of warm, radiant reality. Perhaps, as established, at best, we can only forever reach for and never truly achieve what is the “Self”. Is where we end up God’s plan or merely indicative of how hard we worked/didn’t work to block out society’s static and learn/not learn about our arbitrary circumstances and genetic lottery result? Shoot for everyone’s aspired plateau and you’ll land amongst comfort and “success”. Shoot for your own infinity, and, when you fall short, you’ll at least land somewhere you can call “you and you alone”, and can foolishly grin when people tell you they don’t understand the path you’ve chosen. Be brave, be bold, be absolutely uncompromising in carving out and expressing yourself.
Tony Blau Veldt
02/02/2015 – 10/01/2015