Mental activity, which works in its way from the memory-image to the production of identity of perception via the outer world, merely represents a roundabout way to wish-fulfillment made necessary by experience. Thinking is indeed nothing but a substitute for the hallucinatory wish; and if the dream is called a wish-fulfillment, this becomes something self-evident, since nothing but a wish can impel our psychic apparatus to activity.
We are indestructible. While our form may change, our true identity does not. We are not our careers, our money, our relationships, our successes, or our failures. Roles come and go. We create them because they offer us perfect settings in which to explore ourselves and learn.
The self is the metaphoric construct of identity and agency, the hypothetical piece of turf on which we construct our strategies for survival, the notion around which we focus our instincts for self-preservation, our needs for self-approval, and the boundaries of our self-interest.
Many times it has happened: lifted out of the body into myself; becoming external to all other things and self-centered; beholding a marvelous beauty; then, more than ever, assured of community with the loftiest order; enacting the noblest life, acquiring identity with the divine; stationing within It by having attained that activity; poised above whatsoever in the Intellectual is less than the Supreme: yet, there comes the moment of descent from intellection to reasoning, and after that sojourn in the divine, I ask myself how it happens that I can now be descending, and how did the Soul ever enter into my body, the Soul which even within the body, is the high thing it has shown itself to be.
Knowledge has three degrees: opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition. To the last I subordinate reason. It is absolute knowledge founded on the identity of the mind knowing with the object known.
The idea of soul, as a pure ego or mental substance, persists tenaciously in philosophy. I have argued that it cannot satisfactorily discharge the various tasks for which it has been recruited. The body, with marginal, speculative and dependent exceptions, is all that is required to individuate experiences and to supply then with an owner. An unobservable mental substance cannot individuate and provides a merely formal, because wholly inscrutable, solution to the problem of ownership. It is equally, and even more obviously, inept as an explanation of the identity of a person through time, which rests, not on the body, but on the complex of a person’s character and memories, related by continuity.
The first principle asserts that at least some mental events interact causally with physical events... The second principle is that where there is causality, there must be a law: events related as cause and effect fall under strict deterministic laws... The third principle is that there are no strict deterministic laws on the basis of which mental events can be predicted and explained... from the fact that there can be no strict psychophysical laws, and without our other two principles, we can infer the truth of a version of the identity theory, that is, a theory that identifies at least some mental events with physical events.
Tracing the progress of mankind in the ascending path of civilization, and moral and intellectual culture, our fathers found that the divine ordinance of government, in every stage of ascent, was adjustable on principles of the common reason to the actual condition of a people, and always had for its objects, in the benevolent councils of the divine wisdom, the happiness, the expansion, the security, the elevation of society, and the redemption of man. They sought in vain for any title of authority of man over man, except of superior capacity and higher morality.
Before an egg can grow into a chicken, it must first totally cease to be an egg. Each thing must lose its original identity before it can be something else. Therefore, before a thing is transformed into something else, it must come to a level of no-thingness.
Human faculties are common, but that which converges these faculties into my identity separates me from every other man. That other man cannot think my thoughts, he cannot speak my words, he cannot do my works. He cannot have my; sins, I cannot have his virtues.
Central to the notion of masculinity is its rejection of everything that is defined by a culture as feminine and its legitimated control of whatever counts as the feminine... Gender is an asymmetrical category of human thought, social organization, and individual identity and behavior.
God makes the Aeon, the Aeon makes the Kosmos, the Kosmos makes Time, and Time makes Coming-to-be. The essence of God is the Good, the essence of the Aeon is sameness, the essence of the Kosmos is order, the essence of Time is change, and the essence of Coming-to-be is life. The workings of God are mind and soul, the workings of the Aeon are immortality and duration, the workings of the Aeon are immortality and duration, the workings of the kosmos are re-instatement in identity and re-instatement by substitution, the workings of Time are increase and decrease, and the workings of Coming-to-be are quality and quantity. The aeon then is in God, the Kosmos is in the Aeon, Time is in the Kosmos, and Coming-to-be takes place in Time.
We do not have to hold on to our identity to survive... We see that no states of mind are solid; they only become solid when we weave them into a story. We discover that opening to the vast open space of awareness does not destroy us. We learn to trust in the unknown as a guide to what is most fresh and alive in the moment.
Karma is a multidimensional complex of forces beyond any simple explanation. Karma is action. An action has consequences. Our identity comes from past actions, which create memories. Those memories create desires, which give rise to new choices and new actions.
One of the main tasks of adolescence is to achieve an identity – not necessarily a knowledge of who we are, but a clarification of the range of what we might become, a set of self-references by which we can make sense of our responses, and justify our decisions and goals.
Man strives for reconciliation with God – could he aspire to anything higher? Since identity with God is a paradoxical notion, reconciliation with Him remains man’s only goal because it represents no less than his redemption from the conflicting forces within his own nature.
There is no inherent authority of `truth’ to any concept except for the subjective value ascribed to it. Credibility is a subjective decision and purely experiential and indefinable. What is convincing to one person may be dismissed as nonsense by another. The realization and knowingness of God is radically and purely subjective. There is not even the hypothetical possibility that reason could arrive at Truth. Truth is knowable only by virtue of the identity of being it.
That which is `provable’ is not Reality but perception or mentation only. Reality is subjective and knowable only by virtue of identity with the known. “Provables’ belong to the classification and level of limitation and are arbitrary abstractions whose sole `reality’ is merely the consequence of selection and identification. The phenomenal is not the same as the noumenal [understood by intellectual intuition without the aid of the senses – opposed to phenomenon.]
It’s often said that there are three requirements for a fulfilling life. The first two – a clear sense of personal identity and a strong sense of personal mission – are rooted in the third: a deep sense of life’s meaning. In our time especially, many people are spurred to search for that meaning because they’re haunted by having too much to live with and too little to live for