relation each thing bears to itself alone
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Identity is a concept related to various forms of definable entities; especially such entities as seem most subject to definition. Sciences, art, and technology involve ranges of knowledge, investigation and experimentation in terms of definite, defined, or definable entities, whereas religion, mysticism, and spirituality often deal with entities or notions that are recognized or explicitly declared to be beyond any definitions or concepts attainable by mortal minds.

Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self. ~ B. R. Ambedkar
Religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. Often, they don't want to give up their egotism. They want their religion to endorse their ego, their identity. ~ Karen Armstrong

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  • If you look for an identity you find inequality. If you look for similarities you separate one truth from another.
When people get married because they think it's a long-time love affair, they'll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity. ~ Joseph Campbell
  • There is nothing so certain to lead to inequality as identity.
  • I don't blame the average seventeen-year-old punk-rock kid for calling me a sellout. I understand that. And maybe when they grow up a little bit, they'll realize there's more things to life than living out your rock & roll identity so righteously.
  • If you’ve ever sat in a room with twins, immediately you’re forced to deal with this confusion. You’re afraid to call them by name because you’re afraid you’re going to get it wrong. At first being a twin is a source of power, you can switch, you can fool people—but then it becomes a vulnerability because people confuse you when you don’t want them to. The famous story of the twins who were both spanked when either one of them did something wrong because the parents wanted to make sure they got the right twin. So that would immediately make each twin totally responsible for the other one’s actions and therefore would make you want to control the other twin’s actions. It gets quite twisted and the confusion of identities becomes quite intense.
    • David Cronenberg [1]
  • Positioning one's own identity in relation to the existence of the other is sickness. If you need an enemy to keep your identity alive, your identity is sick.
    Original: Kendi kimliğini ötekinin varlığına göre konumlandırmak hastalıktır. Kimliğini yaşatmak için sana bir düşman gerekiyorsa, senin kimliğin hastalıklıdır.
  • When established identities become outworn or unfinished ones threaten to remain incomplete, special crises compel men to wage holy wars, by the cruelest means, against those who seem to question or threaten their unsafe ideological bases.
    • Erik Erikson, in "The Problem of Ego Identity" (1956), published in Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 4:56-121.
  • This story of loss and regaining of identity is, I think, the framework of all literature.
  • A sense of identity is the gift of love, and only love can give it.
I try to find the core values that are so fundamental that they transcend ethnic identity. That doesn't mean I run from it. I embrace African-American culture and I love it and embrace it, but it is a part of a human identity. So I'm always trying to make a larger human statement. ~ Wynton Marsalis
All self, the phenomenon of self, is perhaps one field, one consciousness – perhaps there is only one ‘I’, perhaps our brains, our selves, our entire identity is little more than a label on a waveband. We are only us when we are here. At this particular moment in space and time, this particular locus, the overall awareness of the entire continuum happens to believe it is Alan Moore. ~ Alan Moore
  • The loss of illusions and the discovery of identity, though painful at first, can be ultimately exhilarating and strengthening.
    • Abraham Maslow, Toward a Philosophy of Being (Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1962), p. 15.
  • Pornography and violence are by-products of societies in which private identity has been … destroyed by sudden environmental change.
    • Marshall McLuhan, in a letter to Clare Westcott (26 November 1975), published in Letters of Marshall McLuhan (1987), p. 514.
  • Any loss of identity prompts people to seek reassurance and rediscovery of themselves by testing, and even by violence. Today, the electric revolution, the wired planet, and the information environment involve everybody in everybody to the point of individual extinction.
    • Marshall McLuhan, in a letter to Clare Westcott (26 November 1975), published in Letters of Marshall McLuhan (1987), p. 514.
  • All forms of violence are quests for identity. When you live on the frontier, you have no identity. You're a nobody.
  • Everybody tends to merge his identity with other people at the speed of light. It's called being mass man.
  • Attention spans get very weak at the speed of light, and that goes along with a very week identity.
  • Loss of identity drives people to nostalgia. Electronic man has no physical body, so he puts nostalgia in its place.
    • As quoted in "McLuhan's last words" by Stewart Brand, New Scientist (29 January 1981).
  • Radical changes of identity, happening suddenly and in very brief intervals of time, have proved more deadly and destructive of human values than wars fought with hardware weapons.
    • Marshall McLuhan, Laws of Media: The New Science (1988) co-written with Eric McLuhan, p. 97.
  • The TV generation is postliterate and retribalized. It seeks by violence to scrub the old private image and to merge in a new tribal identity, like any corporate executive.
    • Marshall McLuhan, as quoted in The Book of Probes : Marshall McLuhan (2011), p. 201.
  • It strikes me that self, not just my self, but all self, the phenomenon of self, is perhaps one field, one consciousness – perhaps there is only one ‘I’, perhaps our brains, our selves, our entire identity is little more than a label on a waveband. We are only us when we are here. At this particular moment in space and time, this particular locus, the overall awareness of the entire continuum happens to believe it is Alan Moore. Over there – [he points to another table in the pizza restaurant] – it happens to believe it is something else.
    I get the sense that if you can pull back from this particular locus, this web-site if you like, then you could be the whole net. All of us could be. That there is only one awareness here, that is trying out different patterns. We are going to have to come to some resolution about a lot of things in the next twenty years time, our notions of time, space, identity.
    • Alan Moore, in "Alan Moore Interview" by Matthew De Abaitua (1998), later published in Alan Moore: Conversations (2011) edited by Eric L. Berlatsky
  • What is it that makes a person the very person that she is, herself alone and not another, an integrity of identity that persists over time, undergoing changes and yet still continuing to be — until she does not continue any longer, at least not unproblematically? I stare at the picture of a small child at a summer’s picnic, clutching her big sister’s hand with one tiny hand while in the other she has a precarious hold on a big slice of watermelon that she appears to be struggling to have intersect with the small o of her mouth. That child is me. But why is she me? I have no memory at all of that summer’s day, no privileged knowledge of whether that child succeeded in getting the watermelon into her mouth. It’s true that a smooth series of contiguous physical events can be traced from her body to mine, so that we would want to say that her body is mine; and perhaps bodily identity is all that our personal identity consists in. But bodily persistence over time, too, presents philosophical dilemmas.
    • Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity (2006)
  • In our production-oriented society, being busy, having an occupation, has become one of the main ways, if not the main way, of identifying ourselves. Without an occupation, not just our economic security but our very identity is endangered.
  • All who are guided b the spirit of God are sons [daughters] of God, for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear, you received the spirit of adoption, enabling us cry out “Abba , father”
  • Paraphrased: Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.
  • We are all, Esme decides, just vessels through which identities pass: we are lent features, gestures, habits, then we hand them on. Nothing is our own. We begin in the world as anagrams of our antecedents.”
  • To be free means to be lacking in constitutive identity, not to have subscribed to a determined being, to be able to be other than what one was, to be unable to install oneself once and for all in any given being. The only attribute of the fixed stable being in the free being is this constitutive instability.
    • José Ortega y Gasset, "History as a System" ("Historia como sistema", 1935), translated by William C. Atkinson, in Toward a Philosophy of History (New York: W. W. Norton, 1941), p. 203.
  • My identity has everything to do with me and my instrument. It doesn't have to do with what production style I use, or how many people played on it, whether it's sparse or grandiose or whatever. And I'm social, frankly.
  • Identity is much less a thing people "inherit" than it used to be.
  • An ideology critique that does not clearly accept its identity as satire can, however, easily be transformed from an instrument in the search for truth into one of dogmatism. All too often, it interferes with the capacity for dialogue instead of opening up new paths for it.
  • Did not Nietzsche too warn of that “life-destroying enlightenment” that touches on our life-supporting self-delusions? Can we afford to shake up the “basic fictions” of privacy, personality, and identity? Be that as it may, in this question both old and new conservatives have come to the hard decision to take the “stance” of defending, against all the demands of reflection, their “unavoidable lies for living,” without which self-preservation would not be possible. That they are aided in this by the general fear of self-experience, which competes with curiosity about self-experience, does not have to be expressly emphasized.
  • The dance around the golden calf of identity is the last and greatest orgy of counterenlightenment. Identity is the magic word of a partially hidden, partially open conservatism that has inscribed personal identity, occupational identity, national identity, political identity, female identity, male identity, class identity, party identity, etc., on its banner.
  • The courtly person (cortegiano, gentilhomme, gentleman, Hofmann) has gone through a training in self-esteem that expresses itself in many ways: in aristocratically pretentious opinions, in polished or majestic manners, in gallant or heroic patterns of feeling as well as in a selective, aesthetic sensitivity for that which is said to be courtly or pretty. The noble, far removed from any self-doubt, should achieve all this with a complete matter-of-factness. Any uncertainty, any doubt in these things signifies a slackening in the nobility’s cultural “identity.” This class narcissism, which has petrified into a form of life, tolerates no irony, no exception, no slips, because such disturbances would give rise to unwelcome reflections.
  • Growing has no connection with audience.
    Audience has no connection with identity.
    Identity has no connection with a universe.
    A universe has no connection with human nature.
  • It is funny about money. And it is funny about identity. You are you because your little dog knows you, but when your public knows you and does not want to pay for you and when your public knows you and does want to pay for you, you are not the same you.
  • And identity is funny being yourself is funny as you are never yourself to yourself except as you remember yourself and then of course you do not believe yourself.
  • Human nature, human nature acts as it acts when it is identified when there is an identity but it is not human nature that has anything to do with that it is that anybody is there where they are, it is that that has to do with identity, with government and propaganda with history with individualism and with communism but it has nothing nothing to do with the human mind … because the human mind writes what there is and what has identity go to do with that … nothing at all.
    • Gertrude Stein, as quoted in Really Reading Gertrude Stein : A Selected Anthology with Essays (1989) by Judy Grahn, p. 253.
  • If you made a mistake in the past and learn from it now, you are using clock time. On the other hand, if you dwell on it mentally, and self-criticism, remorse, or guilt come up, then you are making the mistake into “me” and “mine”: you make it part of your sense of self, and it has become psychological time, which is always linked to a false sense of identity.
  • "Forgiveness" is a term that has been in use for 2,000 years, but most people have a very limited view of what it means. You cannot truly forgive yourself or others as long as you derive your sense of self from the past. Only through accessing the power of the Now, which is your own power, can there be true forgiveness. This renders the past powerless, and you realize deeply that nothing you ever did or that was ever done to you could touch even in the slightest the radiant essence of who you are... When you surrender to what is and so become fully present, the past ceases to have any power. You do not need it anymore. Presence is the key. The Now is the key.
  • Memory, then, is a necessary part of the logical faculty. … The proposition A = A must have a psychological relation to time, otherwise it would be At1 = At2.
  • Identity is not inherent. It is shaped by circumstance and sensitivity and resistance to self-pity.
    • Dorothy West, The Wedding (1995). Anchor Books, 1996, p. 82.
  • Think about what people are doing on Facebook today. They're keeping up with their friends and family, but they're also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand. They're connecting with the audience that they want to connect to. It's almost a disadvantage if you're not on it now.



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