A Static Identity Revisited

One of the more sophomoric ideas I’ve thrown out there is the concept of the “static identity”.

Occasionally I’ll see that someone viewed the post I released last year that explained the idea. It’s surprisingly one of my most viewed pages. (Possibly making it my one minor contribution to philosophy although SOMEBODY had to have thought of it first. Unless it’s such a stupid idea that I was the only one dumb enough to think of it. Nevertheless no one has challenged me.)

But the static identity was my way of attempting to explain the societal pressures placed on an individual and the prevalence of mental health diagnoses. I don’t recall my exact reasoning when introducing the idea, but upon reflection, the idea of mental “illness” might be misguided. There might not be illnesses or “disorders” but a reflection of “neurodiversity”….as in the condition of being “bipolar”, “schizophrenic”, or “depressed” might serve an actual function. The nature of civilization might favor a given neuro condition while unfavoring others. Therefore, the idea of “mental illness” is more akin to neuro discrimination rather than a genuine handicap.

So people aren’t getting crazier…we’ve always been crazy. We’re just getting better at discerning between desired and undesired behavior in regards to adapting people to an ever growing matrix of a technological civilization.

The margin of error is getting slimmer. While we have become more accepting of race, sex, and sexual orientation…we have not extended that same openness to processes of the mind. Any such deviations are, as previously stated, a disorder.

This stands to reason. “Society”(a word that I hate) hinges upon cooperation. As this matrix grows, the more cooperative the individuals that make up this society must be. It’s entirely possible that this matrix has grown faster than what human cognition has been able to match. Only a small number of people can even meet its demands. Suddenly, the “matrix” or “society” is of benefit to only a select few.

The rest of us feel alienated from it.

The “static identity” therefore becomes the Rousseauan chain that anchors us to this matrix (I believe I once referred to it as “the bureaucratic-technological complex”). We get a name, social security number, assigned a sex, and so on. To help us live with this narrow world, we come to define ourselves according to our jobs, family, class, nation,  etc. We cannot escape this identity.

While this identity is serviceable, or even rewarding, to some…many others are trapped within its existence and are unable to locate the source of their sorrows….which is enslavement to a material and mental construction known as “identity”.

The societal matrix that administers this identity often takes human progress for granted. But as I’ve said many times before, longer life…or even physically healthier life…does not equate to a “happier” life as we are noticing with America’s so-called “happiness deficit”.

Now I’ve grown skeptical of my conception of “static identity”, at least as it’s presently conceived.

What purpose can it serve?

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