Because the universe is measurably expanding (not contracting), and we are moving forward in time (not backwards), I too must be expanding and moving forward in time. I observe this through the phenomenon of growth and development, or evolution and expansion. My identity, therefor, must include the capacity for growth and expansion.
When I define myself as a 27 year old man, this identity is temporary. When I turn 28, this identity will no longer apply to me. If I define myself as a young adult, it will last a bit longer, but still, it is a temporary identity.
Are there any permanent identities?
For the sake of clarity, yes, but keep in mind that I am choosing to frame the answer within a context of being helpful and understandable. In exploring thoughts such as these, it’s helpful to draw the lines around the context that we are examining. Without context, there are no permanent identities. Perhaps “permanence” itself is a human-made idea. There are identities that are much more permanent than others…but you can always zoom your perspective out to the point where we are looking at our entire universe as a speck of dust on the eyebrow of some giant sleeping space orca…or however you conceptualize eternity.
What is important in examining the concept of identity is where we draw the boundaries.
In a national sense, my blood is of the nations of Sicily, Israel, Slovakia, and Poland. Note: A nation is a shared identity of people based on cultural norms and ways of being. It is not necessarily that which is contained within country boundaries. For example, the United States of America was founded initially by eleven distinct nations, each with very different customs and ways of life. This is why different regions possess strikingly different ways of life and political views.
Source: American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America Woodard, Colin.
Genetically, the peoples of the world hold no identifiable distinction in our genetic makeup. In other words, the human genetic makeup is the same in Asia as it is in Africa as it is in Europe as it is everywhere. There is a genetic difference in men and women however! (X and Y Chromosomes).
I believe that collectively we are birthing a global identity. Through the exponential advancement of technology, different cultural and national ideas are being released into the global soup, and, to use an Altucherian metaphor, they have idea sex.
Idea sex is based off of James Altucher’s method of consuming various seemingly disparate ideas and working towards the birthing of new ideas that would not have been possible without the idea sex.
I will expand the metaphor: in this example, cultural practices and ways of life are the differing ideas. When two seemingly disparate cultural practices meet in the global exchange (which, one could imagine, as an international lovers hotel), these cultural ideas mix, mingle, and if the mood is right, make love with each other. Naturally, some ideas get along better than others! Regrettably, as we’ve seen time and time again, some cultures rape and pillage other cultures (read: colonialism, slavery, genocide, etc).
So what is a more conscious approach? Take, for example, the culture of the Metis people in Acadia (Northern Maine and French Canada). When the area was colonized in the early 17th century by the French, the French officials established peaceful relations with the Algonquin, Mi’kmaq, and other native tribes. A cultural exchange was established in respectful terms, as desired by both parties. The resultant culture of Metis (literally “something that is half of one thing and half of another” in French) is the result of French trappers and hunters marrying and making love with Algonquin, Mi’kmaq women. Their culture is unique one, built on mutual trust and respect.
When two cultures come together in mutually trusting and respectful terms, then we often see the birth of identities that may have never existed before!
The Inner World
Now consider your inner world – your unconscious self. Inside, swirling just below the crest of awareness, are myriad untouched archetypes, existing continually until they bubble up or we call up on them. You are the world. What sort of world do you want to create? What are the nations (archetypes, ideas, etc) that exist inside of you? How can these cultures have sex and birth something new, exiting, and uniquely you? Furthermore, do you want to be a colonist, a slaver, or a murderer? Or do you want to allow the valid parts of your subconscious self the time, space, and respect that is necessary to birth a truly awesome, vibrant, aligned identity?
Woah, we just flew into outer space. This is getting way out there. If this is outside your comfort zone, skip this part. Is it possible that our galaxy is just one of many galaxies that house conscious beings? If so, how will we decide how to show up in the galactic stage? Right now I’d like to imagine that we are being watched and encouraged like young children learning to walk and talk. Once we get a few things straightened out, then maybe we will grow to the point where we will be ready to handle a galactic-sized exchange of ideas. Until then, let’s focus on our personal, local, and global identities with time, space, and respect, as new ideas birth, moving always towards respectful and mutually desirable exchanges with others.
Furthermore, let’s be flexible with our identities. Let’s allow who we are to grow and change and evolve. If you’re having trouble picturing this, look at who you were a year ago. Were you doing the same things? Thinking the same thoughts? Did you act the same way that you do now? If so, maybe you have some growing up to do! If you are acting differently, if you have grown, then acknowledge this growth. Give yourself some credit for how far you’ve come in a year. This isn’t a race, it’s a dance. Let’s move forward lovingly, respectfully, always open to the possibility of exchanging and growing. Even though the ego can get attached to an identity, remember, we are not the ego! Don’t fear the natural crystallization and dissolution of identity cycles. It’s part of the cool, forward-moving experience of being a human being.