Archive for Identity

How can I go on? (more anonymity)

Posted in Doom and Evil, Philosophy, Reality Bites, Relationships, society, Stayin' Alive, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 8, 2008 by wizardsmoke

As you may have seen, I did an amazing post about anonymity recently. I think anonymity is a pretty interesting concept in general. As long as one is anonymous, truly anonymous, one does not have a concrete identity. Wouldn’t you say that’s the case? Even a supposedly anonymous online identity is not completely anonymous so long as you’re interacting with other people to some degree. It just becomes another identity you create, a further manifestation of your ego, your duality.

So, by my reasoning, as soon as you have any identity you cease to be completely anonymous. And to conclude that train of thought, anonymity represents the sea of endless identity-potentiality. It almost does not — or cannot — exist.

When we talk about maintaining anonymity, it can only really refer to blending in with the mass or crowd. We have no independent or unique attributes assigned to us. So… on some level we can have an identity and be anonymous if we cause no attention to our identity. But then what is the point of it all?

I think Hatsumi is always referring to ideas along these lines in his books on ninpo. I think this is what people mean when they talk about being able to become invisible. Serious illusions work on this level — they draw your attention away from minute details so that your perception is dulled. Actually, all illusions work on this level, but to varying degrees of subtlety and manifestation.

A basic example (which might apply exclusively to males?) is when you see a group of girls walking together. The larger the group of girls, the more attractive they seem — as a group. This is because your mind tacks together all of the attractive qualities of these women in your sense field. But upon closer investigation, one realizes that no single individual is particularly attractive. (Sorry if that sounded sexist. I’m still a schoolboy at heart, I guess, hahaha!)

The same example can be used with almost anything. Individuality is more like a unique series of flaws. We see other people in life and society and we think they are happy or productive or functional or healthy, but upon deeper investigation it is revealed that they are all equally “damaged”.

Isn’t that so wickedly strange? Our imperfections are our definitions? I mean, sure we all have our virtues too but virtues seem to evade definition. Perfection doesn’t exist. Or it does, but its existence is non-existence. Or something.

So, when people are forced into having identities, it’s functioning to point out the imperfections of the individual. Individuality is imperfection, and imperfection is easy to criticize. Having internet identification, or mandatory voting cards, or whatever else: these are methods to control people. Isolating them from the fluidity required to have energy.

Simply shine a light on a single person and point out their flaws and the rest will eat him alive. The fundamental methodology of politics and media.

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Anonymity

Posted in Cults, Doom and Evil, Future World, society, Stayin' Alive, Technology, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 30, 2008 by wizardsmoke

So, if you’re wondering why I keep my identity anonymous, you might be disappointed to know it’s not for any big secretive reason. I’m not some super famous person (yet), nor am I using this condition as a big ego-trip. Frankly, I think exposing my ethnicity and background would only serve to color people’s perceptions of my musings here. I mean, sure I’ve dropped some hints (you know I’m a dude, right?) but anything more would probably alienate some people. Not that I care what other people think of me, but at least this way opinions are almost exclusively based on my writing.

For the same reason I don’t wax politically here (at least not too blatantly), I don’t like to wear my agenda on my sleeve. You could figure out who I am, but what would that prove? Too many people write with agendas or slants or self-interest in mind. Not that I don’t, but I find anonymity is a nice way of leaving it behind temporarily. It allows this blog to exist apart from me. I don’t tell my real life friends about this blog nor point them toward it. For that I have other ones I write on, which are more closely linked to what I do in my day to day life.

Anonymity is a unique gift of the internet. And it is disappearing rapidly. It exists now under only a thin veil, one which can be seen through if a person cares enough to do so. Every time I post a comment on another blog, the blog-owner can find out where I am from and who my internet provider is. Furthermore, the provider knows what network my address is on and to whom it is registered. Of course, I am drawing attention to myself by not agreeing to provide adequate identification on this blog, are I not? It may seem like a draw or catch to pull people in, but it isn’t. I am quite happy if anyone finds this work to be of value. But what I value is a potential of anonymity itself. For does anonymity not also represent that phase of infinite potential from which all definitions and identities arise?

Furthermore, the recent protests against Scientology by an internet group of nerds, punks, hackers and so forth, calling themselves only by “anonymous”, has proven the necessity of non-identification in a society where more and more people fear the consequences of open dissent against unjust institutions. Whether or not this is the renegade group’s intention, to raise the ethical question of identity in a society afraid to combat its own shadows, the case has been opened. Too much of society is falling under the control and mandate of a higher institution. The only thing that protects people from unjust law is the ability to make mass decisions as a group. Outliers and independent thinkers bring attention and calamity upon themselves. In other words, the only anonymity is in fitting in.

In older times, identification was not easy. Indeed, passports were not necessary to travel abroad until after World War I. There were not as many people in the world, and yet people were not easily identified. The only people easily identifiable by appearance would be the noblemen and aristocrats financially worthy of a portrait or photograph. Even these images were in limited circulation.

The role of identity in the modern world is a static and drab one. Modern market-driven society aggressively seeks to define us and demands us to define ourselves in relation to it — largely through the products and goals it has predetermined for us to entertain. We have been fooled into thinking our identity or uniqueness is our ability to consume products we “choose”, that our tastes have any real substance, that Myspace or Facebook are anything more than a precursor of online monitoring or electric eyes. The government does not need to ostracize and label outlying citizens as heretics, for often society will do it voluntarily. Within the younger demographics of today’s modern society, it is a lack of presence on such online social networks that is strange, and which raises questions.

The world and its power structures are always trying to define each of us, to identify and categorize us — as an investment or a threat. Fortunately, the true fabric of identity comes from the imagination and the mind. Thus an adept can change their identity as they see fit. External appearances are necessary, but manipulations of appearance are easy and only a shallower layer of illusion (although some of the most shallow things are the most broad, a haha!). Identity may be the cause of suffering, but that gives no one else the right to impose identity upon us.

Identity’s Revenge!

Posted in Fighting, martial arts, Relationships, society, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Growing up in a dysfunctional family, I thought all the time about how my life came into existence. Just whose fault was it that my life sucked so bad, that I was so depressed? As you’d imagine, I didn’t really get to the bottom of any of it, but I certainly got pretty frustrated. One thing I did learn is that I hate violent or angry arguments, and I am pretty good at spotting where they begin to occur. I absolutely will not tolerate relationships where those kinds of things appear at all frequently. Not that anybody should, it’s just unhealthy. But, I can’t say that my siblings all learned the same lessons from our dysfunctional youth as I did.

The outcome of explosive arguments and confrontations are a bit like the outcome of revenge. The whole ordeal comes from the desire of one individual to make the other see things their way. Revenge is some desire to create equality of experiences between two parties, of which one feels unjustly wronged. The reason it is futile is simply because we have no ability to perceive the experiences of another. And the more one cares about the perceptions and experiences of another, the more unbalanced and unhappy one becomes.

Revenge works like this. Have you ever gone searching desperately for one thing, or one person? It is miserable and pathetic. While searching for one thing around you, you completely neglect the other things that are going on at the same time. Have you ever had a crush on someone for a while and then neglected the affections of someone else close to you? People want to make the object of revenge see how much pain they have felt or how much pain they have caused their victims. But this is something subjective. You can make them hate you the way you hate them, but this really doesn’t solve any of your problems. It actually makes them worse. If someone is legitimately sorry for something they have done, what can you do about it? Is the situation resolved?

I concluded at one point from my experiences in life that, relationships are not painful if one does not get involved in them. Any decent martial arts teacher will tell you not to get involved in a fight if at all possible. All of samsara, or existence, is like this. It’s something we’ve decided to get involved in, somehow. Our relationships with people are so painful because we identify with them, we get involved in them. When someone we are not involved with passes away, we’re not emotionally effected in a direct manner. We do not identify with them. It seems to me that everything we are attached to is something we identify with.

The worst part about revenge or arguments or anything of this ilk, is that we know we’re not supposed to let ourselves get carried away with them. Revenge is a bad idea, but the emotions involved are so palpable and strong. And doesn’t giving up on revenge make us a weak person? I don’t know, there’s a time and place for everything. But arguments and actions should only happen naturally. In other words, it is better not to run after them or attempt to create those circumstances, much as with romance or anything else.