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What is human identity to you?

Discussion in 'The Pavilion' started by AAKS, Jul 3, 2012.

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  1. AAKS

    AAKS Youngsta Beauty

    Sep 18, 2011
    i was just studying human identity in philosophy, and found it very interesting that how everyone has a different meaning attached to human identity.
    so that made me wonder, about all the different perspective people have of human identity and what it means to them. Hence the thread and the question , what is human identity to you? what does it mean to you/how would you define it?

    i know its a boring topic but still would love to hear your views on it
  2. Strength Is Life

    Strength Is Life Talented

    Jun 20, 2012

    This is actually a very interesting topic and something which has always commanded my attention and mental space. At the moment I would say my endeavour to understand my identity as a human being is a work in progress.

    My first attempt at understanding who I am or what I am was through religious texts. This is because it was religion which first attempted to address questions of this nature. Religion was our first window in trying to look out for and understanding our world and beyond. More to the point, basically I learnt that I was created by God. At a very young age it easily satisfied by nascent doubts about my identity and existence as a human being. But as I grew into adulthood there were several other seemingly extraneous questions which began popping up in my mind about my identity and its origins.

    But over a period of time, although I remain a firm believer in God, my definition of God has immensely transformed and thus the role of religion is almost bordering on the negligible in my life. So, my understanding of my human identity has cut its ties to religious explanations and interpretations.
    I will try and list out the fundamental questions and ideas which I have wrestled with over the course of my life. They may seem very naïve and even stupid but essentially for me they constituted my foundation for making further honest enquiries into this whole question of my identity.
    ·Why did God choose to send me as a human being, when there were/are other several million life forms? For me the human life is infinitely superior to all other life forms on this planet at least. But my question was, in general anything we achieve in our life is a result of our actions .i.e., to put more simply in order to achieve anything in life one has to strive for it and aim to get it. Since I remember I have done nothing to qualify to get this extremely fortunate human life, how did I end up being qualified to be created as a human being by God? Essentially the question was did I do anything especially good to have received this gift of human life?
    ·Why was I born to a certain set of parents, in a certain place at a certain time? Is it just the whim of God or is there a slightly grander design to it? When I compare myself with others who seem less fortunate, it always boggles my mind as to how lucky I am to have born to the parents I have been born to.
    ·I also realized my identity and my perception of my human identity---at the moment---is totally physical. The word “me” denotes my physical body i.e. my face, nose, ears, eyes etc. But somehow I feel there is something beyond the physical which also constitutes my identity. It is clear to explain, if my human body is indeed me then for example when I die I am 100% sure that my sons/daughters would not still keep me with them. That means although physically the body is there, I am certified as dead. So, obviously the “me” certainly is not limited to my physical existence or human existence. For lack of better word, and I don’t particularly like using this word but I have no other choice so—it is the SOUL.I would use the word soul. There is something within the inner recesses of my physical body which also represents me or which is indeed me.
    ·The realization of soul within my human body emanated from my understanding of the capricious limits of the human body. I quickly realized as long as I am using physical senses to dictate my choices----everything seemed to have a limit—at the human level. I needed to be cool when I was in summer and I needed to be warm when I was in winter. So, it was clear that my own same body was reacting differently in different situations. Like, I have a certain favourite food, but if I was fed with the same food every single day, I would soon be bored with it and it will cease to become my favourite food. Basically I realized that my human body is subject to law of diminishing returns.

    ·What I certainly realize with this human identity is the fear of the unknown. What would happen to me after I die? To some extent I feel I can experience this when I have a good 8-9 hour sound sleep. I tried to relate it to the deep sleep that I experience every night. And thought, okay this is not too bad, so basically I would not know anything and there is an indescribable amount of peace and tranquillity.

    ·Also I try and understand God through my own identity. Let me explain, I as one single person mean several things to several people---to my parents I am their son, to my younger brother I am an elder brother, to my cousins I am a cousin brother, to my grandparents I am a grandson, to my nephews and nieces I am an uncle, to my friends I am a friend, at the work place I am a supervisor etc, etc, what I realized is if a normal individual like me can mean so many things to so many people and be viewed in so many different capacities, imagine trying to relate this to God who is the creator of this infinite universe. No wonder there are so many religions each claiming their own version of what they understand as God.

    ·Eventually I am in the process of self learning. I am trying to learn myself beyond the physical. Because for me I realize my time is running out every day on this planet at least. And, I am somehow convinced my end is not here, I will still continue to exist albeit in a different form. So the whole quest for me now is to find out who am I truly and really? It makes perfect sense to me that I am trying to go after something which has a longer existence than a human existence. My existence at a human level is certainly transient so I want to be able to realize if there are any other horizons which are beyond the physical.

    I can go on and on and forever on this topic but I need to end somewhere, so this is where I would like to stop by saying—I am still a work in progress as a human being and I am in a fervent search to find out who I am truly and to find out where do I go after my transient existence here.


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