Self Identification Assumes Knowing Who You Are

Today’s fad, latest trend is to self identify with vigour. So many genders, facets of person status and little idea of ‘who am I’ to choose from. So many twists and turns of character, emotional states and proclivities. It encourages anyone with a penchant for forcing their ‘specialness’ or perceived individuality, on a world so distracted, it could not care less one way or another, to demand such acceptance as their ‘right’.

Under these circumstances, otherwise really boring, under developed folk  career towards the entrance marked, Celebrity for 5 Seconds status.

When anyone suggests all this attention seeking, craving for an identity other than the evolutionary one might just reflect an utterly confused, peer diverted lost soul, they are lambasted as being Anti Whatever  the proclamation is.

No one really bothers to ask why such a slender slice of the human family is indeed driven to the lengths to change sex, identity or whatever else is involved. Of course the whole neo-liberalist driven agenda is thrust upon a population, mostly in Western societies, as absolute, where the idea of freedom is pummelled into them as essential must be-ism in the forms they present.

Some might cry out there are genetic conditions craving this change or that. Really? Well perhaps it might be relevant also to ask how these ‘genetic conditions’ have come about. It is common knowledge certain species in nature hold Hermaphroditic tendencies and this includes humans. Yet forceful projection on those outside this sub group, as a right and demand is hardly organic.

Choice is a peculiar human condition, from the point where multiple emotionally driven choices  on the table, as opposed to selective survival choices, present a whole different set of potentials, not always in the best interests of personal development. When a group of determined (fanatic) people force demands on the whole, there surely must be questions concerning the legitimacy of such actions.

We humans feel and some humans feel their rights and feelings demand a higher importance within the structure of the hierarchy of needs. I am pretty certain Abraham Maslow, who laid before us in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” the postulate of Hierarchy of Needs, did not envision the determined push for myopic insistence on the sort of needs thrust front and centre in the way the ‘Me Too’ and neoliberal agendas place before us.

Examining briefly, Maslow’s five determinants needing to be addressed they are – Physiological, Safety, Social, Esteem and Self Actualisation. We can understand basic needs. Each of these needs are not meant to be separate or unique to themselves, nor are they to be seen as having to be complete, developed before addressing another. What they do encourage is the journey to a far deeper comprehension of the self.

Today we are shoved towards ‘instant’ fixes. Hollering immediacy towards a goal most times others have designated as “What you ought, should and must be” in order to become whatever it is. Respect for the individual and group is demanded as a set in stone determinant, within a strict set of regulations and rules. Little consideration to the fact that respect needs to be earned is aired.

Looking at Maslow’s five, the physiological needs are those sustaining basic human needs – food, clothing, shelter. These are then followed by need for safety and security – for self preservation. Beyond this is also the need for future security. These needs established, the social and affiliation needs emerge as dominant. When social needs become dominant a person strives for meaningful relations with others. These being relatively satisfied, the need for self esteem and recognition from others becomes the focus. Most have a need for high evaluation of themselves firmly based in reality – recognition and respect from others. This leads to self confidence, prestige, power and control. They sense their usefulness and effect on their environment and this in turn allows organic growth.

When people are unable to satisfy their need for esteem through constructive behaviour, what is reflected often in individuals is to resort to disruptive and immature behaviour. Many social problems we are faced with today reflect just this sort of immature and adaptive behaviour. Until these needs are addressed in a mature and self willing way and desire to know and accept the self, nothing much is able to be approached on a meaningful basis. The soup remains unpalatable for many and self actualisation needs are not adequately able to be addressed or developed. This fosters arrested and frustrated development to appropriate inappropriate and negative behaviour.

To paraphrase Maslow “What a person can be, he/she must be‘.

Some might jump in here screaming I am being pronoun biased or merely pronoun disrespectful, in spite of my replacing Maslow’s ‘man’ with person. Here we begin to address a fanaticism purposefully laid out to confuse, deplete and divide human beings. The right for an individual to denominate how they call themselves is totally fine.

To insist society must fall in line and maintain absolute adherence to respect that choice is a short cut path to authoritarian lunacy, so prevalent and growing under cover of equal and human rights.  One party demands respect yet is utterly intolerant towards any other choosing not to fall into line.

From the law makers and power entities, we are told tolerance must be afforded hierarchically and seemingly randomly. This creates a mirror of the rich/poor/have/have not divide they have constructed themselves. Keep division ever at the forefront reminding those beneath of their obligation and duty to observe powerlessness. Tinsel gifted offerings, by way of manicured rights and choice, merely are shallow hand-me-down crumbs to pacify.

Decent human interaction depends on tolerance, acceptance and respect. These are naturally nurtured responses developed through self education and self awareness. They are not developed through diktats, or worse, enshrined laws. The desire to become what one is capable of becoming lies at the root of knowing, accepting and nurturing the self within the whole spectrum of experienced life.

We live in weird times where respect for international law, civil relationship and societal appreciation and inter development of individual and cooperative living is being played by structures of power, developing obvious division, discord, hatred and control. At the same time the very opposite is stressed as taking place and demanded by edict rather than natural, educational development. This is the result of a world fed stunted and stupefying fodder as nurture, choice and needs. It also illustrates the abject absence of true development and desire from each individual for that evolution.

Clare W. Graves in his thesis entitled “Human Nature prepares for a momentous leap” (1974), contends human beings exist at different ‘levels of existence’.

At any given level an individual exhibits the behaviour and values characteristic of people at that level, a person that is centralised at a lower level cannot even understand people at another level”

According to Graves:

Most people have been confined to lower [subsistence] levels of existence, where they were motivated by needs shared with other animals. Now, Western man appears to be ready to move up to a higher [being] level of existence, a distinctly human level. When this happens there will likely be a dramatic transformation of human institutions.

As much as this is a laudable aspiration and hope, it seems from when he proposed this observation some forty six years ago, we have hardly seen its appearance on any meaningful level. It appears the struggle for survival, to attain basic physiological needs is still far too prevalent in Western society. Also we are witnessing a superficial and determined cover up of essential needs and progress through agendas majorly driven by propagandised, controlled manipulation that, like so much of our societal life today, is superficial, vain, ego driven and self serving.

May we aspire to far greater evolutionary progress than presently administered! A meaningful and determined process towards self knowledge is a great start and one long overdue for so many, if only they could be bothered or care to do so.

Useful references:
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl

Abraham Maslow – Hierarchy of Needs