The Identity is a Prison
You can’t stay in character and be honest with yourself at the same time.
It’s one or the other, but never both.
Most of your misery in life is gonna come from you trying to protect, preserve and promote your identity.
Your identity is both the character you try to project to others in the world around you, and the story you tell yourself about the world around you and your place and value within it.
Your identity is comprised of feelings, beliefs, meanings, experiences, pageantry and deep social acting.
All meanings, beliefs, symbols, recalled personal experiences and events, status markers and the value you assign to these things are just ideas…
That means these things can only exist in idealism; they can only exist in individual or shared imaginations.
Ideas inevitably change.
That’s why knowledge changes, knowledge systems change, the value of money, artistry and labor changes, feelings change, the recollection of personal experiences and events change, etc…
Ideas are subject to change.
Your identity is an idea that will inevitably change with exposure to new life experiences, new circumstances, new information, new personal or social connections or constructs, new events, new ideas, etc.
Your identity — that is, who, what and how you are now is just a belief.
A belief is an agreement you make with yourself about how things are in reality.
Cognitive dissonance is what you call it when reality itself or things performing within it don’t match the agreements you’ve made with yourself about reality — most notably the story you’ve told yourself about the world around you and your place and value within it.
That means most of the heartache and misery you experience in life will be self-inflicted, because cognitive dissonance is basically you (your identity) having an allergic reaction to reality.
For all intents and purposes, cognitive dissonance is your mind (well, your ego; your pride) rejecting the notion of reality not aligning with, recognizing and honoring the agreements you’ve made with yourself about it.
Pride is self-worship.
Narcissism is an addiction to pride and self-idealizing, which makes narcissism an addiction to the identity.
The more narcissistic and/or given to self-idealizing and self-worship the individual actor is is the more likely they are to experience cognitive dissonance whenever reality, or people or things performing within it don’t reflect their inner story back to them.
When people experience cognitive dissonance they become enraged.
When you become enraged you become aggressive.
Aggression is inner rage coupled with a strong desire, need or compulsion to either directly or passively transfer it into someone or something else.
Aggression is used to subdue and dominate things that challenge, conflict with, invalidate or undermine the inner story and/or the identity.
That makes competition and aggression mutually inclusive things, in the sense that the purpose of transferring rage into external phenomena is to break them down and subdue them towards making them malleable — transformable; capable of hosting and perpetuating one’s own inner dialog.
The purpose of aggression is to ultimately make someone or something an extension of one’s own identity — and competition is attempting to dominate others, towards subjecting them to one’s own sense of authority.
Authority is the power to determine meanings, order and the outcome of events.
All who operate by belief necessarily operate by and according to inner senses of justice and authority, as agreements and expectations of enforcement necessarily entail being that which, or at the very least having access to people or things that have the power to determine meanings, order and the outcome of events.
This is why people who are highly narcissistic have very strong inner senses of justice and authority.
Justice is moral symmetry — the actor’s arbitrary assessment of “fairness” and equitability as it relates to distributions of resources, opportunities, punishments and rewards, as determined by their own sense of authority.
Beliefs of authority and individual’s inner senses of justice cause people to become psychotic.
Psychosis is an inability to distinguish the inner story (the identity) from reality itself.
When a person’s psychotic they can’t tell the difference between how things are or work (or should work) in their mind vs how things are or work (or should work) in reality — which causes them to keep trying to force reality, and others performing within reality to match and sync up with their inner story.
To put it all simply though, the deeper you dive into and the longer you remain “in character” is the more psychotic, and subsequently aggressive, competitive, narcissistic and dishonest you’ll become.
A desire to protect, preserve and promote the identity will only leave you feeling emotionally exhausted, depleted of energy and trapped in perpetual states of insecurity, suspicion, uncertainty and outrage.
…and anytime you see anyone performing above the limits of your system, and/or not adhering to agreements that you’ve made with yourself about, their capability, or what’s fair and isn’t fair, or what’s possible and impossible, you’ll immediately experience cognitive dissonance, and thus fly into fits of rage and aggression, while experiencing an insatiable lust to compete against, consume from, dominate and destroy them.
Honesty frees you up from all of that though…
Honesty is the individual’s will and effort to recognize and sync up with reality.
Reality is what exists and functions mutually independent to idealism — it’s what exists and functions mutually independent of what’s felt, experienced or believed by individual actors or groups of actors respectively.
You can’t be synched up with reality and stay in character at the same time.
It’s your identity or honesty and authenticity, but never both.
The identity is not an escape, it’s a prison.