It Takes a Pattern to Raise a Consciousness

I was talking with Jenny and it struck me how alike my papers all throughout college thus far have been.

The first one I wrote was on John Locke’s theory of personal identity. It was my first paper in more years than I can really count, and I actually wrote it while using my grandfather as a reference. An amateurish paper, certainly, and I’ll probably cringe when I read it again. Locke’s theory is that identity is merely a sum of all experience. My conclusion as to my grandfather’s identity was that, when he could remember memories, he was my grandfather. When he could not, when the dementia was flaring up (or whatever dementia does), he was not.

Even in my first feeble attempts, I was attempting to negotiate identity.

Since then I’ve written on Chekhovian romance and the phrase “in that moment, he has rewritten his entire emotional resume” still is the one thing I remember most about that paper. I’ve written about female Harley riders in the 1920’s riding cross country and not staying at home in the kitchen. I’ve written on Hippolyta’s assertion of resistance and Titania’s inability to do so. I’ve written on what I thought was sexual dysfunction in On Chesil Beach and turned out to be identity constructions based on past experiences. I’ve even written on white identity as a negation of black presence in Baldwin’s story.

Not all directly relate to me personally, but they’re all hovering around this idea of identity. Trying to define it, trying to construct it, deconstruct it, figure out how elements of things all fit together.

Even the postmodern thing is identity related: Is The Dodecahedron in fact postmodern, but, more importantly, is it honestly so?

I’ve written, I’ve written, I’ve written.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not just identity which fascinates me, but honest identity. A merging of W.E.B. DuBois’ “double-consciousness” into one true, authentic, and honest identity.

And that’s far more intimidating than the four papers and three finals I have next week.

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7 thoughts on “It Takes a Pattern to Raise a Consciousness”

  1. huh. Rock on! Is this where I ask “how do I know what I want, if I don’t even know who I am?” and it’s related question, “How come I don’t know who I am if I’m with me all the time?”

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  2. I read something this past week that really struck me….it went something like this:

    We don’t need to find ourselves…we need to remove all of the things that have been hiding our authenticity from us the whole time.

    (HORRIBLE paraphrase…but it seemed to fit maybe,,,,)

    “Something More – Escavating Our Authentic Selves” by Sara Ban Breathenach comes to mind, too…

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  3. CuriousC:

    It’s a weird cycle, isn’t it? Who we are is in part defined by what we want. What we want is in part defined by who we are.

    Grace:

    Lovely to see you, woman! I think that by weighing each element of ourselves as it is presented, we are able to determine the falseness (and what hides our authenticity) or veracity (true authenticity) of each part.

    It’s kind of that holding on my letting go method 🙂

    Perhaps it’s merely semantics, but it seems that the language is flawed? By stripping away the non-authentic parts, we find the authentic ones.

    But that just might be my not having enough coffee 😉

    I’m putting your book on my to-read list, by the way. I still want to read “Running with Wolves.” It came highly recommended.

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  4. Grace, so we just need to get rid of the clutter that buries our heart/authenticity? And yet, we just seem to keep piling it on, don’t we? (materialism)

    Great thoughts here! I love words.

    Fool, Good luck with H-week! 🙂 – “C”

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  5. If your papers and finals are as deep and well written as this blog entry you’ll be acing everything!

    I find it interesting that many of my friends are still struggling to figure out what they want to be when they grow up (at 30, 40 even 50 years old). It’s as if we need to find our identity buried under all the “stuff” like family obligations and societal expectations, then when we are mature enough to allow ourselves to be who we really are, we can be authentic.

    Great topics!

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  6. Thanks for stopping by, Tammy!

    I’m not sure that I want to grow up, actually, but at least I have a direction to move in. I figure some of it really will take care of itself.

    I just gotta keep plugging along.

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  7. Thanks for stopping by, Tammy!

    I’m not sure that I want to grow up, actually, but at least I have a direction to move in. I figure some of it really will take care of itself.

    I just gotta keep plugging along.

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