Identity versus Individuality

Individuality identifies a person for who he is. It differentiates him from another person. There cannot be individuality without identity. Layers of identity may be taken off, but what is left is still something that identifies a person.

In the PAPER ON HINDUISM Swami Vivekananda stated:

So far all the Hindus are agreed. This is the common religion of all the sects of India; but, then, perfection is absolute, and the absolute cannot be two or three. It cannot have any qualities. It cannot be an individual. And so when a soul becomes perfect and absolute, it must become one with Brahman, and it would only realise the Lord as the perfection, the reality, of its own nature and existence, the existence absolute, knowledge absolute, and bliss absolute. We have often and often read this called the losing of individuality and becoming a stock or a stone.
“He jests at scars that never felt a wound.”
I tell you it is nothing of the kind. If it is happiness to enjoy the consciousness of this small body, it must be greater happiness to enjoy the consciousness of two bodies, the measure of happiness increasing with the consciousness of an increasing number of bodies, the aim, the ultimate of happiness being reached when it would become a universal consciousness.

In other words, perfection transcends self. It has to be the same all over. It cannot have boundary of separation defining it as some quality or individuality. Attaining perfection would then mean losing individuality or self.

Is losing individuality the same as becoming one with matter as thought by those who worship individuality? No, it is nothing of the kind. Individual happiness is to enjoy the consciousness of a small body. Perfection is to enjoy the universal consciousness.

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It is interesting to note that Scientology is a religion that worships individuality. In the book Scientology 8-8008, Hubbard wrote:

Identity versus Individuality
The most common confusion on the part of a preclear is between himself as an identified object and his beingness. One’s beingness depends upon the amount of space which he can create or command, not upon his identification or any label. Identity as we know it in the MEST universe is much the same as identification, which is the lowest form of thought. When one is an object and is himself an effect, he believes that his ability to be cause is dependent upon his having a specific and finite identity. This is an aberration; as his beingness increases his individuality increases, and he quickly rises above the level of necessity for identity for he is himself self-sufficient with his own identity.
The first question a preclear undergoing theta clearing asks himself is quite often: “How will I establish my identity if I have no body?” There are many remedies for this. The worst method of having an identity is having a body. As his individuality increases and his beingness expands—these two being almost synonymous—he is less and less concerned with this problem; that he is concerned with the problem tells the auditor where he is on the tone-scale.
One of the control mechanisms which has been used on thetans is that when they rise in potential they are led to believe themselves one with the universe. This is distinctly untrue. Thetans are individuals. They do not as they rise up the scale, merge with other individualities. They have the power of becoming anything they wish while still retaining their own individuality. They are first and foremost themselves. There is evidently no Nirvana. It is the feeling that one will merge and lose his own individuality that restrains the thetan from attempting to remedy his lot. His merging with the rest of the universe would be his becoming matter. This is the ultimate in cohesiveness and the ultimate in affinity, and is at the lowest point of the tone-scale. One declines into a brotherhood with the universe. When he goes up scale, he becomes more and more an individual capable of creating and maintaining his own universe. In this wise (leading people to believe they had no individuality above that of MEST) the MEST universe cut out all competition.

Hubbard threw a curve by describing individuality as something good and identity as something bad. He derided the goal of Nirvana in Buddhism, which is to extinguish self or individuality.

Being a fundamental datum of Scientology, this worship of individuality provides a filter that distorts the subject of Scientology. Even though, Scientology contains some brilliant new technology to address the subject of the mind, it ends up producing the following as its valuable final product:

“A scientologist is a person with attention fixed on himself or herself, or on one’s individuality in general.”

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[Added on December 11, 2013, revised March 20, 2015]:

Individuality is not something different from identity.
Individuality is the core of identity.
Creation of a unit is creation of a boundary.
Anything that creates a unit is part of that unit.
If thetan is a unit, then it has a boundary.
That boundary marks an identity.

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Comments

  • Chris Thompson  On October 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Anti Scientologists will tend to agree with this synopsis.
    Pro Scientologists will tend to disagree.

    It is a good OP. Something to consider. Ultimately we have a bag of tools. If I can rightly be called a flogger of the fractal and of the metaphor, Vin is the flogger of the inconsistency and of the unknowable. When I read your writing, I try to find consistencies in your writing that help point me in a direction, a tool I can use to pry my mind, or just an angle to give leverage in my quest. This is one of the tools in my bag: Looking for consistencies. Not as an ultimate tool, but only as a tool.

    • vinaire  On October 21, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      I know this post would be controversial. Let’s see how it pans out.

      .

    • vinaire  On October 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      I look for inconsistencies and not for consistencies.

      Then I look at that inconsistency more closely until it resolves itself.

      .

  • Chris Thompson  On January 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    When you say that “In other words, perfection transcends self. It has to be the same all over. It cannot have boundary of separation defining it as some quality or individuality. Attaining perfection would then mean losing individuality or self.,”

    We should consider entropy in light of observations like this one. Life is the consideration of a potential difference between life vs. death.

    • Chris Thompson  On January 18, 2013 at 7:36 AM

      Therefore “death” equals “entropy?”

    • vinaire  On January 18, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      If one achieves living perfection as a completely detached perception-point in nirvana, then in death one achieves complete perfection when even that perception-point is extinguished in parinirvana.

      Buddha achieved both. LRH neither.

      .

      • Chris Thompson  On January 18, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        This would seem to be not only conjecture and speculation but a nice run at mysticism as well. Why are you asserting these concepts in this way?

        • vinaire  On January 18, 2013 at 10:15 PM

          I think that LRH hurt a lot of people,

          But then they did not know any better.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On January 19, 2013 at 12:32 AM

          wow, we missed on that one. You said,”If one achieves living perfection as a completely detached perception-point in nirvana, then in death one achieves complete perfection when even that perception-point is extinguished in parinirvana.”

          I asked you about mysticism in the context of physics, that’s all.

        • vinaire  On January 19, 2013 at 5:03 AM

          mys·ti·cism noun

          1. the beliefs, ideas, or mode of thought of mystics.
          2. a doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend ordinary understanding, or of a direct, intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or ecstasy.
          3. obscure thought or speculation.

        • vinaire  On January 19, 2013 at 5:07 AM

          mys·tic

          adjective
          1. involving or characterized by esoteric, otherworldly, or symbolic practices or content, as certain religious ceremonies and art; spiritually significant; ethereal.
          2. of the nature of or pertaining to mysteries known only to the initiated: mystic rites.
          3. of occult character, power, or significance: a mystic formula.
          4. of obscure or mysterious character or significance.
          5. of or pertaining to mystics or mysticism.

          noun
          6. a person who claims to attain, or believes in the possibility of attaining, insight into mysteries transcending ordinary human knowledge, as by direct communication with the divine or immediate intuition in a state of spiritual ecstasy.
          7. a person initiated into religious mysteries.

          Origin:
          1275–1325; Middle English mystik < Latin mysticus < Greek mystikós, equivalent to mýst ( ēs ) an initiate into the mysteries + -ikos -ic; akin to myeîn to initiate, teach

          .

        • vinaire  On January 19, 2013 at 5:17 AM

          Chris: “I asked you about mysticism in the context of physics, that’s all.”

          I thought you knew that to be the subject of the PHILOSOPHY PROJECT.

          It is phyics versus metaphysics in the ultimate sense. Otherwise one is simply playing with considerations. One may consider whatever one wants.

          Wikipedia says the following about mysticism:

          Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences. Mysticism may be dualistic, maintaining a distinction between the self and the divine, or may be nondualistic.

          Such pursuit has long been an integral part of the religious life of humanity. Within established religion it has been explicitly expressed within monasticism, where rules governing the everyday life of monks and nuns provide a framework conducive to the cultivation of mystical states of consciousness.

          Practices associated with mysticism include meditation and contemplative prayer. Mysticism can be distinguished from ordinary religious belief by its emphasis on the direct personal experience of unique states of consciousness particularly those of a transcendentally blissful character.

          What are your considerations about mysticism?

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On January 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

          It was good of you to lay out these definitions and comments about mysticism so thoroughly for me. It helped me re-look at how my negative bias has crept in regarding a perfectly good word which had come to mean that any wildly inconsistent ideology should be seriously considered.

  • Chris Thompson  On January 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    When dealing with the unknown, and if I want to have continued success leveling inconsistencies, I have to be careful not to fixate on any particular idea to provide stability and to ward off the vertigo that sometimes accompanies untying my mental anchor points. Mysticism is a catch-all which can be abused by myself to the detriment of my research. I just have to be careful or should I write “mindful?”

    Yes, mindfulness is the key. Or is it? Is “mindfulness” again my desperate latching onto a mental anchor point to provide mental stability in chaotic mental sea of potential?

  • Chris Thompson  On January 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Perhaps the words “ultimate reality” set off my mental alarm bells, such as the above comment: “Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight.”

    Once again, the context and the phrasing of questions mean everything to the consistency of, and the setup for any statement regarding truth. Fractal iterations provide a model to show that infinite contexts for infinite realities are possible.

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