Excerpt About Identity

The Primary Function of the Self-Identity is Self-Recognition

The primary function of the self-identity is self-recognition. Every normal individual has the capacity to recognize himself, to feel directly the unique and familiar sense of “I.” The word I usually refers to the total self, but there is also the feeling of “I-ness” which accompanies the self, and which is part of distinguishing the self from others. Generally speaking, except under certain circumstances, this “feeling of identity” is difficult to discriminate. As we have mentioned, it is most easily delineated as a specific feeling when it is temporarily lost or threatened. In such circumstances we can recognize it as a psychic structure, and perceive that although it is usually an inseparable part of the self, this feeling of identity is only a particular structure of (and in) the self. The work of spiritual development can bring to awareness this quality of identity, since such work tends to penetrate and reveal the various structures of the self.

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