top of page

The Metaphysics

of Identity Survival

      At this point, I am going to introduce the Holy Grail, the Brass Ring, the Bottom Line when it comes to existence and what it means to exist. As we learned, for something to exist, it must stand out apart from whatever it is that isn’t it. It doesn’t have to be observed as standing out, but it must be truly separated at some level from that which isn’t it. This is the essential requirement.

     Now, in spite of my respect for, and acknowledgement of, the centuries of brilliant minds that have slaved over a proper definition of the word, I want you to use the word Identity to refer to what it is that permits the existent something to exist as whatever it is that it is, relative to all that is NOT it. I want us to agree that if something has Identity, then it stands out from all else that exists, as well as from non-existence (which we’ll have to agree involves a lack of Identity, since Identity provides physical existence by allowing whatever it is to ‘stand out’ as existent).

     Now, this also means that if Identity is what establishes physical existence (and this is regardless of whether observation is present or not) then Survival (the lone existential imperative) is actually (and only) about the survival of Identity for the existent something. Grasping this basic premise is going to be more than critical to your being able to fully understand the true structure of physical Reality, so I’ll be coming back to Identity Survival again and again as we move forward. For now, I’m going to give you a very basic feel for Identity Survival and how it manifests at a variety of levels that should be familiar to you.

       Identity Survival is the sole pursuit of all that physically exists. Now, I realize that as a person with places to go, things to do, and people to see, you don't see the preservation of existential Identity as being on your radar, let alone at the top of your to-do list from day to day, but the truth is that it drives you (and everything else)

to do and not do, to be and not be, whatever it is that you (and everything else) end up doing and being.

     Think about it. You buy, you create, you accomplish, you express your opinion, you bring your progeny into this world, and all of it is yours. It all belongs to you. Like a male cat spraying your territory, you mark the world around you, and you make it identifiably associated with you and you alone. Your body, your wife, your husband, your car, your house, your career/job/business/art, your children, your parents, your family, your life, your sickness, and finally, your death. You tag it all, you defend your ownership of it, you care for it, and you push it forward to positively express your ongoing identity through having made it yours.

       What you can’t own, you’ve established direct association with. Your school, your community, your church, your company, your friends, your city, your ethnicity, your race, your heritage, your country; all of it establishing and preserving your Identity through your direct membership. Assuring and preserving your existential presence within the environment; the survival of your Identity.

   And regardless of your level of selflessness or "spiritual enlightenment", you don’t exist in a way that transcends the primordial pursuit of Identity Survival. No one does. You simply pursue that survival in whatever way it is that you feel is suitably transcendent as you establish and preserve of your unique Identity with the same resilient devotion as the most viscerally carnal among us.

    It's this way for everything else that exists. Sketch out the ongoing development of anything you wish, and you’ll discover this same basic existential formula. What’s most fascinating is that if you examine the composite parts of any unified collective, you’ll find that each part is also in ongoing pursuit of Identity Survival. That said, how such structural units pursue it is a bit more counterintuitive at first glance.

     I use the term "holon" (coined by author Arthur Koestler to describe something that is both whole and part) to refer to whole and unique items that gather in common pursuit of prolonged

bottom of page