Following on from my suspicion that one’s variable perceived personal identity may mask a self-identified personality, could there be a core personality within that? Would we dare look at it?
Our real personality, the core, would surely be affected by the accumulation of memories from the past, especially the ‘sealed’ memories from one’s past lives. While past lives, as experienced, are said to influence a current life-path, the associated memories may be an archive. Who knows?
The following extracts from ‘Musings at Death’s Door’ set out my efforts to think through this interesting issue of identity.
“Then, when my community discovered that I am a bicultural immigrant writer from Asia, of an unclear ancestry and religious affiliation, I was (thankfully) ignored as a non-identity. Because I did not fish, play golf or bowls, I obviously did not fit in as one of them; that was in spite of my visible involvement in civil society, often in leadership positions.
So, if personal identity is a rolling stone, what can I say about Australia’s identity as a (now) fast-evolving nation?
But then … … what have the various perceptions of me by others to do with what I am? Do I not have a core per¬
sonality? If so, what is it? How is it to be discovered, and by whom? To confuse matters, could I be a multi-layered entity? If so, could I intuitively seek to strip away layers of myself to ascertain what might be a core that is an invariant me?
Peeling away the persona I present to the public (including my colleagues at work and in civil society), then, the persona I present to the (extended) family, can I then divest myself of the image I have created for myself (if I dare!), and expose that long-buried skeleton of my innate personality or idenity? Would it be a frail courage or a disarming folly to go that far?
To seek the core identity of my adopted nation in a comparable manner, I begin with how other people might see us. In Malaysia/Singapore, the media waste no space or time on Australia, but the people there like what they see of the Australian people. On the other hand, the governments of Asia must surely be aware of official Australia’s undue sensitivity to Islam; its indifference (mainly of the past) to the darker peoples of the Indian subcontinent; and its obsequiousness towards Asian buyers of its major exports.”