The strangest thing about being a person and having an identity is that none of those concepts and labels or phrases and idioms we build our selves around actually belong to us. To be a person, an individual, an identifiable difference as distinct from all the background colour and noise of whichever time and place you might yourself transiently inhabiting – is always to be for someone else, some other place or time. You are only your own in as much as you always and already belong to others that are each and all in exactly the same predicament. To be is always to be divided against one’s self and to exist is always to vanish.

Identity is a charade and game in which we each mask our own essential inauthenticity with borrowed ideas and cultural trappings. Yes, we can invent new ways to recombine all these things but how long does any of us ever actually possess or inhabit them for?

It’s much easier to pretend that we aren’t all pretending but the fact remains: this is all only a transient game of identities in which we warm ourselves against a comforting bonfire of human vanity. It is an act of creative self-deception, attempting to flee the existential dread invoked by the knowledge of our own impermanence before sloughing it off again and slipping away once more into the cold cosmic night.

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