While writing this i found it changed direction in the middle. Here is a roadmap. The first part is a critique of wt nonworldliness dogma. The second is concerning identity.
Wt makes a big issue of 'not being like the world'. Yet, jw's are like the world in a multitude of ways. They
listen to 'worldly' music and radio
watch 'worldly' movies, television
go to 'woldly' night clubs and bars
work at 'worldly' jobs that support the 'worldly' structure
wear 'worldly' clothes: blue jeans, tshirts, suits which originated from the military
watch 'worldly' sports either on tv or live, cheering for one team or another
go to 'worldly' music concerts
Yet, in spite of allowing their members to indulge in of above mentioned, and other 'worldly' habits in a multitude of ways, the wt claims it's org is not part of the world. Obviously, their claims aren't worth even the paper on which they are written.
In 'the true believer' eric hoffer discusses the natures of the different social groups that form mass movements. They generally join mass movements because of dissatidfaction w their own lot. The find their lives to be hopeless, miserable, boring. They are tossing their own identity for that of a mass movement. Is there an ideal identity, to which the individual should/could strive?
I'm not sure. A couple of processes do seem to be good for all. They are:
overcoming our fears
being our true selves
However, these developments are not possible for many, especially early in their lives. Most normal people go through various phases of identity development. The earliest may be identifying w the mother. Next, for boys, identifying w the father. Then identifying w the family. Followed by identifying w ones school/religion/race/country. Theoretically, at some later time, one would drop these outside identities, thus finding an identity uniquely his/her own. I call this integrity. Spiritual masters take it a step further, experiencing an identity that is more than the body.
What are your experiences/ideas on identity?