This is an interesting article and one worth the few minutes to read. Please feel free to comment but only after reading the article in full.One of the most profound developments to emerge from the 20th century affects the lives of billions of people yet remains largely unnoticed. Alongside dramatic social and political changes, technological and scientific discoveries, and new systems of transportation and communication, historians of the future will surely recognize how the relative freedom to first interpret and then shape one’s own identity has empowered human existence. Familiar frameworks of the self formed by ethnicity, neighborhood, race, and family (to name a few) are still present but have been diminished through a variety of factors unique to the 20th century. So thoroughly have liberal democratic societies adopted an experimental self as fundamental to notions of what it means to be a person, we rarely consider how significantly this concept has altered forms of social and cultural organization. The ability to select, fashion, and then continually augment our identity in ways we hope are positive has come to dominate how we conceive of and construct our lives.
-- John Nelson: Experimental Buddhism, Tricycle
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