descartes and modern identity -- anxious freedom

So far I have written about personal history and added some thoughts on Descartes' new vision of identity. Traditionally, one's identity was a function of one's family, ethnicity, place of birth, social and economic standing, religion, gender and so forth. All these factors changed life, both what one could expect in the moment and what one could reasonably hope for. This was both restricting and reassuring -- more constricting if one were a woman or a serf or a Jew, more consoling if on were a priest, knight or well-to-do merchant -- and, of course, male.
But Descartes' take on identity, followed to its logical conclusions, undid the power of these traditional descriptors. He was suggesting that every human being had inside him or her a thinking thing, and in that description it is impossible to tell one thinking thing from another. The Christian soul originally partook of the same democratic character but over the centuries conservative social forces had reasserted the superior power of men, nobles, church authorities and so forth. Descartes re-established the democracy on a different level -- not on the ground that we are all equally God's creatures but rather on the ground that we all can think, that we are all, inside, and despite what we look like, able to make judgments, feel emotions and will to do things. 
The thinking thing is ahistorical, timeless, without gender and originally at least without God and also, somewhat disturbingly, without fellows. Freedom cannot come without a certain level of anxiety. I mean that if who I really am is an invisible thinking thing inside my body, I can never have direct contact with any other thinking thing and of course never think their thoughts or feel their feelings. In the old world I at least shared the world of space and time with my fellow humans, but now all that is open to doubt. 
In Descartes' new world everything sensed is in doubt. So, when we meet what appears to be another human being all I can be sure of is that I am having the sensory experience of seeing, hearing, perhaps touching another body, which appears animated by purpose and thought. But I can never see thought, can only guess that the gestures and words of the moving body are driven by a thinking thing. But I can never, ever be 100% certain -- and under the worst conditions the very body I think I am seeing might be an illusion!
This position is called SOLIPSISM, which means that one can never be certain that one is not alone in the universe. The only thinking thing I know directly and cannot doubt is me. So I might be alone, might be the only thinking thing, might live in a world of illusion. Thus, my freedom as a thinking thing has the price that I might be all alone; even if I trust that there really are other thinking things, I can never be in direct contact with them but must infer their presence through word and gesture and must make myself known in the same way, and we all know how much gets lost in translation! 
Thus modern identity is both liberating and provokes anxiety,an existential uneasiness and a feeling of isolation, the feeling that no one will ever penetrate to the core of our being and truly understand us. While we are free to think in secrecy, we are also not sure we can ever make our inner thoughts public in a clear way.

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