1. This is a skeleton, if you will, to be fleshed out by the specific examples as the reader may choose to endow on it.
2. All humans are fallible. My failing is writing this.
3. According to my records, this effort was begun in 1983. In the ensuing years, I filled close to a dozen notebooks on various aspects of identity. For the first sixteen years of this process, the primary idea was to better understand the nature of the subject.
4. While teaching courses on World History and Intercultural Studies in four different universities, perceptive student questions on these topics further stimulated the process.
5. What finally persuaded me to organize these notebooks, to the extent presented here, was the realization that most if not all discussions of identity in print have been applied cases.
6. I, too, produced works on applied identity in the past. Some even appeared in print in various countries on three continents.
7. After reading the latest commentaries on applied identity studies, a thought presented itself that a more general discussion might be beneficial to all concerned regardless of the discipline, nationality, ethnicity or any other concern.
8. By way of taking the first step, it can be stressed that almost all authors devoting their energies to the topic at hand concentrated on one polity or the relations of one identity with its neighbors, competitors, or allies.
9. In view of the present project, this is positive, for, an attempt at universality can hardly be undertaken without access to particulars. It is the existing wealth of the specific cases that will supply the necessary data for testing the universality of the propositions presented here.
10. Efforts expended towards the definition of the universals of a subject to help the understanding of the topic at hand may be rewarding.
11. The process of Thought Employment takes place with the full cognizance and acquiescence of those who follow the wake of the Thought Employers. And, with or without the knowledge of the Thought Employer itself.
12. Not many Thought Employers, those individuals or institutions whose thought output employ the efforts, and, in many cases, all resources of other individuals or polities, have concentrated their attention on Identity. The Designer Community, on the other hand, spent quite a proportion of their resources on the issue.
13. The objective here, still, is to better understand the nature and uses of identity; be that identity has natural roots or is a synthetic creation of Thought Employers.
14. Here, the question: "is there a set of universal principles governing identity?" presents itself.
15. Most identities in existence today have successfully transformed themselves from their origins by means of organization, necessity and diligence. This adaptation or new formation is the result of conscious choices and methods created, borrowed, or adapted for the purpose.
16. Not all identities traveled through the same journey to reach their positions.
17. Yet, when examined, one can detect a wide variety of principles or actions that constitute the least a common denominator.
18. An understanding of these commonalities, or the efforts leading to that objective, will help all in the direction of a more stable common base, shorn of emotion and without special pleading.
19. A word on the structure: Each paragraph is meant to be a beginning point for discussion on that particular proposition.
20. Perhaps the paragraph type of presentation may also clarify the steps involved in the process, allowing the construction of the larger vista by applicable additions. The method dates back and was used by scores of individual Thought Employers, including Marcus Aurelius, Balasagunlu Yusuf and Wittgenstein.
21. It is customarily difficult to get a work of this nature into print in the lifetime of the author, unless the topic and contents are already well known. This is so because the publishers have grown accustomed to sending proposed projects to outside erudite evaluators. If these readers are not familiar with the subject, contents, and are not working with the topic, the recommendation process slows considerably.
22. These difficulties are compounded if the contents of the project falls within the overlapping area inhabited by several well defined disciplines.
23. When sponsors are found with an interest in the work, this difficulty, to a large measure is overcome. ??