In MN64, the Buddha discusses the conundrum of identity and the presumed immaculate innocence of infants:
MN64:3.3: For a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘identity’, so how could identity view possibly arise in them?
MN64:3.4: Yet the underlying tendency to identity view still lies within them.
And when that underlying tendency manifests:
MN64:5.2: Their heart is overcome and mired in identity view,
MN64:5.3: and they don’t truly understand the escape from identity view that has arisen.
Although we might search for the escape from identity ourselves, the Buddha also says:
AN2.126:1.1: “There are two conditions for the arising of right view.
AN2.126:1.2: What two?
AN2.126:1.3: The words of another and proper attention.
The Buddha himself had many teachers, including Buddha Kassapa in a previous life. And he listened with proper attention.
Listening with proper attention, we might come to understand something quite important...
If identity view arose, then it must also disappear, hopefully before our deaths in this very life. Impermanent phenomena are unsatisfactory. Impermanent phenomena cannot be a foundation for steady contentment and peaceful equanimity. So, rather than focus on identity, we turn away from identity. And any step away from identity view is a step towards the Noble Eightfold Path.
MN64:10-12.4: They contemplate the phenomena there as impermanent …
MN64:10-12.5: They turn their mind away from those things …
MN64:15.4: If they don’t attain the ending of defilements, they’re reborn spontaneously … and are not liable to return from that world.
MN64:15.5: This too is the path and the practice for giving up the five lower fetters.”
That is how we all start on the path. We start on the path by questioning the value of identify view and we listen to others with proper attention. And with insights gained, we deepen our practice, gradually becoming living proof of the Buddha's words.
Identity view is a false prophet. Look beyond.
MN62:3.2: “Rāhula, you should truly see any kind of form at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: all form—with right understanding: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self.’”
So we really don't need to know about the why of identity view. We do need to examine our assumptions carefully and note that suffering inevitably follows when we listen to identity view. In a burning house, it's better to get out the exit than to wonder why there is an exit.