Are saying that you deny the existance of this phenomenon and think that this is not a thing that many (all?) humans are coping with?
You are still missing my point. Let me put it this way:
There is a difference between what you are and what you remember to have experienced (and think that you are). It indeed is not "natural" in the sense that it does not have a necessary relation with living beings. Denying this phenomenon on the other hand is not natural either. It does, however, lead to not dealing with this.
Actually, the latter is the reason why I pointed it out in teh first place.
And it is along those lines that you have been thinking all along. I am trying to make clear to you taht there is another such phenomenon. The phenomenon I am referring to exists because there is a difference between the reasoning part of ourselves and the physical part (which contains our memory). It is therefore a necessary result that the way we define ourselves, a.k.a. our ego (which is made up out of our frame of reference, which in turn is made up out of our memories) is not the same as who we are.
This difference can be seen by removing our standing place from what we believe we are (our ego). The result is the absence of definition and it is this I am speaking of.
Anyway, it reminds me of the stoa. They were of the opinion that as long as there is doubt we should postpone any and all conclusions.
That must feel very liberating indeed. It is however, not exactly what I ment. What I ment was for you (or everybody) to realise that your experiences are not you. That which people think is their identity are merely the definitions they have applied to themselves (a.k.a. the ego).
Unfortunately I do not have a way to maintain an identity seperate from memories or personal standing place. It is, however, valuable to merely realise the difference. It helps you, when taking a moment, to return to yourself easier. In a way it is the absence of definitions which allows you to simply "be" (yourself). Somehow we can experience this, but not define it. It is my conclusion that by experiencing this we can later try to define it. To make ourr cognitive reality reach up to what we experience, so to speak.
Above I ment to seperate our physical perceptions from our (metaphysical?) experiences.
Anyway, it reminds me of the stoa. They were of the opinion that as long as there is doubt we should postpone any and all conclusions. Since we, humans, may never be able to define certain things in a certain way it might be that we should postpone our conclusions on such matters indefinately.
Posted by kennethamy
A small elephant is still a large animal, and a large mouse is still a small animal. Those are relative terms.
Lets expand the topic somewhat,for instance,I would maintain that personal identity is a highly functional illusion.From what nuerology has said lately it appears to be nothing more substantial than a cluster of thought.
What would it mean to society if science proves that there is indeed no one in charge[sure different societal role model---no?]. What is organized religion to do when science proves that humanity is the source of its own compassion.I am sure there would be a lot of consequencies following the revealations of nuerology, what do you imagine? Would the structure of civilization be greatly weakend, transformed,or what? Like most things of this world,close examination reveals a world of entangables,a dreamy moveing not quite thing.
The caribou herds in the Arctic regions are greatly reduced in size, some by as much as 50%.
An elephant can have fleas, but a flea cannot have elephants.
Forgive me for being silly; but if a flea jumps from one elephant to another and yet to another, he can have a small piece of many elephants.
Heraclitus once said,"You can never step into the same river twice." He was wrong.What was his error,or my delusion.What might the river have to say about this? If you're thinking within the box,think about how you got there.
I think Heraclitus was right, not wrong.
A river is composed of moving water. If the water is constantly changing, then the river is changing.
Our experiences are always changing, so we in the process, must be changing ... taking on new experiences means our consciousness is changing.
The whole thread here on identity is too scientific. Science studies concrete facts. There is nothing about identity that is a concrete fact. And it's amazing to me that no one has said how a person's beliefs/principles or ethics might affect one's identity. How can science account for these? How can science account for either good or evil in an individual's mind? Can science ever answer the question: What drove Adolph Hitler to exterminate 6,000,000 Jews?
All the studies in neuroscience may be interesting, but as stated in one post, they barely scratch the surface. What's left out of the equation are all the most important things that go to make up one's identity. Those things are 'beliefs' and other immaterial things that cannot be explained by any empirically grounded science. I do not need a neuroscientist to tell me why I happen to love my wife. I do not need a neruoscientist to tell me why I absolutely despise Adolph Hitler. I do not need a nuroscientist to tell me why I like Andy Warhol and Rembrandt and Beethoven. Yet, all these facets of my life go to make up my identity. Talk about not even scratching the surface. No one's even found where the hell the surface is.
I think that when Heraclitis said, "You can't step into the same river twice," he was not speaking about a thing/object called river, and a person/object (ego me) stepping into that objective river. He was saying that both that river and that person were two different processes, and because they continually moved and change, they could never come together at the exact same point, ever again. (He might have even likened the river to time. That is my guess.)
Now, if you hold back from these two processes, and you say both the river was an 'essential river' and the person was an 'essential person', this is entirely different, isn't it, because now you are juggling conceptual objects (both) which aren't really living, growing and changing constantly. To bring together two conceptual objects is probably a whole lot easier to manage.
Identity is a little like this. Our identity, as an ego self, is basically manufactured like any concept, and so we feel that we can get a hold of it and even own it or even imagine that it is somehow real and permanent. But what is it outside of circumstance and imagination going about building a house of cards?
Yet we do all feel, no we know somehow, that there is something more going on than our personal autobiography, although we erroneously attribute this strong 'ME" feeling to our ego identity most of the time.
But, what is this golden thread of our essential identity, which seems to hold all of our imaginings about who we are, together?
Quote:I think that when Heraclitis said, "You can't step into the same river twice," he was not speaking about a thing/object called river, and a person/object (ego me) stepping into that objective river. He was saying that both that river and that person were two different processes, and because they continually moved and change, they could never come together at the exact same point, ever again. (He might have even likened the river to time. That is my guess.)
I look at the saying as a metaphor. As all things that we can experience, including ourselves, change; we can never have the same experience twice ... there will always be something different.
Quote:But, what is this golden thread of our essential identity, which seems to hold all of our imaginings about who we are, together?
For me right now, it's a piece of classical music being played on Classic King FM. I've heard this symphony many times before. But my experience of listening to it right now, while I'm typing this post, is different, and I can sense it being different. But I can identify with it and the feelings the composer might have had in mind as he wrote it. The feeling comes through in the symphony. Identity can be found in such things that defy any definition ... it's just a feeling ... a mood ... a peaceful contentment in the beauty of a creative work of the imagination ... and this is what is so hard to come to terms with. We cannot quantify a feeling, or subject it to scientific analysis, but we can identitfy with it, and so find our own identity.