Who are you? How do you know?
I spend an exceptional amount of time ruminating on identity. I often wonder where do I end and where does the world begin? Maybe everyone else has got this figured out already. Maybe they don’t see it as a big deal. But I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it and I see it as one of the most important questions of existence. By what criteria is something “me”? I’ve got a couple of working definitions but they all break down somewhere.
6 Working Definitions of "I"
Definition 1: I am the living cells in my body.
Implications: Am I not my hair? Am I not the space inside my lungs? Does my skin cease being me the moment I scratch an itch?
Definition 2: I am that which I can directly control with my mind.
Implications: I can directly control things that I hold. Some people cannot directly control their bodies. Tools, machines and thought controlled devices allow us to control anything with our mind.
Definition 3: I am that which was made from my DNA.
Implications: Clones, twins, children, donated organs.
Definition 4: I am my mind.
Implications: I am not my body. I am the energy that flows through my nervous system
Definition 5: I am everything.
Implications: We are all one. That which you cannot effect is like a limb you have not learned to control. Connection through communication and empathy.
Definition 6: I am that which I make the conscious decision to be.
Implications: I can be anyone or anything that I choose to be at any given moment as it suits my needs or desires. I can attach "I-ness" to any machine or tool, any object, human, or living thing that I understand well enough to effect.
Which definitions resonate the most with you? Do you have your own? Leave your thoughts in the comments.