6 Working Definitions of "I"

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.

"I and I (also spelled I&I, InI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. 'I and I' as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men."

"I and I (also spelled I&I, InI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. 'I and I' as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men."

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.

i&i

"I and I (also spelled I&IInI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. 'I and I' as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men."

This painting is a self portrait referencing the oneness of the body mind and spirit with nature. Inspired by the Californian coastline and patterns of abalone shells from a road trip across the west cost, i&i explores identity and natural patterns.

~ Natalie Doud

(It's not really) About You

That's what they call the section. But surely thats not what it really is. Not anymore. Up until around a year ago, Facebook considered the "About You" portion of your profile important enough to display, you know, on the About page. But these days, that little pocket of text has been relegated to near obscurity. Go ahead, try to find it. I'll wait.

Yes, that bastion of a place where you are defined not by a list of stats, but by the words that you have chosen for yourself has been relegated to not one, not two, but 3 clicks and 2 full page scrolls down the page. Once upon a time, those words held a more prominent location. Right alongside things like... notes. Remember those?

These days, freeform writing has taken a backseat to data. I'm not here to bash Facebook and I do see the value of data. But we have lost something to this method and we feel its effect every time we meet another human.

"Whats your name?" 

"What do you do?" 

"Where are you from?"

I don't know. I guess I'd like to learn a little more About You than that.