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An update on "Who am I?"
Old 10-13-2008, 09:49 PM   #1
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An update on "Who am I?"

Posted this 09-05-2008:

Who am I?
==============================================
Hard to put this in words: I am having difficulty self-referencing to my previous self.

I look at stuff I wrote years ago and I can't identify with that persona; it seems to be someone I do not know.
-----------------------------------
I recall an interview with Paul Newman (60 Minutes?) when he was in his 60s, saying he did not recognize the person from an interview in his 30s.
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Bertrand Russell in his 80s(?) mentioned reading an interesting essay, wondering who wrote it, and finding out it was himself from ~40 years earlier.
==============================================
Is there some 'me' that exists outside of all those social/political/biological constructs?

Can I create a new construct as I please?
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:52 PM   #2
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Can I create a new construct as I please?
Sure. Simply increase or decrease your meds.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:54 PM   #3
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Can I create a new construct as I please?
Sure. We don't even have to try. The older we get, the quicker it'll happen!
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:13 PM   #4
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We sure aren't a mystical group, are we.

I have distinct memories of kindergarten. I feel like I am the same person now as I was then. But then again, I can read things I wrote years ago and hardly recognize myself.

Am-ness is interesting but I never get far thinking about it.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:14 PM   #5
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Yes. We evolve.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:00 AM   #6
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I feel like I am the same person now as I was then. But then again, I can read things I wrote years ago and hardly recognize myself.
I'd like to think that I'm evolving. I read stuff that I wrote the night before and can barely remember what the heck I was thinking, let alone where I was going...
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:13 AM   #7
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We constantly change. But I don't think we can simply create a new construct as we please. We shape our own future to a degree and our experiences shape us to a degree.

Does the word "heavy" apply to this thread?
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:06 AM   #8
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If we fail to evolve as human beings, that is, if we still act and think as we did in our 20's when we reach 40, or 50. We would have wasted our lives.

We all have seen the stereotypical, pot smoking hippie at 50, still acting the teenager. If not, there are a few movies that make the connection.

Evolution is part of our genetic code. Fail to evolve, fail to live. Itís a by-product of being human. Embrace it.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:46 AM   #9
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I was a pretentious jerk in my early 20's. I realized in my late 20's that I was ok with that so I added arrogant to the list.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:14 AM   #10
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We sure aren't a mystical group, are we.

I have distinct memories of kindergarten. I feel like I am the same person now as I was then. But then again, I can read things I wrote years ago and hardly recognize myself.

Am-ness is interesting but I never get far thinking about it.
Yep - flunked rhythm sticks, had fun messing with finger painting - and like that very old Bill Cosby comedy monologue, the Jungle Gym was out to get me.

heh heh heh -
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:13 AM   #11
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so far as i can tell, marquette gets the dollar.

anyone who can not recognize who they were on their way to who they will be has changed less who they are but to become more enamored with their own denial.

ice remembers it was water when it melts. water remembers it was a cloud when it evaporates. a cloud remembers it was water when it rains. though ice can not fly, it is not the denial of a cloud.
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What brought this about?
Old 10-14-2008, 11:49 AM   #12
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What brought this about?

Yesterday I had to make a decision (nothing huge and life changing). So (on a subconscious level?) I tried to recall:
if in the past I had been faced with a similar choice,
what had been my decision,
what had been the outcome,
and (in light of the above) what should be my decision now?

I couldn't find any referents for the extant 'me', just for some previous versions of 'me'.

So I find myself adrift from the past, having to 'make it up as I go along'; this is not deeply disturbing, but is a bit unsettling.

Please excuse me if this is incoherent, it's difficult to find the words for the thoughts and actions involved.
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:26 PM   #13
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since you can only guess at but can not predict accurately & without a shadow of a doubt the future, put yourself into a situation you previously experienced even with your current knowledge of what this one possible future turned out to be, bring to mind everything you experienced then and remake your decision. would you have followed the same course (or, as is said, made an entirely different set of mistakes)?

when a snake sheds its skin is it not still the same snake? humans shed and create millions of new cells daily but we are still the same person.

you might be developing some sense of compartmentalizing. any more than that, should you suspect in yourself a dissociative process, i'd seriously suggest seeking professional help.
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:56 PM   #14
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Till now I've been packratting my old diaries and letters, and every few years would read through them and think, "wow, some things never change, and some things do." It's an interesting snapshot of who I used to be. But lately I've been thinking of decluttering my stuff/life, and waffle back and forth on whether to chuck the old diaries. I wonder whether it doesn't really matter to have records of who I used to be - who I am now is a direct result of the past anyway, and sometimes I'd rather focus on living in the present.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:23 PM   #15
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I am the product of experiences and the people I have met. Oh the experiences and people....ahhchachachacha...
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:40 PM   #16
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The way I see it, is that I am a four dimensional being (x,y,z,t). Viewing my physical being as an old person or young person is just a snapshot in time. This is as much an artificial construct as viewing an MRI section through my body, and like an MRI, doesn't tell me the whole story.

Viewing non-physical aspects of who I am is just as lacking if done at only one point in time. It only considers who I am at one point on the time continuum during which I exist.

I am thinking that who you were, will always be a part of who you are. So in that sense, I don't know if you can create a completely new construct. On the other hand, maybe you can. (?) Certainly I think one's life can diverge from prior directions.

The other aspect is that who you are may be who the universe or we are, if we are one and all of us is in all of us. Can you/we change the world? Part of me says yes.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Is there some 'me' that exists outside of all those social/political/biological constructs?
Can I create a new construct as I please?
You said this also in the post you linked to:
"After retirement (and aging) I was not: parent, child, student, teacher, employee."
"Maybe I've discovered why sometimes people don't want to retire."

One of the hardest things to know is yourself. Sitting alone in a room does not do it. It is only through our actions and our effect on other people (that is difficult to discern also) that we find out about ourselves.

And in your quotes you hit on that people can hide in their roles and finding out who we are can be a scary journey.

I do not think the essence of a person changes. It might get ignored or hidden but eventually it makes itself know either by unhappiness, dissatisfaction or failure. Only by knowing and accepting ourselves can we maximize what we have to work with for our happiness.

So maybe it is not that you are don't feel connected to your past self but, that your past self is not who you really were and you are becoming more in tune with your true self.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:01 PM   #18
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The past can never be completely known as we cannot view the past through its different perspectives. We view the present through our periphery of senses that are deficient in describing our surroundings. Like a grain of sand in a bottle not being able to see the beyond the next few grains, much less outside of the bottle. For all we know there is nothing there and life is only a construct of thoughts and perceived experiences.

Dogs have better sense of smell, bats hearing, dolphins sound mapping, and on and on we can go.....so we know there is a sensory world more extensive than our own.

Most of what we know we gain from other inputs and differing perspectives that are as flawed as our own and subjective to individual biases.

The future is random and cannot be determined, and once it slips past the present becomes history, which by its nature is flawed.

The only thing we have is the present, which we have proven, is restricted to our limited experiences due to our inefficient sensory perception of our surroundings.

In reality, all we really have is our mental constructs....so my suggestion is have a nice steak, a bottle of good beer (don't cheep out because if your like me you will forget the experience in a few minutes) and enjoy the present as only you can!
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:05 PM   #19
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if you don’t recognize yourself while looking back now, how can you ever know yourself now when looking back from your future? and if you can not know yourself now, how will you know yourself then?

“know yourself. if you need help, call the fbi”~~deteriorata, christopher guest, national lampoon, circa 1972
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:31 PM   #20
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Yep - flunked rhythm sticks,...
OMG, I haven't thought about rhythm sticks in half a century. Boom, clack, clack -- I hated those things. Do kindergartens still have them?
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