For years I have always perplexed myself with the question of self. How is the self a tangible, existing object when we can clearly see the variety of the human self over time? Whereby the stream of experience wades and thickens depending on the self’s state of mind in time and the past’s self’s actions. Thus it is no surprise I have concluded, the human self is an amalgamation of prior self-instances. Thus, the self is equivalent to the summed self from just before now until the point of absolute existence.
Since the point of existence is unknown and blurry we cannot help but state, with sadness, that the self is unknown to us.
Furthermore, what do we define the self by?
Is it the qualities we have been endowed upon due to experience and evolutionary traits?
Or maybe it is the elusive concept of consciousness which is supposedly above our understanding yet located in the brain?
Whatever it is, The concept of the modern-day self seems to stem from the concept of the soul. A supernatural entity that fully we colloquially know as “me”. And, based experientially, can we argue against a man who believes in a soul?
Far from it!
Even now I feel as if my real self lies deep within me and looks out from some unknown point of existence. However, we have found that experience is elusive and contradictory. Scientists have shown this “point” of the soul to be an illusion. Said “point” changes depending on the level of light, whereby in darkness it moves towards the hands of a person instead of the eyes. Furthermore, the concept of the soul is undefined and all we know is it exists outside our body. But I digress.
So What is the self? I am not sure; however, I do believe the ability to redistribute my mind in such a way to imagine doing something another human is doing without having to do exposes the self as not constant.
For a small instance, we use our cranial machine to develop a new self, a hybrid self heavily proportioned towards my previous self but nonetheless includes the self of another.
Whereby we can watch a baker bake and imagine the sweat and heat from the furnace. We can imagine the pain which it takes to knee the dough and eventually the satisfaction from delivering the bread to the shop stand and being repaid for his efforts. Thus it becomes as if we escaped our self and created a new self. If we had the ability to experience every single instance of his life in his shoes or even deduced from afar we could, theoretically, create an identical self.
Perhaps a certain number of the insane perpetually live like this, in a new hybrid world of selves. Where the self has withered away, but new hybrid selves exist due to their brain not functioning properly. Would such a man exist he would be named heem.
Perhaps some animals live perpetually in this new form of combined selves. Bees are often classified as being apart of a “hive mind”, this could be facilitated through a mental ability of “jumping” selves.
The self is surely perplexing, and it could be due to the ill-defined nature of the “self”. It could also be due to our definition of the self be limited to the human self. For the latter, I will try to tabulate all the “type” of selves I have noticed.