Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

The Ghost Of ‘I’

Supposing you have a very clear idea of what you are and what you are not.

Those concepts can either be freeing or confining.

Let’s investigate the legitimacy of thoughts surrounding our identities.

For any idea to closely match reality, a worldly phenomenon must be sufficiently predictable.

Which raises the question: are you predictable?

You distill your personality from your experiences and, therefore, your memories.

In other words: you believe yourself to be your memories.

But what is memory?

Is it something upon which you can permanently make marks with your thoughts?

Or is it closer to a body of water, in which your thoughts merely leave fading ripples?

The former has you believe you are a fixed personality; all impressions are there to stay.

The latter gives you the idea there is no self at all; no effect is lasting.

And both models of memory explain the feeling of a constant personality.

Like a record player, the traditional model plays whatever is scratched onto its surface. Creating a constantly evolving and evermore complex tune.

In the unconventional water model, the mind keeps dropping thoughts into the memory basin. And by repeatedly plunging ideas into the basin, it creates a never ending series of elaborate ripples.

Both images give you the feeling of a permanent self.

But is identity more than a sensation—or is it merely a figment of our imagination?

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach