You are not your possessions.

Ryan A (@spacelord) 8 years, 10 months ago

True. When you understand why you are not your possessions then we can get to your real identity, if you even have one. What I mean is, most people identify themselves with self awareness. To be self aware would mean to be conscious. But how can we be sure of what consciousness really is if we think of it as our identity? Is consciousness a train of thoughts, a collection of associations, a platform of ideals, volitional desire, chemical reactions between neurons, or what else?

It seems apparent to me that several of these items make up what we might commonly call consciousness. If that is what consciousness really is, then we cannot say that our consciousness can operate on those things individually, because if they could we would have made a category mistake. To illustrate with an example, if you have a hand in poker with a pair of Jacks, each Jack operates on the hand creating the pair. The pair of Jacks cannot operate on each Jack.

So what I am interested in is what makes a person identify themselves in their mind’s eye. Do you think of yourself as what you are currently thinking? You shouldn’t, because most of the things you think about is logged in your short term memory and forgotten at some point. It seems to me that it is more about the way in which I am currently thinking. Although this is always relative to the moment, the way I think shows reflects my most reinforced associations. This is most definitely long term memory. But the difference between short term and long term is relative to time. This may satisfy someone who believes we are just a product of our environments. The implications to this result in physical causation playing the only part on our minds and ultimately destiny and no free-will. This is not consciousness yet. It is more like ego.

We still have desires that influence our thoughts and behaviors, and not just physical ones. We have desires to try knew things, to search for answers, and sometimes the desire to do rash things like sacrifice ourselves. People with diseases of the mind have unpredictable thought patterns. Their is more than environmental factors here.

We are not the chemicals passing trough our minds. We can alter them physically, and the are always temporary. This is essentially the issue at hand.

To reconcile these problems, personal virtue must be where it’s at. Our virtues are reinforced by all previous thoughts. Our egos consult our virtues when they make relative good or wrong decisions. Our associations are guided by our virtues. Our train of thought reflects them clearly if we can step beside our egos. Our decisions are based upon our virtues. Our behavior, during our most impulsive moments, the matters of life and death (I’m talking about our quickest reactions of thought and behavior) reflect our virtues clearer to us than anything else.

You are your actions (mental desires included), and not your potential (everything else you think about). Your conscious can only be aware of your virtues, it cannot operate on them and change them, only experience can do that. If consciousness is nothing more than being aware that we are thinking beings, then consciousness may very well be our trains of thought, but nothing else.

I am not close to being the first person to make these claims, but I hope that this might help somebody find their identity when they feel like they’ve lost themselves. You find yourself the same way you find anything, when you stop looking. You are not your possessions. I find that thoughts equivocal to possessions.

What do other HEathens think?

February 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm
Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Oh, I’m not the contents of my wallet?

“What I mean is, most people identify themselves with self awareness.”

“Is consciousness a train of thoughts, a collection of associations, a platform of ideals, volitional desire, chemical reactions between neurons, or what else?”

Consciousness is all there is. Try to snap out of consciousness. You can’t.

Dan (890) (@danfontaine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Consciousness, experience, and virtue are probably a triangle. Good letter. You won’t think your way through this thing though, lol.

Podpayne (0) (@podrickpayne) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I believe that its all experience. we are what we experience. Your virtues are based off of past experience, physical or not. Every need, thought, or desire is based off of it. Each person’s reality and consciousness is original to that person experiencing existence.

Ryan (0) (@ryanexe) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I highly recommend the book “the mystery of consciousness” by john searle.

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