Know Thyself - Who Are You?

Know Thyself - Who Are You?
Know Thyself - Who Are You?


Who are you?

If we go down the philosophy road, this question will just make us depressed.

Waitbutwhy deals with this question in a more practical sense - are you your body, brain, cells, "soul". It's an amazing article and deals with trippy thoughts like - What will happen if you donate half of your brain to someone, is that other person you? What if you can teleport, are you dying as you are disintegrated at place A and is the cloned person at place B just an impostor? What if the teleporting machine is defective and doesn't disintegrate you at place A, would you rather die, as your clone is at place B? What if 90% of your cells are replaced, are you still you? It's concluded by saying that it's more about continuity of you and we are more like a database whose contents are constantly being updated.

I have recently read the book Dark Matter, in which every choice of a decision forks the universe and hence there can be infinite parallel universes - the one where you choose your career over family, vice versa and many other possible choices. All these multiple universes have different versions of you, some just slightly different from you(you buying a different car yesterday), some completely different from you(you choosing a different career a decade ago). Spoiler ahead - in the book, the different versions of the protagonist are all pitched against each other, because they are all vying to be in the one universe where the protagonist has the best family life. It's him in all the universes, yet they are not and they are all potential enemies.

If we consider time travel movies and series like Looper or Dark, future and current selves can also be pitched against each other, where they actively want to kill the other or completely erase their own existence, for their own good or for the greater good.

This is all just a trippy thought experiment right? There's no time travel, no teleporting, no multiverses - as far as we know and we will never encounter any of our clones or alternate versions or different timelined versions.

If you have met your childhood friend recently, I am sure, you would have noticed how different they are and how they find you completely different. Our parents often say how we used to love something as a child, but we are now completely averse to it. In fact, it doesn't even take a person from that far back in your timeline to tell you that. You could have possibly completely changed your life in the last couple of years. You are not the same person you were yesterday, even without all the fiction. Yet, you are still responsible and accountable for all the bad decisions made by the past self, even if you have grown as a person since then.

How do we even live being this constantly evolving entity? How do we make any decision? Should you consider the big dreams you had for you as a child? Should you consider this practical career option which you have encountered recently? Should you marry your college sweetheart or move on for someone better you have found at your work?

The biggest challenge for us is understanding ourselves - recognizing what we really need. Every decision you take now is going to impact your current and the future selves. Your future self may hate you for it, though it may seem like the best decision for you to be happy or at peace right now.

The worst part of it is, even if you have sized and summed up yourself well, you may again change into this new volatile entity, which you need to figure out again.

Fiction or reality, we are no different from a machine learning algorithm - looking out for patterns both in recent data and in the overall data of the so called life and predicting the best choice. Recognizing a pattern itself is a big challenge in itself - it's not something which you can vaguely guess or hope for, it needs active tracking of your own choices you have made. Some may be easy to catch - may be you always start things on a grand scale, but then you let them fizzle out. Some can be so complicated and concealed under a ton of superficial patterns, which even a seasoned therapist may not be able to find - may be, you are scared of rejection and you figured that quitting before failing will save you from the pain.

Of course, there are several tailor made patterns, sure shot solutions to fix your life. But generic solutions don't work for everyone in every situation.

Consistent logging, tracking, analyzing, reviewing and understanding the vast data points of our life and connecting the dots to find the constantly evolving patterns and the core patterns that are actually driving all other patterns, then may be customizing the ready-made solutions to suit our patterns and picking the best choice based on all this research could help us in being a better - dataset or set of patterns or whatever it is we are.

Put together the pieces and figure out the puzzle of you. Why do you do what you do? Why does someone hold so much power over you? Why are you where you are? Know yourself.


PS: Apologies for no show last week! I know it looks like a habit of breaking the blog posting streak, but I just can't seem to be not running into emergencies these days. Being consistent on this blog is what keeps my life from being completely derailed - be it in any phase of my life.


Popular Posts from last 7 days

Random posts from the past!