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“Who’s There?” Is The Self A Convenient Fiction?

For a long time people thought that the self was unified and eternal. It’s easy to see why. We feel like we have an essence; we grow old, gain and lose friends, and change preferences but we are the same person from day one.

The idea of the unified self has had a rough few centuries however. During the English Enlightenment Hume and Locke challenged the platonic idea of human nature being derived from an essence; in the 19th century Freud declared that the ego “was not even the master of his own house;” and after decades of revealing empirical research neuroscience has yet to reveal anything that scientists would call unified. As clinical neuropsychologist Paul Broks says, “We have this deep intuition that there is a core… But neuroscience shows that there is no center in that brain where things do all come together.”

One of the most dramatic demonstrations of the illusion of the unified self comes from Michael Gazzaniga, who showed that each hemisphere of the brain exercises free will independently when surgeons cut the corpus callosum. Gazzaniga discovered this with a simple experiment. When he flashed the word “WALK” in the right hemisphere of split-brain patients they walked out of the room. But when he asked them why they walked out all responded with a trivial remark such as, “To go to the bathroom” or “To get a Coke.” Here’s where things got weird. When he flashed a chicken in patients’ left hemisphere (in the right visual field) and a wintry scene in their right hemisphere (in the left visual field), and asked them to select a picture that goes with what they saw, he found that their left hand correctly pointed to a snow shovel and their right hand correctly pointed to a chicken. However, when the patients were asked to explain why they pointed at the pictures they responded with something like, “That’s easy. The shovel is for cleaning up the chicken.”

Nietszche was right: “We are necessarily strangers to ourselves…we are not ‘men of knowledge’ with respect to ourselves.”

But you don’t have to have a severed corpus callosum or a deep understanding of Genealogy of Morals (which I don’t) to appreciate how modular ourselves are. Our everyday inner-monologues are telling enough. We weigh the pros and cons between fatty meats and nutritious vegetables even though we know which is healthier. When we have the chance to procrastinate we usually take it and rationalize it as a good decision. We cheat, lie, are lazy and eat Big Macs knowing full well how harmful doing these things are. When it comes to what we think about, what we like and what we do Walt Whitman captured our natural hypocrisies and inconsistencies with this famous and keenly insightful remark: “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

That the unified self is largely an illusion is not necessarily a bad thing. The philosopher and cognitive scientist Dan Dennett suggests that it is a convenient fiction. I think he’s right. With it we are able to maintain stories and narratives that help us make sense of the world and our place in it. This is a popular conviction nowadays. As prominent evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker explains in one of his bestsellers, “each of us feels that there is a single “I” in control. But that is an illusion that the brain works hard to produce.” In fact, without the illusion of selfhood we all might suffer the same fate as Phineas Gage who was, as anyone who has taken an introductory to psychology course might remember, “no longer Gage” after a tragic railroad accident turned his ventromedial prefrontal cortex into a jumbled stew of disconnected neurons.

However, according to the British philosopher Julian Baggini in a recent TED lecture the illusion of the self might not be an illusion. The question Baggini asks is if a person should think of himself as a thing that has a bunch of different experiences or as a collection of experiences. This is an important distinction. Baggini explains that, “the fact that we are a very complex collection of things does not mean we are not real.” He invites the audience to consider the metaphor of a waterfall. In many ways a waterfall is like the illusion of the self: is it not permanent, it is always changing and it is different at every single instance. But this doesn’t mean that a waterfall is an illusion or that it is not real. What it means is that we have to understand it as a history, as having certain things that are the same and as a process.

Baggini is trying to save the self from neuroscience, which is admirable considering that neuroscience continues to show how convoluted our brains are. I am not sure if he is successful – argument by metaphor can only go so far, empirical data wins at the end of the day – but I like the idea that personal and neurological change and inconsistency doesn’t imply an illusion of identity. In this age of cognitive science it’s easy to subscribe to Whitman’s doctrine – that we are constituted by multitudes; it takes a brave intellect, on the other hand, to hang on to what Freud called our “naïve self-love.”

Shakespeare opened Hamlet with the huge and beautifully complex query, “Who’s There.” Four hundred years later Baggini has an answer, but many of us are still scratching our heads.

Volpe BT, Ledoux JE, & Gazzaniga MS (1979). Information processing of visual stimuli in an “extinguished” field. Nature, 282 (5740), 722-4 PMID: 514351

51 Comments Post a comment
  1. I think the Antonio Damasio/Thomas Metzinger school of thought on the self has a lot going for it – “self”, like “world”, is a virtual model created in the brain. Metzinger’s work on the first-person perspective and how it can breakdown is very persuasive. Damasio offers a basic theory of consciousness which at the very least plausible.

    Baggini references Buddhism a couple of times. Some Buddhists will tell you that the self doesn’t exist, or they will say that the (imagined) self is the source of all suffering. But I think this is overly simplistic. The more subtle message of early Buddhist texts is that, like everything, the sense of being a self is a conditioned process. As Thomas Metzinger says we are all naive realists with respect to our experience. We think that we are in direct contact with reality, and that therefore the self we experience just as real, But experience is very much contingent and ephemeral. The problem, from a Buddhist point of view, is that we think of happiness in terms of pleasant experiences – which we try to hold on to or continuously repeat. The Buddha takes Heraclitus observation about rivers, and applies it to our experience of the world – the interaction of our consciousness and the things we are consciousness. Experience is a river you can’t step into twice.

    Anyway I thought the talk was OK, A bit lacking in Ah ha moments, but perhaps because the subject is fairly familiar.

    January 25, 2012
    • sammcnerney #

      Excellent comment.

      I wanted to mention something about Buddhism in the post – I give it credit for first recognizing the illusion of the self. And I will look into Metzinger, I don’t know who he is.

      January 25, 2012
  2. Dan #

    Theres problem with all these critiques of the ‘unified self’ is that they are presuming that what they are criticising is a simply defined, universally held point of view. But no-one is positing that the self is a simple thing. Even if we all may ‘feel’ that we are controlled by a single ‘I’, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would claim that this ‘I’ was a totally consistent, easily describable thing, or that it wasnt influenced by the environment, or didn’t have unconscious depths. Our sense of a coherent self is a sense that we a part of a single, changeable stream of consciousness, not that there is some physical location in the brain where our self ‘is’. As usual, neuroscience is going for the straw man here.

    The problem, which Julian Baggini does seem to be addressing, is that we do not yet have the right language to adequately do justice to the subject, as the article shows in how easily it falls for the simplistic explanations of Dennet et al. As with most of their theories on consciousness and related subjects, their assertions in this area rely on a host of assumptions and models that have no more empirical basis than Baggini’s description of self as a waterfall. The reason they are convincing is that we live in an age where computer and biological models are so prevalent, the pessimistic byproduct of present culture. The truth is, questions of mind (and even science more generally in my view), will always contain philosophical positions, through empirical data can be interpreted. Centuries of great minds have understood this, and debated the issues thoroughly, but with characterisitic hubris we are now abandoning all this in favour of a bunch of brain scans and experiments that prove…. what exactly? That we are not something that noone serious says we are. Neuroscience and experiments like Gazzingas described above are fascinating contributions to our understanding, but really they provide more questions than answers.

    January 26, 2012
    • sammcnerney #

      “no-one is positing that the self is a simple thing.” I agree, but they still think that the self *is* something. Do you think so?

      January 26, 2012
      • Dan #

        Yes I do think it is something, but something that is very complex and hard to describe. Clearly its not ‘unified and eternal’ in the exaggerated sense you describe in the beginning of this article, but that doesn’t mean there’s no such thing.

        It seems extraordinary to me that you think the fact that we weigh competing priorities (i.e healthiness and pleasure in choosing food), or sometimes lie and cheat proves that there’s no such thing as the self. An entity that didn’t do such things would be barely recognisable as a human, rather than the model of the self we all accept, as you seem to be suggesting.

        Most actual models of the self are much more attuned to the obvious fact that our minds have layers and depths, and also that they are closely entwined with (and generated by) our social setting. George Herbert Mead and Lev Vygotsky for instance have interesting things to say on this.

        January 27, 2012
  3. It seems that what drives the illusion of the independent self is is the false notion of “free will and choice.” Free will is a culturally-driven “self-evident truth” that is rarely challenged because it is imbedded in our socially constructed reality and language. Indeed, “free will” is the axle around which our language, and our social drama turns.The child absorbs the free will concept very early in life and it attains the status of solid, bedrock, unquestionable reality. As deeply as the “reality” of free will is imbedded in us, it can easily be seen as false by anyone who cares to have a look at their own inner experience and check out what is going on. Just have a look for yourself: To make a choice–i.e. to exercise free will–one would have to be able to direct their thoughts and feelings because thoughts and feelings are what drive our so-called choices. Just focusing on thoughts for the moment, see for yourself whether you can control your thoughts. There is no doubt that we seem to control thoughts, but this belief cannot withstand the simplest investigation. For example, do you know what your next thought will be? Can you think about nothing but elephants for the next 60 seconds? You would be able to if you truly controlled your thoughts. If you controlled your thoughts, why not have all happy thoughts? Given the choice, who would chose to have an unhappy thought. I’ll leave it up to you to do whatever additional homework you need to prove to yourself there is no such thing as free will. What is interesting is that, at their purest, most of the world religions teach “no self” as a basic tenant. Buddhism has already been mentioned, and you will see the same thing in Taoism and Advaita (perhaps the purest form of Hinduism). And, of course, Christianity. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” “His will be done,” etc. What else is universal forgiveness than another way of saying no one is responsible for what they do (I’m sure that set off a great number of hot buttons–certainly it did in Jesus’ day, and they quickly removed that problem). Don’t take my word for it, investigate this yourself within your own inner workings. The concept of free will, when looked at, doesn’t stand up to the simplest looking. No free will means no free choice, means no “personal” responsibility, no guilt, no regret, no worry about the future, i.e. no psychological suffering–and this may be what was meant by “heaven” or the “kingdom of god” within us. Anyway, that’s the way I see it.

    January 26, 2012
    • sammcnerney #

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment Dave. I think you would be interested in Sam Harris’ upcoming book “Free Will.” It touches upon a lot of what you have mentioned here. I am more pessimistic that you. I don’t think we have any control over our thoughts; knowing what we know about the brain it is impossible.

      A link to Harris’ book:

      January 26, 2012
      • Thanks, I enjoyed reading Harris’ stuff. But why do you see lack of control of thoughts as something to be pessimistic about? (If I understand you correctly). Quite the opposite, it is liberation itself. Freedom from heavy weight of responsibility, of thinking, analyzing, judging, worry, regret, guilt, resentment and conflict. It’s freedom from the illusory freedom of choice. If I were a religious man, I would say abandonment of this illusion is relaxing into the arms of god. What could be better?

        February 4, 2012
  4. In dealing with psychotic patients, I found that there was a sane module observing the crazy behaviors. If I could reach that sane ”self” then we could communicate and come to a reasonable resolution. The way inward involved engaging their attention, agreeing that their ideas might have value, and then probing for an inner motivation that could ”seize” control of the crazy behaviors. The logical conclusion might sound like this: “You might wake the children and frighten them, so killing your wife at 2 a.m. is really not an option, is it?”

    January 26, 2012
    • sammcnerney #

      Interesting! Thanks for the comment.

      January 26, 2012
      • God bless you for doing this work and not “writing off” the psychotic. I am a marriage counselor now, but in my internship I worked with some psychotics, and the rule was to keep them calm, stable, and well-medicated. I did as I was told, but, I could not help but feel/sense their humanity (“sane module?”). I truly believe that “sane module” is the same essence that all humans are.

        February 4, 2012
      • Ecnimooes are in dire straits, but I can count on this!

        August 1, 2013
      • Life is short, and this article saved valuable time on this Earth.

        August 7, 2013
      • That’s a lot of books From that list I’ve read: Choke, Glamorama, The Stranger, The Last Man, Fever Pitch, The Alcoholic, Nausea, Drive, Small is the New Big, Model Behavior, The Dip, Death in Venice, Free Prize Inside, A Thirsty Evil, Hamlet’s Blackberry, Port Tropique, Fante: A Memoir.All of them were at least good books.Glamorama, The Last Man, The Stranger and Port Tropique are great books.I also really eojeynd Fante, which you lent me.I’ve still got that copy of Joan Didion’s Play it as it Lays that I wanted to lend you read it recently and it is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

        October 22, 2013
  5. HowBow #

    The self is neither fact nor fiction. It’s beyond categories.
    I can’t even know I’m dreaming until I’ve awakened.

    January 26, 2012
    • JamesD #

      Exactly. Without a self to define them, there are no facts or fictions, so how can it be one of them?

      January 27, 2012
  6. Swift Loris #

    “To the extent you have a true self, it’s something that you in part discover, but in part create,” Baggini says at the end of his TED talk.

    What is the “you” that does this discovering and creating of the “true self”? Seems to me he’s just moved the question back a level.

    January 29, 2012
    • Always a good job right here. Keep rolling on through.

      August 7, 2013
    • I was looking everywhere and this popped up like nothing!

      August 9, 2013
    • The same feedback I gave in jopseh‘s blog.ம கச றந த ச தன 1) தம ழ ந ட ட ல கலகம இல ல மல ஆண டத . (த ன ஆட ச க க வர ப ல ய ம ச ங கம ம ம தட ட ம என ற இப ப ழ த ஆரம ப த த க வ ட டத ).2) ரவ ட கள ஒழ த தத .3)த வரவ தத த ன ந ழல க ட தம ழகத த ல பட மல க க க ம தல ம (த ம க வந த ல த வ ரவ த கள ன ஆதரவ ளர கள நன ற க சம ப த ப பர )4) ப ண கள க க ப த க ப ப 5) ஒட ட ம த த வளர ச ச ச றப ப கவ இர ப பத என ற positives பல இர க க .த ம க:1) க ட ம பம , க ட ம பத ழ ல . tata வ ம ரட ட ய ப ர ம ய ட த த .2) உடன ப றப ப க கள ன கட டப பஞ ச யத த .3) தல ம பலக னம க வர வத ல , த றம யற ற ஆட ச ய ளர கள (stalin, thayanidhi, azhagiri கள ன க ண ட ர ஜ யம )4) த வ ரவ த கள மற ற ம பயங கரவ த கள டம சமரசம , அத வ தம ழ பற ற என ற பற ச ற றல (வ ரப பன ச ப ப ட ட இட ல ய ப ட த த ம என ற sun TVla vanthathu).5) possibilities for Lawlessness and riots Ammaku thaan en vote..ungal votum kooda apdiye irunthaal magizhven

      August 11, 2013
    • La filosofia es suioeprr a la ciencia. No solo es diferente, es suioeprr. La filosofia SI PUEDE explicar cosas que la ciencia tambien explica, pero hay cosas que la ciencia no puede explicar (sencillamente porque no es su objeto de estudio, esta fuera de su area de estudio) Y LA FILOSOFIA SI PUEDE EXPLICAR… Que sentido tiene la vida humana? Por que hacer lo correcto y no lo conveniente? Que sentido tiene el sacrificio por los hijos, en lugar del personal interes? Que merito tiene la verdad, si decirla me provoca un perjuicio? estas dudas (y miles mas) NO LAS PUEDE SOLVENTAR LA CIENCIA habida cuenta que para la ciencia no somos las personas mas que organismos bioquimicos que originamos el pensamiento en un cerebro bioquimico electrico. Y las acciones de tales (nosotros) seres, solo interesan a la ciencia en tanto se pueden explicar en un contexto evolutivo: tienen acciones estos seres que apuntalen su adaptacion al entorno y les den ventaja evolutiva? sobreviven entonces, se adaptan. que explicacion hay en los derechos humanos, esa aspiracion nuestra de que seamos iguales todos, con un minimo de respeto a cada uno, si es exactamente a lo contrario de la competencia entre individuos, sin reglas y sin limitaciones, por la posibilidad de alimentacion, reporduccion y dominio del mas fuerte? la ciencia NO EXPLICA ESO, pues no nos ve como humanos, sino como una veriedad mas de seres vivos. Sujetos a evolucion y a fuerzas ciegas de la evolucion y la biologia… pero en el ser humano hay mas que eso. Mucho mas. Y mientras los cientificos que sobreprecian las ciencias exactas, en la misma medida que infravaloran las ciencias sociales, a tal punto que casi las consideran dudosamente ciencias, casi no ciencias… EN ESA MISMA MEDIDA SOLO PUEDE ENTENDERSE AL HOMBRE CON LA FILOSOFIA. No al organismo o al cerebro donde esta el hombre, SINO AL HOMBRE. En ese sentido, para mi, los cientificos orgullosamente escepticos de este tiempo, SON TODOS CIENTIFICISTAS. Y lo que no es conocimiento nacido de la ciencia (como si fuera su patrimonio), es falso, es ilegitimo. De donde tanta soberbia? La filosofia no es un malabar mental, es una via al descubrimiento, tan empef1osa como la ciencia, pero menos soberbia. ACASO LE FALTE UN ELEMENTO CLAVE A LA CIENCIA: NO SOLO ES IMPORTANTE SABER, VIENE BIEN UN SENTIDO DE REVERENCIA, UN SENTIDO DE GRATITUD POR EL MUNDO, POR EL UNIVERSO, POR LO QUE ES. Si un dia quisieran dejar la soberbia y escuchar…

      September 4, 2013
    • Your thinking matches mine – great minds think alike!

      September 24, 2013
    • . HOWEVER, Woman B claimed she had never said annytihg to A about my wife spreading the rumors and that she was simply concerned about her. She was sorry, apologized, but understood if my wife didn’t trust her as a friend. My wife was hurt, but choose to forgive woman B and move on and attempt to repair things with woman A.The next morning, woman B went to A and told her what my wife had done to her. Woman A was concerned about the accuracy of the information she was getting from B. Woman A asked her again if she was sure that what she had said at the party was true, including the party about my wife telling many different people and maliciously attempting to start the rumors. B said this was all true again, and that my wife was really upset with A and wanted to bring her down with what she said.A week later, my wife tried to talk to woman A to apologize for what was said. Woman A would not even look at my wife. She said she was done with her as a friend. She explained that woman B had come back to her to tell her she had been talking about her AGAIN, and she reiterated about the fact she had been spreading the rumors maliciously and my wife wanted to hurt woman A. None of this was true. Woman A called my wife a slew of fowl language in front of me, in front of dozens of her close friends and in front of many of my wife’s friends. She stated that she was lying because woman B had said these things to her twice, and that she wouldn’t lie.My wife is woman A’s boss. Woman A is letting this effect her work. Woman A has cut off all communication with my wife outside of work. Woman B is now completely avoiding my wife entirely as well as woman B’s husband, who is a close friend of mine.My wife forgave them both for what happened. Several weeks has passed. I have a hard time forgiving these people and wanted them to ever be back at our home. They were both very good friends of my wife’s and now she feels alone and isolated because her two best friends destroyed their friendship. I even lost a close friend. The collateral damage goes very deep, since these were mutual friends of almost everyone we know.My wife wants me to move on, but I have such a hard time with that. My wife was trying to do the biblically accurate thing to hold a fellow sister in christ accountable and her other sister in christ; who was not a new christian, but a strong one, threw it in her face. She broke her trust not once, but twice.I just think she doesn’t need to be friends with these people if this is how they treat their relationships. I don’t feel comfortable having them around my home if this is what they choose to do.What do you think?

      October 22, 2013
  7. HowBow #

    It’s all done with mirrors.

    January 30, 2012
  8. Illuminating discussion for wider application to “mind theory” in autism.

    January 30, 2012
    • HowBow #

      A description of consciousness trying to contemplate consciousness
      is self-referential and inherently fuzzy: packing and unpacking trunks.
      Godel pointed out that complicated systems, like consciousness,
      contain true statements that cannot be proved within the system.

      January 30, 2012
      • nothing really can be prove in a system without reference to things outside I thought? Wasn’t it Popper who introduced that? I may be wrong.

        February 4, 2012
      • Stay intmeoafivr, San Diego, yeah boy!

        August 29, 2013
      • On October 3, thirty high sohcol students from Mount Si’s Key Club visited the homes of two elderly folks in North Bend. Armed with gloves, garden tools, and determination ..they set out to offer assistance to these homeowners where the labor had simply become too big an obstacle. The students split and stacked firewood, trimmed overgrown bushes and hedges, brought garden beds back to objects of beauty, raked leaves, and filled an enormous trailer with discarded and rotting lumber that was taken to the dump. The best part of this endeavor was the smiles and hugs given by the homeowners to these high sohcol Key Clubbers. That so many showed up at their homes to Pay it Forward was overwhelming and one of the most heart-warming experiences I have seen. Way to go Mount Si Key Club!

        November 6, 2013
      • This could not possibly have been more helpful!

        December 4, 2013
  9. My take on this question of self is from a slightly different angle.
    I think of self as a Pareidolia.
    The elements of self obviously exist (our unique individual faculties).
    As for a constant unitary self. Not in my experience

    I think self best explained as a Pareidolia: “the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features”.

    All the elements of self are there (free will.. Questionably). This Pareidolia seems to form from them as a result.

    February 3, 2012
  10. HowBow #

    But the Self does exist.
    As Dr. Johnson demonstrated when he kicked a stone.

    February 3, 2012
    • Self is a big and complex term. He surely illuminated that all the faculties we associate with “Self” exist as for a controlling entity exercising will (free or otherwise) through these faculties isn’t proven by the stone kicking experiment.

      A better definition of self might bring some clarity to these points. As it is there are many different interpretations of the word none of which are particularly coherent.

      February 4, 2012
  11. HowBow #

    Some of us believe there is no “better definition.”
    As I mentioned earlier: Self is beyond categories.
    Derek Parfitt, in his massive “On What Matters,” claims that there is no adequate criterion
    of personal identity. People do not exist apart from their components.
    People exist in the same way as clubs or nations. Got it?

    My self thinks we are in pursuit of the horizon.

    February 4, 2012
    • So what you are saying is… the exact same thing as what I’m saying, albeit in slightly grouchier terms.. but you’d rather term these things self because….

      Because??? Why ?

      You say self is beyond categories then put forward an image of a self that IS an actual category. (People exist in the same way as clubs or nations.)

      The issue your missing here is summed up in your last sentence

      “My self thinks we are in pursuit of the horizon.”

      The way you use the word self would infer some form of actual self that stands apart from though and is doing the thinking.

      You make out like “self” is the set of individual human faculties, yet you proceed as though there is in fact some form of controlling faculty that does this thinking.

      You are making two completely contrary claims here. Fascinating if nothing else.
      Interesting also how you equate personal identity directly with self when that matter is entirely debatable.

      More interesting is that you claim a lack of criterion for defining the self and yet are so very sure that your conception of self is definitive.
      Less dogmatic thinking on issues such as these (especially issues such as these) could lead to some real insight.

      February 4, 2012
      • HowBow #

        Me, “grouchy? Never. I think that you inferred a meaning I did not imply.
        Rather than continue the futile effort to define the indefinable, let me suggest a description:
        My Self is the one who is aware of my thoughts as I think them.
        And so Descartes should have said: “I’m aware that I’m thinking, therefor I am.”

        Descartes walks into a bar.
        Bartender: “Would you like a drink?”
        Descartes: ” I think not” – and disappears.

        February 4, 2012
        • sammcnerney #

          Please stop.

          February 4, 2012
    • I was serlsuoiy at DefCon 5 until I saw this post.

      September 1, 2013
    • that what really troelbus me is when my partner browsing on the net for dirty internet sites similar to: Thats a thing i can NOT deal with, so if any of you is on the market, which has a good sense of humor, can truthfully discuss their inner thoughts and supply a stable atmosphere, and is NOT addicted to online p0rrn then please prepare me a quick introduction email, a photo would certainly be appreciated as well. I ll swear you, that it will be the best thing what taken place in your existence, as long you are sincere with me. 18b

      November 5, 2013
    • Quotes Chimp now know much, but not all, of the contents of a basic auto insurance policy. We will discuss this more later, but now let’s get to the fun part�how you can save money today on your auto insurance policy.

      March 4, 2014
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    April 19, 2012
  13. I don´t like things.
    I like to like and not like things, therefore I exist.
    Do I exist ?

    Thesis

    I don’t like things.

    Antithesis

    I like to like and not to like things.
    This creates and maintains the self, the system where I like to like and not to like, the morals and ethics built within this system responsible for the fulfillment of happiness developed through the concept of good and evil, of better and worse, of right and wrong, which fills me with pleasure and me with the annoyance found in the same concepts.
    Liking to like leads me to believe that I am the best.
    When i qualify or disqualify the differences I affirm that my choice is the best. I am the best.

    Synthesis

    “God neither loves nor hates. God Is!”
    Spinoza

    I am different thing and I am part of a different group (humans) where every member of this group is the same and distinct from each
    other and from other groups of different things each with its owns characteristics where God is in accordance with those characteristics
    When the emotion of happiness emerges and flows from within, it is God. If not, then i return to my starting point and differentiate myself from difference in terms of superiority and inferiority. In this point, the existence of God as absolute truth becomes a thesis, the denial of God’s existence as creator: “life comes from nothing” as was recently stated by the physicist Stephen Hawking. The antithesis and synthesis: God did not create anything because it is the creation in motion.
    The inexistence of God involves a return to the self that likes to like and not to like.
    When I qualify or disqualify these differences, I affirm that my choice is best.

    “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
    Wittgenstein

    When i refer to differences, a priori I refer to God, otherwise, I refer express emptiness

    Good and Evil

    Good and Evil don’t exist.

    What exists is the desire for happiness that i build up from love, or revenge by choice or from incapacity. Evil is the happiness that I feel when the different suffers, whoever he is, and good is the happiness that I feel in love, in the respect and compassion for these differences.
    It is the end of the Devil!
    Happiness is a divine expression.
    God is the liberator and he frees me from an eternal return from in the self-made prison I put myself in, liking to like and not to like things.
    The Earth is the nucleus of an atom of a cell of an organ of the infinite body of God.
    “God Is”

    July 31, 2012
  14. Anonymous #

    Clears that up.

    July 31, 2012
  15. When you talk to yourself, who is talking to whom? Indeed, we are a great many selves communicating with each other and the true self is found in the dynamic process and note a static concept. The self then is malleable, chameleonic and ephemeral as is suggested by Popper and Eccles in their book “the Self and its Brain, an argument for interactionism.”

    January 30, 2013
  16. Hi there, I discovered your blog by the use of Google while searching for a related
    topic, your website came up, it seems to be great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. quotes out of context | clusterflock
  2. Philosophy | Pearltrees
  3. “Who’s There?” Is The Self A Convenient Fiction? | Why We Reason | Mark Solock Blog
  4. You Aren’t Who You Think You Are | Patos Papa
  5. Who’s There? | Reinventing Life at 64

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