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Who am I ?

  1. Dec 2, 2005 #1
    who am "I"?

    am "I" my memories? or, am "I" That which has memories? am "I" a body? or am "I" that which has a body? am "I" a mind? or that which has a mind?

    have "I", or you, ever changed? or, have your body and mind and memories changed? If "I" were dying and being reborn, anew, at every moment (that is to say, if "I" am ever-changing, like a body or mind or memories) could "I" even be aware that "I" had once been? would there be a continuity to memories, or a "flow", unless "I" didn't change? isn't this similar to a movie? there must be one who "watches" the still-frames, flickering fast enough to be perceived as motion. mustn't there be a one who is aware? and musn't that awareness remain unchanging, so as to conceive of a flow or continuity of experience?

    I am not the body or mind. I am AWARE of having both. the great thing about human consciousness is that you can be aware of That which is aware! namely your Self. is my cat aware that she's aware? most likely not. are planets aware that they are aware of other planets, and therefore, are they aware of themselves being aware of and attracted to other stellar bodies? or is there awareness occuring simultaneously with the attraction? that is not to say that they are not aware, just that they are just not self-aware. or, rather, aware of themselves as awareness. humans can be thus. to actualize self, through awareness of being aware and responding.


    what "i" am is ineffible, but it is surely there, or here, no doubt. it is merely, not what i had ASSUMED or BELIEVED it to be. we must look very deeply, within, to Know.

    do you follow?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2005 #2
    I believe "I" am the result of all the incidents that happened in the time between BigBang and the fertilization that later generated "me" (and not some other guy or girl). All these incidents (or at least many of them) were necessary for me to be alive today.

    Even if I change during my life, I still look at me as "me", even if it is a different "me". That is because I am a human, and humans are dynamic in it's nature, not static. :wink:
  4. Dec 5, 2005 #3


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    I certainly don't see why this "I" needs to be unchanging in order to experience things continuously. Please be more explicit in your reasoning.

    You seem to be using "aware" in a non-standard way if you would attribute it to planets. Please be more explicit about what you mean by "aware."

    It would be helpful here if you could be less cryptic and more explicit in what you intend to get at.
  5. Dec 5, 2005 #4
    see viking? the "me" is genderless, until one identifies with the body.
    if you are the body then that is so. but then, why doesn't the body, after death, get up and refuse to be buried? if you are the mind, what happened to you in deep, dreamless sleep? did you cease to exist and then return to existence upon waking? you are the thing that is "behind" a mind and body. perhaps, you wear them like clothes and glasses.
  6. Dec 5, 2005 #5


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    I hope you did not intend a question like this to have any deep meaning.

    Perhaps. This idea certainly cannot be rejected outright with merely a simple glance.

    Please do not state as fact things that have not been adequately justified to be taken as fact.
  7. Dec 5, 2005 #6
    please do not argue syntax. the point is to look and see. obviously, you have a body. obviously, you have a mind. we do not disagree here, right?

    because i have a body, does not mean that i am the body.

    even from syntax, we can see the huge difference in meanings, here.

    if i have a body/mind... what am "i", that has it?

    before we are anything, we are.

    right? we say, "i am tired.", "i am happy", "i am smart". all these adjectives apply to the ego. it might be more precise to say, "i have fatigue", "i have happiness", "i have intelligence'

    really, there must be the "i am" in order for there to be any association with an adjective. therefore, the changing states and conditions of "i am" are illusory, because we see that it is more apt to say "i have _____" when we normally say "i am _____". seeing that "what you are" is the "thing that has", because "it is", primary to "be" before one can "be anything in particular".

    to be something depends on being, initially.

    i say, you are (being), rather than the adjective (being is____)... Really; although the adjective is not entirely unreal. seeing its reality, must depend on seeing the Reality of the Self. without being deluded by the body/mind.

    well, words can only take one so far. one must see the meanings, as well as be ripe to hear the words as meaningful. otherwise, one can not see their meaning.

    the question is, can mind be seperated from Being, without destroying Being altogether?

    i tell you, yes. and it must be seperated, for the being is not the mind.
  8. Dec 6, 2005 #7

    That might be. I find it really difficult to say what's right and what's wrong in existensialistic questions. :smile:
  9. Dec 6, 2005 #8
    What you are swerving towards is :Does your conscious mind exist after death?

    Well, do you actually think that Dead Men/Women are still consciously active?

    If you could consciously define your existence in the after-death sense, then,how do you define "Existence"?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2005
  10. Dec 7, 2005 #9
    Let me try...

    "I" is a stream of consciousness that arises from the excitation of the sensory organs and the cognition of the sense-objects. "I" am the see-r when the eye sees, "I" am the hear-er when the ear listens, "I" am the observer when the mind observes. "I" arises from the duality of the observer and the observed. When the see-r, the hear-er or the observer renders the sense-object into an object of cognition, i.e., to give it an interpretation, a meaning, a reasoning and so forth, then that sets the conditions for the birth of "I".

    "I" ceases when the sensory organs cease to function, or when there is no duality between the observer and the observed.
  11. Dec 7, 2005 #10
    I am certainly NOT whatever forges my words or thoughts, though I do not feel powerless to influence them. I have always imagined myself as someone standing with a clipboard outside of a factory, looking at a conveyor belt which comes out of the wall with the final product, and submitting reviews to some unknown forces within the factory through a slot. Even the system which is responsible for verifying the integrity/continuity of my mind is not within the realm of my consciousness. I have been strongly depersonalized (which for me results in an inability to identify with myself) and after manually, and rigorously verifying my identity as well as I could, I've come to the conclusion that the phenomenon results from an erroneous signal from whatever system normally monitors your mental integrity (the same system that throws up warning lights when you become intoxicated).

    If anyone is looking to experience their consciousness unadulterated by smooth integration with their mind (but be clear enough to process and reflect meaningfully on the event), the best way is to seek temporary depersonalization. Sleep deprivation might be a good route. Maybe try waking yourself every 1 1/2 hours during the night to try and minimize your REM, for two nights - though I haven't become DP'ed from doing this myself. Most of my experiences have been either after (as in upon returning to sobriety) chemicals or naturally occuring without any clear impetus.

    If, whether intentionally or unintentionally, you ever become insufferably depersonalized, Tyrosine supplements are a great temporary fix. (Though they seem to take anywhere from 3 hours to a day to kick in)

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2005
  12. Dec 8, 2005 #11
    "I am that I AM."

    perhaps the most profound and concise identification of Self. Infinitely relative in expression, manifestation and definition. that is to say, it is such a meaning as to be confined nowhere or on/in any scale or degree. It is that it is all scale and degree. (infinitely large and infinitely small) It is and understanding such that time/space are nil. distinction impossible. no crude analysis or perception will touch this understanding. for one of crude/gross perceptions, it would be easier to "pass a camel through the eye of a needle" than for such a one to Know "I am that I AM".

    you want to make it a thing; dependent, seperate, formed, contained, to be perceived with the eyes and heard with the ears to have a drawable shape and a quotable song, to have a taste to classify and a texture to make fashionable; finite; that you may "know" It as you like to "know" about other Things. To "know about" is not to Know.

    Who am I? such that 'what I am' is not subject to changing definitions and explanations and ideas, but is known as it really Is, in this instant and forever. if one does not Know the Self, unchangingly and wholly, what then can one claim to know, subsequently?
  13. Dec 8, 2005 #12
    Congratulations on making one of the most cryptic posts I've ever read sameandnot.

    I still believe that the fact that one can say "I am" is evidence enough that one is indeed.
    The words "I am" implies a meaning, and those words would never have existed had the meaning not been there.
    Meaning, the words stem directly from something that is, and those words are "I am."
  14. Dec 9, 2005 #13
    first, i was a baby. that was the time when the sun rose and set. then i was a boy. when the sun no longer set or rose. finally, i was a man. and, the sun rises and sets.

    human thought once claimed to know that the earth was flat. that euclid was absolute. that the sun revolved around the earth. that math was truth. that time and space were Real and objective. that the atom was the smallest bit of the universe.

    thought is never True. knowledge founded in thought is misguided. perception is a thought.

    humans are misled by the senses, without fail. their thoughts are marred by sensual seduction.

    Knowledge is Known right Now, in its eternal and infinite Being, or never at all. there is no evolution of thought towards Truth. no matter how long the history and future of thought, Truth will never be touched by it. the whole is right now. not to be known in pieces and at some time later. Reality can only be Known in this instance; moment.

    do not make this difficult. lost in translation. it is quite simple.

    Knowledge is eternal; unchanged, not of time. falsity is ever-changing speculation; in flux, in time.

    people say, "the sun rises and it sets also." they say this even though the sun does no such thing. the sun neither rises nor sets. whence is it to rise or set. no. this is illusion of perceptions. at the same time, the sun seems to rise and set, affecting sleep of organisms, so we concede, "the sun does not rise or set, yet it does."

    see the truth of this.

    words are not the truth. but they are signs that point to Meaning. the image you see in the mirror is a sign, pointing to the Meaning, but one has made it complex. "I am this body, and not that body... i was a different body than i am now... i was young, now im old... though i have grey hair, this body is still me and not that young one over there." this is all very simple.

    even your eyes are pointing... but at what. they point at the source of this "I" notion, but all you see is a face and eyeballs.
    perhaps, you conceptualize that you are a "mind". that notion is less crude, but still clouded by preconception.

    abide in "I AM" and not in the body/mind. Know That.
    so, one says," we are only Same, and yet seem otherwise."


    (Real looking is not-looking.)
  15. Dec 9, 2005 #14


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    sameandnot, the direction you are taking this is not in accord with the philosophy forum guidelines. You are making claims without making any effort to support them, and it is not even clear what you are trying to claim. This is not the sort of stuff that leads to good philosophical discussion. It looks more like incoherent preaching. Please make an effort in the future to be very clear about what you want to say and please provide logical and empirical support for your claims where needed.
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