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Identity Beliefs

Does anyone else find it interesting to consider the thoughts and beliefs we have personally held in the past and identified with as being who we are? But then to consider further that although the thoughts and beliefs we cherish today are different, if I still identify with them as who I am, I'm still the same schmuck with different beliefs.

By kenbur12
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Absolutely agree. An excellent way of expressing it.

Geoffrey51 Level 7 July 14, 2018

It seems to me that we gradually change into a new and different person. Our selfhood seems continuous because of the memory trace, but old memories are gradually forgotten. We might say that we are reincarnated versions of our former selves.

Personal identity is quite an enigma. I lean toward thinking that our sense of self as a separate entity is an illusion.

WilliamFleming Level 7 July 12, 2018

Reincarnated versions of our former self. I really liked the way you put that and the reliability of our memories are most definitely questionable. I fully agree with you that our sense of self as a separate entity is an illusion.


How about a person with permanent amnesia?

Wallace Level 6 July 12, 2018

I can't imagine a person being able to function very well by his or herself having permanent amnesia


Maybe that just means your intrinsic self is immutable - at your core, you're the same person, but maybe your attitude (and maybe even behaviour) changes according to what you believe. You still FEEL the same about things.

Philosopearl Level 6 July 11, 2018

Yes, I agree with you that who we are at the core or our being is unchangeable but that our experience of our core being is ever changing and in many ways determined by what we believe.

The core would be like the centre of a wheel, unmoving, unchanging, but we cover it with many different lenses of the ego. Possibly a way to overcome this is to observe the beliefs, actions, cravings, of the ego and not buy into them. Stand back and watch the ego at play, and act without attachment. Very buddhist I know!!!

@Geoffrey51 Well said and thank you. For many years I have been fond of Eastern philosophies.


I have been a Liberal, caring, compassionate, empathetic, non-violent, pacifist, inclusive, humanist (I have to stop somewhere) all my life and will remain so until the day of my demise.

jlynn37 Level 8 July 11, 2018

Outstanding personality traits to have. Please carry on....

@kenbur12 Thank you. I could be no other way.

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