Can we change who we are?
Since I cannot comment on Martha’s article about Bill’s question without signing in yet another e-network, I am going to do it here, giving birth to another new evergreen leaf.
The question is this: Can we change who we are?
In order to give a sensible answer to this question about changing ourselves, we must first find an answer to the apparently simpler question, Who are we?
The deepest philosophies that have been born in the history of human civilization have been, at some point in their development, directed toward this question of our identity. If we assume, for the sake of simplicity, that we know who we are, then we may proceed as follows:
The changes in us occur because that is the way we are. Every single human being changes every single moment of his/her life. Each change is a characteristic feature of that person. Two different people can never undergo the same sequence of changes in their lives. We define our changes. The changes do not define us. Therefore, it is not a question of fatality or irreligion, but of defining the self.
I am sure I have been quite vague, but I cannot do better because:
(a) What requires a few thousand pages cannot be justifiably condensed into one single blog post, and
(b) Even if I had that space, I am sure I would not have been able to present the matter as well as it deserves to be presented.
philosophy religion perspective spiritualism