Are you still the same person than several years ago?

Written by on May 29, 2018

In this article, it gets a bit more philosophical, so be aware of that. The lesson I want to teach you today is based on the principle of understanding the point of view. Are you still the same person? 

When I started to read a lot about how the human brain works, I stumbled over a really neat thought experiment called Ship of Theseus, but in a slightly modified version.
The principle of it is simple: Think about a sailor on a ship completely out of wood. Over the time, the boat starts to rot and the planks have to be replaced. This happens that often, until every single piece of the boat was replaced once. After that, you arrive at a harbor and someone asks you the following question: “This boat looks really new. Is it the same one you started your journey with?

This is the moment where you have to ask yourself from which point of view you want to see the question. If the guy asks the question on a materialistic meant way, the boat is not the same. But if he asks the question in a personified way, the boat would still remain as the boat.

So far everything seems pretty “legit”, but what if I tell you that a similar behavior happens to your body every seven years?

You may not want to believe it, but it is a fact, that every of our body cells renews itself after round about seven years. In general, you can ask yourself the question: Are YOU still the same?

Maybe you say yes, maybe you say no – in the end, it depends on your very own view on this subject. In a materialistic way, it is easy to determine, that you are not the same person anymore. But what about your consciousness? Is it still the same?
I thought a long time about that and my conclusion on that is, that I’m not the same person. I may still be able to think, but the way I think is completely different from the time before. I tried to make examples for that. A good one you can check on yourself: If you start reading comments on your Facebook account from a couple of years ago, do you feel embarrassed for the stuff you wrote? If so, it is likely, that you have developed a new view on things in the past years.

What you can learn out of that

Actually, you can learn a lot out of that. A big thing is, for example, the fact, that you should not think a bad habit stays for a lifetime. During the time, you will lose some bad habits and you may gain some new ones. All at all, you should remove the stressful part out of your life with thinking that it will always stay the same, and you can’t really change yourself (Because actually, that’s what happens with you even if you don’t think of it).

Another interesting thing I learned out of it: Due to repetition (Thanks repetition) and the structure on how our brain works, we are able to keep patterns with specific logical parts in our brain over this breaking time, to develop them even more. This is what enables us normally the possibility to have memories.

All together we are a super crazy pile of cells that gets much more complex when we try to understand it.


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