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Will you be you if you were not the child of your parents?





saratdear
Say your parents were not married. They married someone else. Will you be born as the child of your mother or your father? Or maybe as a different person, somewhere else? Or not born at all? 'You', as in your identity, or say..a soul. The genetic makeup is obviously going to be different.

That brings me another idea - will you be 'you' if you were conceived at a different time? Ehm...I don't know how to post this kind of thing in a family-friendly forum, but I hope you get the idea. Smile
Ankhanu
Nope. What is "you" is a collection of your genetics and life experiences. Change any element of that equation and "you" is changed.
Cheeldash
Ankhanu wrote:
Nope. What is "you" is a collection of your genetics and life experiences. Change any element of that equation and "you" is changed.

Ankhanu got exactly the point.
Personally i think that with different parents i'd be better than i'm now.
ocalhoun
Well, this is what I believe on the subject:

The self is composed of three parts: body, mind, and spirit.
Now, if 'you' had been born to different parents, the body would obviously be different (because of genetics), and also the mind would be different (due to upbringing/experiences).
But, I think the spirit would be the same.

The identity of 'you' is spread out among the three parts. Which ones control and absorb your identity is related to how much you 'live in' them. If you constantly live in your body - letting the other two be controlled by bodily wants and needs, then your identity will reside within the body (and die with it). If you live in your mind, letting the other two be controlled by intellect and intellectual desires/needs, then your identity will reside mostly in the mind (but it will still die with the body, which it depends on). If you live in your spirit though letting the other two be controlled by spiritual wants and needs, your identity will mostly reside in the spirit (and it will continue after you die, to influence a new body and mind).

A strong spirit, from someone who 'lived in' their spirit in the past life will carry some of the identity to the new body and mind. This, for example, I think is why I like horses so much - a past life liked horses and resided largely in the spirit -- imprinting that preference into the spirit, where it transferred to me. Some preferences are easily explainable (I don't like spiders because as a child I was bitten by one), but others don't have any recognizable source... and I think these preferences are the kind that can be carried over in the spirit. (Besides preferences, I think that character traits and even memories can sometimes be imprinted upon the spirit.)

(Of course the evidence for all this is spotty, poorly verified, and mostly circumstantial. Yet, I think the evidence for this is better than the evidence for any other explanation, so this is what I'll go with until I find anything more convincing.)
saratdear
ocalhoun wrote:

But, I think the spirit would be the same.

But why would it be? Then what difference is there between me and my friend who is born to different parents?
inuyasha
Ah, I did think over this question before! Though without finding an answer. Currently, I believe I wouldn't be me if my parents had married another person or something like that. I wouldn't be born at all. Instead another one would. That's on biology more than on philosophy, I guess.
ocalhoun
saratdear wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:

But, I think the spirit would be the same.

But why would it be? Then what difference is there between me and my friend who is born to different parents?

Well, your friend inherited a different spirit, not yours. (Besides the different body and mind...)

If you say 'what if I was born to completely different parents?' what is the "I" you're referring to?
saratdear
ocalhoun wrote:

If you say 'what if I was born to completely different parents?' what is the "I" you're referring to?

I guess I didn't make my question clear. Say I was not born to my parents, and I was born to my friends parents. If that 'I' has the same spirit, as you say, then what difference do I have from any other person? That's what I was trying to say.
deanhills
saratdear wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:

If you say 'what if I was born to completely different parents?' what is the "I" you're referring to?

I guess I didn't make my question clear. Say I was not born to my parents, and I was born to my friends parents. If that 'I' has the same spirit, as you say, then what difference do I have from any other person? That's what I was trying to say.
I agree with Ocalhoun. Your spirit will stay the same. If your spirit is for example prone to wisdom, solitude and quiet, then that is how you still will be, or if your spirit is rebellious, likes to get into fights etc. then that will still be the same. The behaviour could be different however. If the parents suppress the rebellious spirit it may turn into completely negative and perhaps even violent, whereas if a different set of parents work positively with the rebellious spirit, the behaviour of the person would be easier for him/her to live with. Parents can make it either as a challenge of as something that the child would be able to progress with.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
saratdear wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:

If you say 'what if I was born to completely different parents?' what is the "I" you're referring to?

I guess I didn't make my question clear. Say I was not born to my parents, and I was born to my friends parents. If that 'I' has the same spirit, as you say, then what difference do I have from any other person? That's what I was trying to say.
I agree with Ocalhoun. Your spirit will stay the same. If your spirit is for example prone to wisdom, solitude and quiet, then that is how you still will be, or if your spirit is rebellious, likes to get into fights etc. then that will still be the same. The behaviour could be different however. If the parents suppress the rebellious spirit it may turn into completely negative and perhaps even violent, whereas if a different set of parents work positively with the rebellious spirit, the behaviour of the person would be easier for him/her to live with. Parents can make it either as a challenge of as something that the child would be able to progress with.

deanhills answered it pretty well, though I would add that some spirits are stronger than others... It depends on how in-touch the previous 'owner' was with the spirit. If the previous person payed a lot of attention to it, it could grow strong and influence the next body and mind. but if the previous person ignored it, it could grow weak and not influence the next body and mind much at all.

The religion I'm figuring out right now (for myself) would say that this could be used to give a sort of immortality. Just do two things:
1- 'Store' as much of your self-identity in your spirit as possible.
2- Make sure to imprint in your spirit the desire to do #1 more.
... #2 is the important part, as it lets you begin compiling the effect over several lifetimes, perhaps to perfect it eventually. I don't know what the maximum limit is of how much of your 'self' you could put into your spirit, but it would be interesting to find out.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
The religion I'm figuring out right now (for myself) would say that this could be used to give a sort of immortality. Just do two things:
1- 'Store' as much of your self-identity in your spirit as possible.
2- Make sure to imprint in your spirit the desire to do #1 more.
... #2 is the important part, as it lets you begin compiling the effect over several lifetimes, perhaps to perfect it eventually. I don't know what the maximum limit is of how much of your 'self' you could put into your spirit, but it would be interesting to find out.
You obviously don't have to respond to this question if you think it intrusive, but what religion are you trying to figure out?

I think you would make a great parent, and a fantastic horse breeder with your tenets above. Particularly the one about storing as much of the self-identity in the spirit as possible. Some parents who are domineering and controlling would be tempted to break that down as much as they can creating damage that takes about a life time to sort through. I also think your suggestions would work better when the person is being schooled at home, obviously depending on the type of character of the parents. If the parents are too domineering it could be better to be schooled at a public school.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
You obviously don't have to respond to this question if you think it intrusive, but what religion are you trying to figure out?

I'm making it up myself, which is why it requires so much figuring out. (No priest/guru/et cetera to ask questions.)
I'm thinking of Symphonism though.
(So named because of a belief only slightly related to the one being discussed here. I guess it's time... I'll make a spiffy new topic on the subject in P&R, so that we won't get (more) off-topic here.)
Quote:

I think you would make a great parent,

Don't you put that evil on me!
Children are annoying and expensive. I don't want any.
Quote:
and a fantastic horse breeder with your tenets above.

I have had some pretty good success in taming horses without breaking their spirit though.
Quote:
Particularly the one about storing as much of the self-identity in the spirit as possible. Some parents who are domineering and controlling would be tempted to break that down as much as they can creating damage that takes about a life time to sort through. I also think your suggestions would work better when the person is being schooled at home, obviously depending on the type of character of the parents. If the parents are too domineering it could be better to be schooled at a public school.

Well, I agree, but I was meaning spirit more as in 'spiritual' than 'spirited'... Though the two are related. A child with a broken spirit (attitude) will likely have an underdeveloped spirit (soul) connection as well.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I think you would make a great parent,

Don't you put that evil on me!
Children are annoying and expensive. I don't want any.
*grin* .... thought as much .... Razz
Quote:
and a fantastic horse breeder with your tenets above.

Quote:
I have had some pretty good success in taming horses without breaking their spirit though.
I could imagine that too, especially the good work you seemed to have done with the filly you mentioned in another thread.
ocalhoun wrote:
A child with a broken spirit (attitude) will likely have an underdeveloped spirit (soul) connection as well.
Wouldn't that child have a great chance to overcome that through suffering however? I've always been fascinated by people who came from really rough beginnings, from the way they are put together emotionally and being out of sync with others, and then through huge suffering all of a sudden just seem to get it right. Or it could be a cse of an underdeveloped spirit getting massive support from a parent figure, not necessarily his own parents and just take off in wild leaps.
watersoul
As far as the OP is concerned though I guess the answer depends on a couple of things.
If you believe in a 'soul' then possibly you would be the same soul born to any parents, however you would be socialised differently and those different experiences would still shape the person you represent to the world.

If you don't believe in a soul then I suspect you'd be a completely different person, based on a mixture of different genes, environment, moral codes and social education, if born with a different set of parents.

I look at my own son and think deeply about this quite often. He is clearly a mixture of different attributes from both myself and his mother. I can see the things we've both taught him (together & seperately as I don't always share the same views as his mother), plus I can also see physical attributes that have come from my donation of genes and his maternal side.

I don't believe in a soul, so I am strongly of the opinion that if I'd had a child with another woman then he would most definitely not be the same child as the son I know and love right now.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:

ocalhoun wrote:
A child with a broken spirit (attitude) will likely have an underdeveloped spirit (soul) connection as well.
Wouldn't that child have a great chance to overcome that through suffering however? I've always been fascinated by people who came from really rough beginnings, from the way they are put together emotionally and being out of sync with others, and then through huge suffering all of a sudden just seem to get it right. Or it could be a cse of an underdeveloped spirit getting massive support from a parent figure, not necessarily his own parents and just take off in wild leaps.

Well, I guess that's the difference between a repressed spirit and a broken spirit...

A repressed spirit can bounce right back, given the opportunity, but a completely broken spirit can't be recovered easily... you pretty much have to rebuild it from scratch, and it takes a lot of outside help.
Bikerman
I simply don't understand how huge suffering could be regarded as a positive.
Quote:
I've always been fascinated by people who came from really rough beginnings, from the way they are put together emotionally and being out of sync with others, and then through huge suffering all of a sudden just seem to get it right.
I can't think of anyone like that. I can think of people who were cowed or made much more reserved and thoughtful by great suffering, but I don't know anyone who suddenly connects because of it. The whole point about connecting with others is that you need empathy and how could someone who's experiences were so different as to be basically unimaginable, empathise with those who had not and how could others empathise with them?
My experience with people who have suffered greatly is that it damages them profoundly. My Grandfather suffered greatly in the 2nd World War and he couldn't really discuss it 'till his death. I have a friend who has suffered pretty badly (motorbike accident as a teenager put him in a wheelchair with no sensation below the chest). He will die in the next few years and is quite content with the prospect.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
I simply don't understand how huge suffering could be regarded as a positive.

Well, if the sufferer has a strong spirit, the struggle to cope with it can make them even stronger...
But if the sufferer has a weak spirit, the struggle can break them, like with the people you mentioned.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
I simply don't understand how huge suffering could be regarded as a positive.

Well, if the sufferer has a strong spirit, the struggle to cope with it can make them even stronger...
But if the sufferer has a weak spirit, the struggle can break them, like with the people you mentioned.
It might, possibly, make them stronger, but it won't put them 'in sync' with others will it? Rather the opposite - it will emphasise their 'otherness'.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
I simply don't understand how huge suffering could be regarded as a positive.

Well, if the sufferer has a strong spirit, the struggle to cope with it can make them even stronger...
But if the sufferer has a weak spirit, the struggle can break them, like with the people you mentioned.
It might, possibly, make them stronger, but it won't put them 'in sync' with others will it? Rather the opposite - it will emphasise their 'otherness'.

That's true, unless you're talking about being in sync with other suffering-survivors.
jeffryjon
Suffering is a positive if you don't give into it. In the same spirit as what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Get physically active and suffer some aches and pains - the same for mind and spirit. Societies suffer/strive to make themselves better - though it has to be focused. Agreed the suffering can be overwhelming in some cases and break someone, but without any suffering/struggling how can we attain our potential? I remember watching a real-life TV show some time ago where 2 groups were set the same goals - one had the carrot approach and the other the stick. In the beginning it seemed the carrot was working best but as they upped the game those with the 'stick' performed better. The conclusion was that a mixture of both would probably have created a better result. The same could be applied to parents and the 'me' that results from it. Although as a child I couldn't see it and my parents like many made mistakes and some of them quite big, it drove my 'spirit' to achieve what I am today and I now see that without that I would probably have become a lesser and less happy person. Suffering with the right attitude becomes the necessity that is the mother of invention.
Bikerman
Certainly a bit of suffering is not an issue. The assertion was, however, that 'huge' suffering could be useful in sorting people out emotionally so that they 'fit in'. That is what I was objecting to.
jeffryjon
Bikerman wrote:
Certainly a bit of suffering is not an issue. The assertion was, however, that 'huge' suffering could be useful in sorting people out emotionally so that they 'fit in'. That is what I was objecting to.


I'm happy to go along with that one Very Happy
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