The SELF as millions of bits of data

SUNDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2014

A digital video clip consists of millions of bits of data, but these bits of data move so fast and are grouped in such a way that the illusion is created of moving images – that makes sense, and that is familiar to the viewer to some extent.

Consciousness of self is perhaps something similar. There is no fixed point that can be isolated as “the self”. The awareness that you are a person with a core personality that remains more or less the same is an illusion created by constantly changing consciousnesses. However, these consciousnesses replace one another so quickly – like the bits of data of a digital video clip – that for all intents and purposes it feels as if you possess a single consciousness-of-self.

[This idea was inspired by something I read in the book, Guide to Philosophy, by C.E.M. Joad.]

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On WEDNESDAY, 19 JUNE 2013 I read what the Scottish philosopher David Hume said about cause.

My conclusion that day: “The good news … no, the bad news is that you do not really exist. The good news is that it does not really matter, because you believe you exist, and in the strange way that experiences are seen as truth, your daily experiences confirm your belief that you do, in fact, exist.”

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