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Who Are You?

What makes you...you?

By Mohammed DarasiPublished about a year ago 4 min read
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By John Hain, Pixabay

Who are you? Not your name, but who is the real you? What makes you...you?

I’m sure all of us have heard of a doppelganger; This is someone who looks very much like you. But is there someone out there who is exactly like you in like looks, personality and habits? It is curious how everyone in the world is truly unique in one way or another. It is a perplexing fact, taking into account the number of people on planet earth. Yet again, no two snowflakes are ever the same and we know how much snow falls every year; in every country, in every city, in every street.

Think about what would happen if your body was to be destroyed and then reconstructed in the same place. Would you be the same person? Technically…no.

Consciousness is just awareness. It is the awareness of being alive and experiencing our surroundings. However, awareness is not what makes us unique, because everyone has that awareness; everyone alive is aware of themselves being alive, therefore, it must be something else. It is true that we can’t exactly prove to ourselves that we actually do exist (how can we be sure that everything surrounding us is not some sort of simulation?), but internally, we each interact with our own thoughts, therefore we are real to our own minds… a little trippy, but let’s just leave it at that for now.

I have a friend that I had a conversation with about this very topic and we concluded that what makes us unique is our “Essence”. In our opinion, the Essence acts as a baseline for the kind of person one can become in the future, and acts as a filter to how we see things around us. By this we mean the lessons we take from experiences we come by. The Essence is the bare minimum of who we are, allowing us create character, personalities and habits.

Before we go any further, please keep in mind that neither I, nor the friend I’m talking about are scientists. We started off with an interesting thought, and then looked around for more knowledge about it, and eventually came out with our own conclusions… you can do the exact same. Take this article as one of the sources of information, and come to your own conclusion. We would be honoured if this sparked an interest in you.

Now let’s get back to it.

One of the things that made us come to the conclusion that “Essence” exists is the fact that even if two people live through the exact same experience, they may take away two different lessons, and will value them differently. (Don’t worry, both subjects survived the experiments)

Further to the above, let's take two twin babies as an example; identical in looks and DNA. These babies have no experiences to create a personality, nor do they have enough cognition to do anything about it, yet they are fundamentally different. Identical twins may have identical DNA, but their Essence is different. While it can be difficult recognising one from the other, people often can recognise them from their behaviour, or small tendencies that each has. Once they grow up, they will eventually also have different personalities.

It is logical to assume that there is a link between DNA and Essence, because DNA is the building blocks to our being. However, if that is true, then it could mean that our previous point on whether or not a person can be completely reconstructed after being destroyed is invalid; twins would essentially be the same person, and if the technology to create a clone down to DNA level was created, two of the same person will exist at the same time. We all know that’s not possible because of identical twins sharing the same DNA but not being the same person, therefore, Essence must be something else.

I bet you’re wondering “what the hell Essence is then?”. Well, it is just a synonym for the “Soul”, we simply wanted to flesh it out and demystify it to ourselves, and calling it the “Essence” did that for us.

The soul is an abstract concept that has existed for a while now but was never truly explained, and many people do not believe it to be real. It is difficult to reconcile something so abstract and intangible with science, but maybe our definition of Essence, and the route we took to get there, can give the soul some clarity.

In 2015, a movie came out called “Chappie” and it gave a wonderful theory of what the soul and consciousness is. The movie is about a man who managed to create an AI that is similar to humans, and installed it in a robot; it can learn as it grows, and can think for itself (the following might be a slight spoiler, but necessary for this article). The premise of the story is that the robot, Chappie, was “birthed” in a dysfunctional robot body that had a finite life. This in itself, I thought, was a very clever analogue to our experience as humans.

Throughout the movie, Chappie wanted to beat this finality he was born into by transferring himself into another body. He had to study his programming and figure out how to transfer his consciousness out. He figured that we are our experiences: relationships, interactions, and memories. Our consciousness is our collective experience and how they connect to each other. More precisely, how the neurons are connected in our brain.

I thought the movie’s take on consciousness was fascinating and was worth some exploring for sure, but it still had some holes; if consciousness is our collective experiences, does that mean that babies, who have no experience, have no souls?!

In the end, we settled on describing a human being as a painting that is being drawn inwardly from a framework... that framework being the “Essence”.

sciencehumanityfact or fictionevolutionhumanityfact or fiction
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About the Creator

Mohammed Darasi

I write fiction, poetry and occasional articles about interesting topics. I recently created a website (just because) which I will be posting my writing in (among other things). it would be great if you check it out. https://mindpit.co.uk/

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Comments (3)

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  • L.C. Schäferabout a year ago

    I have some questions... 1. Had you had much to drink by this point? 😁 2. Have we had a doppelganger challenge yet, because that would be cool 🤔

  • Dana Crandellabout a year ago

    By the way, that's the second word cloud I've seen this morning. Is there something going on I don't know about? 😂

  • Dana Crandellabout a year ago

    An interesting and thought provoking read. Most of the best references to "Essence" I've found were found in works of fiction. Carlos Castaneda had some fun with it.

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