“I spoke about wings, you just flew. I wondered I guessed and I tried, you just knew. I sighted, but you swooned”. The whole of the moon – The Waterboys.
If we accept the idea that we are our personalities, that we are the software running in our brains, my favorite question is: How many “me” exist?
We can start assuming that there is only one: the one I know and dictate the way I act every day.
But when we talk to people (or even if they “know” us without talking) they also get the idea of “ourselves” into their brain, into their memory.
But that “me” that inhabits into their minds is incomplete by definition. Only I can see my true self (and not even always you can be completely aware of the whole of it). The rest of the people are forming an image of the person who you are based on incomplete information (and sometimes even wrong information). They are building a copy of your personality in their minds that is, almost for sure, different from the one you really are. And afterwards, when people try to analyze any situation trough that personality (e.g. trying to infer what you mean from something that you say), those differences would probably lead to different interpretations. We might believe that we are funny just because we know everything we say is a joke, and still be considered stupid or grouchy by others. And for those people that other personality is as real as our own to ourselves.
Seen this way there is not just one copy of what we call ourselves. Every person who knows us, every family member, friend, acquaintance or even a random person who we met briefly, has their own and personalized copy of ourselves. A different “person”, created using an incomplete pattern, based on the real one we are.
But, when we disappear, when we die and our corpses rot… Can we really say that we are gone as long as there are other copies of ourselves populating other minds? Are Napoleon and Elvis gone if we still know who they are, how they thought? In that way, our personality is a kind of life that spreads like a virus. It starts as a single specimen, inhabiting an empty brain, and it develops influenced by its environment. But as long as the personality is exposed to other brains, it “infects” them, residing for as long as the memories last. An altered copy of ourselves, in a way like other alive beings mutate. And those new hosts can spread even more that personality to new individuals, breaking the barrier of the individual and converting our personality into a species, where every person will have a different individual belonging to it, as Elvis is different for every one of us, even if we never met him in person.
Place: Sant Vicens de Torelló
Speed: 1/100 s.
Focal: 105 mm