Friday, December 17, 2010

A Short Essay On Identity, Relationships, and Baggage

I have an idea.

I've been thinking a good bit lately about people and their relationships with one another. I think about how we relate to others and how that constitutes our own identities. I've been thinking about the issues of baggage from previous relationships. Why it is that time has to go by until we feel comfortable or different.

In my post called this world that world your world our world something like that, I was exploring this issue in a casual sense. How much each of us exist by bending our identities to different minds. We go from mind to mind to mind.

I was struck by this idea in the Coke closet at my work. Stocking coke products. What a treat! (Extreme sarcasm).

I was thinking about my friend Rob. Shouts out to you Rob.

I was thinking about how we have lost touch a bit since I moved, and how thats okay, because I know we will reconnect. But why does it matter to be separate from other people? Why is that good?

Here is what I wrote in my notebook in the Coke closet:

"Life in relation to others. My post on many worlds. Life is a conglomeration of all the people and perspectives inside us. New people, new life. Takes time to disconnect. Me n Rob aren't in touch much."

What to make of all these issues?

How to think about the way other minds relate?

Simulation theory is certainly a part of how I'll deal with the issue.

But what else? How?

I feel like my ideas were clearer when I was in the Coke closet. But now I'm not so sure.

I'll be ruminating on this. I hope I can turn it into a bigger statement about empathy, relationships, baggage, identity, so on.

The I and the Other are inseparable.

There is no Me without You.


  1. Riley, I was just curious as to whether you've read Martin Buber's book "I and Thou"? Reading this post - in particular the last few lines of this post - and some of your other posts on empathy, small talk, and relationships brings to mind some quotes from Buber:

    "The basic word I-You can be spoken only with one's whole being. The concentration and fusion into a whole being can never be accomplished by me, can never be accomplished without me. I require a You to become, becoming I, I say You. All actual life is encounter."

    Not an easy read for me by any means, but definitely has some interesting, if very abstract, aphorisms that you might find interesting perhaps.