Monday, September 20, 2004

Do people change?

Philosophy question of the day: Do people change?

Is the person you were in eighth grade different, essentially, than whoever you are today? Of course physical appearances change, as do relationships; and over time we tend to learn social intricacies and tact and conversational politics, but those are all superficial. Are you different in your bones? Are your morals, your principles, your outlook on life skewed from what they once were? Do you treat your friends differently, or your enemies? Hm.

Then of course there is the question of religious salvation; some people are "reborn" at some point during their lives and seem to emerge as an entirely different being. But I cannot help but wonder whether religion, God--pick your savior--perhaps provides a new way of seeing oneself as opposed to changing one's heart. I'm sure we have all had experiences--albeit not revelations--regarding God or nature or something else...and after these experiences we feel oddly, rightly aligned and balanced, in tune with the world, at peace with our stations and walks of life. This, at least, has been my experience. But never has one of these occasions changed me on a tangible level.

And so I wonder of a criminal who has been saved, perhaps his former blackness of intentions and malice were merely a method of dealing with--or hiding--conflicting and difficult emotions or relationships or troubled hearts. Thus, God replaces the need for "ulterior motives," and a man might be saved from himself.

That, it seems, is not the same as the "self" changing; I think something so innate, an identity that has been built over decades from every experience and every person in a life...something like that cannot just be erased and replaced with something shiny and new. I think it cannot be.

But tell me what YOU think; leave a comment on the blog, even if it's short. I'm curious to know your opinions...I certainly didn't write this just to "hear myself think," so to speak.


Blogger Lasciate said...

There is a core identity which guides the way we change...and that doesn't change.

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