I have always been preoccupied with the question of who or what we are.
How do our mind and body come together to form what we experience as ‘me’? We inhabit our physical body, visible to ourselves and others, which we can point to and say ‘this is me’. And then, with all its strange rules and concepts, there is our personality, that which holds our life narrative together, experienced internally as ‘me’ and by those who know us as ‘you/she/he’.
But since the body is constantly moving and renewing itself and the personality is nebulous, what part of us – if any – is immutable? What it that continues through time? What is the essence of a person?
At school, when I discovered that my body was made of molecules just like everything else — like trees, roads, clouds and air — I was stunned. I couldn’t comprehend that our bodies are subject to the same physical laws as other matter even though I saw the evidence for this everywhere I looked.