Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Ship of Theseus

The Ship of Theseus, also known as Theseus's paradox, is a paradox that raises the question of whether an object which has had all its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. (Wikipedia)

I've always thought about this. About identity. And your sense of self. And your soul. About the things that make these up. And whether, when the foundations change, these things change as well? I think they do. And when the sense of self and soul changes - are you better, because you've learnt and grown, or are you worse, because you've lost some of that innocence?

Is the change irreversible? And do you, with time, become unrecognizable, a completely different person?

Would you like that?

What if the person you used to be was someone you had complete control over. And then life happened. And that person got changed. One dream, one heartbeat, one desire at a time. What if this new person is someone you are grappling with, trying to understand, to reign in.

Would you still like that?

And now, what of your life. No matter what happens, how things change, from birth to death, it will be your life. That will be its fundamental definition. But what if you thought it will take a certain path - and then it goes off somewhere you never thought it would? What if the object (that is your life) got replaced one component at a time - new days, new moments, new memories. Would it still be your life as you recognize it? Or would it become something surreal - a movie that features you, but isn't directed by you.

What would you do then?

And finally, what of the people who hold a place in your heart. What if the place they hold changes? What if they rearrange everything, mess up your symmetry, push their way from the periphery to the center...or somewhere thereabouts? Would you still be the same person who thought a certain way about attachment. And detatchment? Would changing the way you feel - change you?

Who would you be then?

A new story? A new beginning? Or just some new chapters? A new soul? A new person? Or the same old girl...with some unexpected new thoughts.

Would it matter? Would you mind if it did?