What Makes Us Individuals?
When we consider our physical bodies, we discover that we are, really, a collection of recycled molecules. Cells of our body are created, die, and are replaced many times throughout our lives. We are constantly remaking ourselves. In order to regenerate, our bodies convert the food we eat into basic building blocks of life.
The earth itself provides the nutrients we need to renew ourselves, and when we shed cells, they are returned to the earth. We might say, then, that we are constantly transforming our physical bodies by recycling earth.
Next, consider our emotions. Emotions are just recycled energy. Emotions do not originate with us. They come and go depending on situations, circumstances, relationships, and events.
Emotions are never created in isolation; they always come about because of some interaction with the environment. In the absence of circumstances or relationships, there is no emotion. So even though I may fly into a rage, it is not actually my anger. It is anger that has settled on me for the moment. Each emotion is dependent on the context, circumstances, and relationships that define your reality at that moment.
And what about our thoughts? Well, our thoughts are recycled information. Every thought we have is actually part of a collective database. All but the most original thoughts are actually quantum leaps of creativity that occur from that same collective, recycled bed of imagination.
So if our bodies are recycled earth, our emotions are recycled energy, and our thoughts are recycled information, what is it that makes you an individual? According to many of the great spiritual traditions, one of the great truths is that “I am the other.” Without the other, we would not exist.
Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).