Personality can be explained as a person’s style of thinking, being, and behaving. All well and good, but what goes on if we dig a bit deeper? What’s ‘a person’ and, more specifically, exactly what does it take for a person no to be the same person much longer? Will you be the same, identical person all the time? Have you been the same person who you were one minute, a day, a full year, a decade ago? If so, what have you got in keeping with the individual that you were a decade ago?
One is a mental being, but not any mental being just, because many family pets are also mental beings. One is a self-conscious mental being who, in line with the English Philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), is ‘a thinking, intelligent being, that has reflection and reason, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in various places and times.’ According to the definition, you are a person because you can think about yourself before, future, and conditional, and in a number of different places: ‘In February I would embark on a holiday to India’, ‘Last Summer I continued holiday to Florida’, ‘Last month I possibly could have won the lottery, only if I had formed bought a ticket.’
If one is ‘a self-conscious mental being’, the facts which make him so? Could it be his body, his brain, his ‘heart’? Suppose he has a significant mishap that leaves him resting brain-dead on the hospital foundation. His body continues to be alive but he’s no more self-conscious nor can he ever before be again. Is then still a person? If not, then his physical body can’t be whatever makes him a person.
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Why don’t we for an instant move to the next facet of the question, what must be done for a person no to be that same person much longer. Some philosophers have argued a person at the same time A could possibly be identical to a person at the same time B because his body or brain is the same body or brain at both times, in the sense, they are spatiotemporally continuous (continuous in space and time).
Based on the Buddha, the failure to identify this illusion of the do it yourself is the foundation of most ignorance and unhappiness. It really is by renouncing the self–that is, by dropping his ego defenses and committing metaphorical suicide–that an individual can start to different modes to be and relating and be a pure essence of humanity. Only is he absolve to recast himself as a far more conscious then, joyful, and effective person, and, by doing this, attain really the only types of transcendence and immortality that are available to man.