RE: Many selves (was Diaries (was: Re: The Pause that Refreshes))

Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 12:00:02 MDT

--- Original Message ---
"altamira" <> Wrote on
Mon, 12 Jun 2000 10:34:41 -0500

>What if a person had undergone such a radical personality shift
that he wold loathe his former self and wish to forget the former
self as though it(he?)had never existed? Was the former self
a necessary precursor of the present
self? If so, could loathing the former self be considered the
same sort of unpleasant emotion as loathing one's present self?
 If it were possible to destroy or alter a portion of the brain
so as to entirely eliminate the
memory of the earlier self, would this change the present personality
of the person?<

Flames burn and hurt but our senses and memory uses this knowledge
as a safety mechanism. The aspects of our behavior that damage
our well being - burn and hurt us - act as warning devices of
actions either we performed, or we witnessed someone else perform,
that our consciousness valve does not want to repeat.

The repulsion of aspects of our behavior, or someone elseís behavior,
depends on bad memory associations and our ability to accept
and deal with the emotional conflicts the act produces. Many
people prefer to push bad associations or memories under the
carpet, pretending that the distasteful or repulsive acts never
existed. This can be far more damaging than facing them. Also,
the magnitude of the act coupled with a personís emotional stability,
sense of survival and mental flexibility have relevance. One
person may be haunted forever by stealing or lying. Another
person may find this as a way of life, but may be haunted by
infidelity, while the first person may find that sexual indiscretions
is a way of life. (Both could be seated next to each other at
church -:)

Iíd like to suggest Maxís dissertation The Diachronic Self: Identity,
Continuity, Transformation

My view is that if a person recognized an act as being so ghastly
that he or she would want to erase it from memory, than this
conscious act must be produced by a some - even a dab of conscience.
 The decision to rub out a repugnant memory would be produced
by the transition self, or "transself." If the new modified
self has utterly no memory of the former self or the transition
self, then would this person be a different personality in total
or in part? Even though the bad memory has been erased, the
person still has other memories. Detail: memories are interconnected,
so the eraser would have to be very efficient to a find and replace
any and all references to the bad act. Even so, the person has
other memories and this would be the same memories as the former
self and the transition self. In any case, it seems to me that
the transition self would be wise enough to know that it would
be best to have some reminder of the bad act so not to repeat

I think a better way to deal with the situation is to have error-correction
devices that eliminate a total recall, but provide a memory for
memory-assist, rather than memory wipe-out.


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