Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Self is Really a Story

Into the Silent Land "I would suggest that the notion that there is this immaterial soul—which some people might believe departs the body at death and some people might believe takes on another body in a future life—that’s an illusion, I think. Other people take a different line on this. Other people do believe there is self-stuff or soul-stuff somewhere. But the question is, Where is it? How would you when you found it? What would you be looking for? I have no idea what you’d expect to find…I have the same body, more or less, from day-to-day. I look in the mirror and it’s me. But essentially what I tell you, if you were to ask me about myself, I tell you a story…The extended self, which is what we normally think of when we think about ourselves, is really a story. It's the story of what's happened to a body over time."

~ Paul Broks, author of Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology, from “Who am I?Radiolab (January 15, 2006)