The Stranger You've Become | Summary and Q&A

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May 14, 2013
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World Science Festival
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The Stranger You've Become

TL;DR

Our consciousness is constantly evolving, and our sense of self can fluctuate between specific identities and a more nondescript, shared human experience.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Do you feel more connected to who you were at five years old or to someone you barely know?

Personally, I feel more connected to my five-year-old self because there are shared experiences and memories that shape my current consciousness.

Q: How much do we know about ourselves compared to what we knew as children?

Our understanding of ourselves deepens as we grow older, but as children, we have a basic sense of who we are, even if it may be limited compared to our adult understanding.

Q: How do dreams influence our sense of self?

In dreams, we can temporarily disconnect from our specific identity and become more nondescript individuals, which highlights our shared human experience.

Q: Why is it difficult to distinguish dreams from reality when we first wake up?

Upon awakening, there can be moments of confusion where we are unsure of our identity or surroundings. It takes time for our brain to recognize that we have transitioned from the dream state to reality.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Our consciousness may be closer to who we were at five years old than to who our friends or acquaintances are.

  • Despite not knowing each other, there are still shared experiences and similarities in what it is like to be human.

  • Our self-identity is not fixed, and we can become different people over time and through various life experiences.

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