Chapter 36 – But Sunday’s On the Way

tiainen – kopio (2)

Sunday, 7 February 2016.

 

Day 49

 

The brass band plays during the morning service. It’s powerful!

Oh, so very touching!

Anna doesn’t attend too often anymore – for obvious reasons – but she wanted to sit here this Sunday and just scrutinize her own soul.

 

She walks home in the chilly sunshine, listening to a Ted ed video called “Who am I?”

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/who-am-i-a-philosophical-inquiry-amy-adkins

 

“Who am I?

Throughout the history of mankind,

three little words have sent poets to the blank page,

philosophers to the Agora,

and seekers to the oracles:

‘Who am I?’

From the ancient Greek aphorism inscribed on the Temple of Apollo,

‘Know thyself,’

to The Who’s rock anthem, ‘Who Are You?’

philosophers, psychologists, academics,

scientists, artists, theologians and politicians

have all tackled the subject of identity.

Their hypotheses are widely varied and lack significant consensus.

These are smart, creative people,

so what’s so hard about coming up with the right answer?

 The challenge certainly lies

with the complex concept of the persistence of identity.

Which you is who?

The person you are today?

Five years ago?

Who you’ll be in 50 years?

And when is ‘am’?

This week?

Today?

This hour?

This second?

And which aspect of you is ‘I’?

Are you your physical body?

Your thoughts and feelings?

Your actions?

 These murky waters of abstract logic are tricky to navigate,

and so it’s probably fitting that to demonstrate the complexity,

the Greek historian Plutarch used the story of a ship.

How are you ‘I’?

As the tale goes, Theseus, the mythical founder King of Athens,

single-handedly slayed the evil Minotaur at Crete,

then returned home on a ship.

To honor this heroic feat,

for 1000 years Athenians painstakingly maintained his ship in the harbor,

and annually reenacted his voyage.

Whenever a part of the ship was worn or damaged,

it was replaced with an identical piece of the same material

until, at some point, no original parts remained.

Plutarch noted the Ship of Theseus

was an example of the philosophical paradox

revolving around the persistence of identity.

How can every single part of something be replaced,

yet it still remains the same thing?

 Let’s imagine there are two ships:

the ship that Theseus docked in Athens, Ship A,

and the ship sailed by the Athenians 1000 years later, Ship B.

Very simply, our question is this: does A equal B?

Some would say that for 1000 years there has been only one Ship of Theseus,

and because the changes made to it happened gradually,

it never at any point in time stopped being the legendary ship.

Though they have absolutely no parts in common,

the two ships are numerically identical, meaning one and the same,

so A equals B.

However, others could argue that Theseus never set foot on Ship B,

and his presence on the ship is an essential qualitative property

of the Ship of Theseus.

It cannot survive without him.

So, though the two ships are numerically identical,

they are not qualitatively identical.

Thus, A does not equal B.

But what happens when we consider this twist?

What if, as each piece of the original ship was cast off,

somebody collected them all, and rebuilt the entire original ship?

When it was finished, undeniably two physical ships would exist:

the one that’s docked in Athens,

and the one in some guy’s backyard.

Each could lay claim to the title, ‘The Ship of Theseus,’

but only one could actually be the real thing.

So which one is it,

and more importantly, what does this have to do with you?

Like the Ship of Theseus,

you are a collection of constantly changing parts:

your physical body, mind, emotions, circumstances, and even your quirks,

always changing, but still in an amazing and sometimes illogical way,

you stay the same, too.

This is one of the reasons that the question, ‘Who am I?’ is so complex.

And in order to answer it,

like so many great minds before you,

you must be willing to dive into the bottomless ocean of philosophical paradox.

Or maybe you could just answer,

‘I am a legendary hero sailing a powerful ship on an epic journey.’

That could work, too.”

 

She smiles.

Now, the second part of her Sunday Soul Service has been completed.

 

Who is Anna?

I am the compelling heroine of my own adventurous soar.

Yes, indeed!

 

Dear, dear.

Dearest me…

…your who has been shredded into bits in the last years, hasn’t it? 

You must piece it all together again!

Do rediscover yourself, darling.

Deconstruct.

Reconstruct.

Become a stronger version of who you are and aspire to be.

 

Just… don’t lose yourself in the process. OK, little one?

XO

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 49 for the Mighty Little One.

 

 

Author: TinderellaAnna

Anna is a character. Half-fictional, half-inspired in many, many true events. Half-European, half-Latin-American. She is happy, she is strong, she is a mom, a teacher, a friend. Despite the divorce - not of her choice - she is determined to be joyful, grateful, hopeful, sweet; believing that life is for sharing and that he is somewhere out there. But he will have to be as lovable as she is. After all, better alone than in bad company. Sigh: but better in good company than alone... Disclaimer: All names and places have been changed to protect the people who happen to be true.

4 thoughts on “Chapter 36 – But Sunday’s On the Way”

  1. Thanks for sharing this TedTalk. I’ve seen it before, but was equally intrigued this time. One reason for me writing my blog is to get a little closer to that answer. But it’s oh so elusive, and maybe that’s why it’s so captivating. I think I’m a little bit closer to the answer now than some years ago, but still not there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand you completely.

      Well, maybe it’s like love and passion. The best part is the search, the mystery, the desire, the discovery, the flirting and burning and missing and wanting. The conquest.

      But in hindsight, I miss – oh, how I long for – those normal routinely nights in someone’s embrace. When your person is there for you at night. To have a cup of tea, cuddle and watch a movie together. Chat a little. Sleep skin on skin.

      I even miss the “I’m tired, can we do it tomorrow?”

      And even having my One to fight with. Because that means he’s really close. And we can make up.

      I love the pursuit, the longing and a little bit of the drama, but what I really miss and hope to never take for granted again is the daily apparent “boredom”. It is my dream.

      Enjoy every second of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really think life is like the Ithaka poem, I shared on my blog. We are destined for something, but the journey is so important. A big part of love is about longing. This is what gives it a nerve. I agree that the cosy comfort and closeness is a big part, but passion also requires distance – and the pendula of being close and apart. There is more passion in love letters than sharing the breakfast cereals. But I want both.
    BTW did you listen to the recital of the Ithaka poem by Sean Connery. I think I have listened to it more than 50 times, and I get the goose bumps every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I loved the poem. I’m sad I hadn’t read it before. Thank you very much for sharing. I’m learning to appreciate the journey – and the scenery.

      And determined to make something painfully beautiful out of this time and out of my tears and fears. (I do prefer feeling deep emotions, and even crying once or twice a month, to not feeling much at all). I hope this book (whose blog I consider my Draft Zero) becomes one of the beautiful consequences of this harder time. And I hope to inwardly become more beautiful, as well, in the process.

      Will listen to Sean Connery tonight. Thank you for telling me about it. Will let you know how I experience it.

      Beautifully said: ” A big part of love is about longing. This is what gives it a nerve. I agree that the cosy comfort and closeness is a big part, but passion also requires distance – and the pendula of being close and apart. There is more passion in love letters than sharing the breakfast cereals. But I want both.”

      You are an AUTHOR! May I have your permission to use your quote above as an integral part of my story in a future chapter? Will thank you in the small print. 🙂

      Like

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