The Problem With Identity
Identity—the unique point of view a person comes into the world with and lives throughout their lives with—becomes a major stumbling block in my understanding of where any sort of awareness goes after death.
Now, you might say that death is death and, regardless of those who may believe in life after death, that nothing happens after death and that science can prove it.
My problem with death and identity is that beyond my scientific education [see résumé page], I have come to apply a relational rather than an objective point of view on the problem.
My relational philosophy has grown out of a two-fluid experiment that possesses relationships across its two-dimensional, low-energy expanding boundary. I observed energy (pressure drops or low-order information) crossing this boundary for simple and slightly more complex relationships. All results fitted the solution of the Navier-Stokes or Energy Equation for the experimental setup [see THE EXPERIMENT page].
In my experiment, each change of curvature on the boundary is unique. But to science, these relationships crossing and deforming the boundary are defined as objects. (For example: Science might describe a thermometer’s meniscus of mercury, a curved boundary over which there’s a single relationship experience between the inner and outer fluids, as made up of two complementary perspectives (concave upward from the inner fluid forcing outward. And concave downward as viewed from the outer fluid being pushed out of the way).
To me, the human mind is a compilation of relationships (including our relationship with the universe through what we think are our real senses, or our unique experimental setups and virtual spaces).
So, what may be absolute in relationship is the subjectivity or experience of one or more viewpoints, and not identity. Identity seems to be a description or generalization from experience that, like a word, symbolizes the experience but does not capture it.
I like to give this example for the above (a word not representing the experience) by using the word “love.” The word represents the feeling, but the real very complex experience of love is not the word, or the spelling of the word.
So, we tell ourselves that we have a certain identity, and we believe that with every fiber in our body. But if we die—when the mind/body (function/form) loses its configuration and is no longer able to resolve an identity—then we assume that our experience dies along with our identity.
Others’ impressions of this one identity (which has passed on) are still in force. And from a scientifically objective viewpoint, we do not think the models, or templates our minds make of those we’ve known, bear any resemblance to the experience of the one identity who has died.
So, concerning death, how is a relational philosophy different from an objective one? Each viewpoint should be legitimate. In other words, a change of viewpoint should not affect the existence of underlying reality (What Is Behind What Is).
In a relational philosophy, all objects we can define are only simple to complex relationships or experiences across simple to complex boundaries. How these relationships are symbolized in mathematical language illuminate the direct existence, or nonexistence, of their complementary perspectives.
Relationship grows from interaction across some short of change boundary. But knowing how virtual languages are formed, we must acknowledge our relationship types only exist in the descriptive, generalized, virtual world (especially in relationships with sentient beings)—not in the “real” world of What Is Behind What Is (WIBWI: What David Bohm calls the pathways of the Implicit Order).
In my philosophy, a relational one, I see unique perspectives coming out of unique relationships with humans (or other sentient beings). Relationships are born of human perspectives. Human perspectives can grow from interaction from that nebulous “dataset” derived from WIBWI. Just because we can collect data on the universe from our senses, or our experimental setups, doesn’t mean any object we describe or generalize about actually exists (although it virtually exists to us through our own description of it).
Existence requires relationship. If no real change relationship (across a boundary) is possible, then no experience of existence is possible. If we believe hard enough, we can create a virtual reality within our minds that something does exist “out there,” but that doesn’t mean our conception of what exists “out there” is the actual unique experience each of us have as a result of sampling what’s “out there.”
Another example I’d like to go back to is a disclaimer in fine print in a materials science book I used to teach with in college. At the bottom of the atomic chemistry section were the words, and I’m paraphrasing, “None of the information in the Periodic Table exists for an atom in isolation. The only way such data can be generated is from the atom (formed of a steady/stable relationship) in relationship to something else (also formed of a steady/stable relationship)—maybe another atom.” (A steady/stable relationship is one that does not change (endures in form or function) unless presented with changes in space-time.)
I’d have to add to the above that none of the information in atomic chemistry, or any other scientific field, exists independently of a human’s unique perspective (It’s all virtual, involving unique experimental setups (designed perspectives: by nurture or nature) in uniquely describes spaces).
In summary, identities are descriptions or generalizations from nebulous “datasets” (subtle relationships below the surface of observation—in the hidden pathways of the WIBWI). For the human who has died, the identity is lost, but the identity is like a word, only a symbol of experience. So, the question still remains, does the experience go with identity? Does the unique perspective go? Does any perspective, any relationship remain over the expanding boundary of our universe? Does anything continue to exist within the WIBWI?
Next, I’d like to discuss how human/universal relationships are made the only way possible—through sampling and the collection of data. The fact that there are only two basic ways, two perspectives, from which to collect data in any experimental setup is illustrated by the complex math used to predict all action in normal space (As opposed to relativistic space: the world of the very massive, or very small and energetic). This is the scientific/mathematical view of complex number solutions. They illustrate both terms of identity/potential and experience/flow when subbed into the Energy or Navier-Stokes Equation.