Richard had two ways of looking at Richard. In the first way he used the word “I” –there were things he believed and things he wanted and things he felt — and in the second way he didn’t, but simply acknowledged processes, one of which was the occasional use of the word “I” in the first way. When Richard looked at Richard the second way he responded to a lot of arguments and evidence. Including:
- there was no clear boundary, spatially or temporally between what was Richard and what was not Richard
- when Richard used the word “I” he was often wrong about himself — he was capable of self-ignorance and self-deception
- Richard had no great control over himself but would often be overwhelmed by fear, anger, anxiety, addiction, procrastination
- Richard’s “I” was not the source of his desires or his beliefs which permeated into him from various networks of causes: biological, sociological, and historical
- Richard was entangled on a quantum level with various processes that didn’t have a clear location or state, so it followed that Richard himself didn’t have a clear location or state. When Richard observed an electron that was a superposition of left and right spin Richard was a superposition of two Richards — one that observed a left spin and one that observed a right spin.
One day though they came and said to Richard “If you don’t say that your co-worker Martha is against the government you will lose your job.” and Richard said “I will not.”
Now he was committed to using the word “I” because he needed it to say what he would do and would not do. And as a consequence he viewed his self-deception and addiction as threats against himself not as parts of himself. And he only cared about he causes pouring into him from culture history and psychology if they would cause him to somehow betray Martha. Which he would not do. And the quantum entanglement was on too tiny a level to matter, since it did not matter to his loyalty to Martha and his fear that he would betray her.
The puzzle is: where did that “I” come from?
It didn’t come from himself, because before it came on the scene he was just a process.
And once it was there it seemed like it had always been there. But it hadn’t.
Richard had no answer to the puzzle.
Neither do I!