I've never been hugged.

in #life2 years ago (edited)


Image source: Pixabay

This morning, I woke up in a small studio flat, alone. I haven't always been alone, of course. Everyone who has made it past infancy began their life living with at least one person capable of meeting their various needs for survival. For most of us, myself included, that means our biological parents. I also had several roommates at university; some were my friends, some were not. Most recently I lived with my ex-partner.

But who was I? Who is "I" there in those sentences? Am I still the same person I was when I lived with my family as a child? Almost certainly not. So much time has passed, and memories have so faded by now, that I cannot even really relate to whoever that individual was. Is it correct, then, to say that the person I was as a child is dead? I don't think so... but child-me certainly no longer exists. If that's true, where does it end, or rather, where does it begin? When did I start existing in my current form? How many versions of me have there been?


Human beings are connoisseurs of illusion. We're extremely reliant upon it in our day-to-day life. Consciously and subconsciously, we manufacture and consume illusions all the time. Your favourite television show is not actually moving; it's flashing a series of individual images so brief and so close together that your brain and eyes cannot keep up with processing them all. Believe it or not, digital music is the same way. It may sound continuous to us, but slow any digital recording down enough and you'll be able to hear the very obvious distortion that comes from trying to fill in the information that just isn't there. So many of our interactions with technology, especially, are entirely dependent upon our brain's subconscious compensation for the latency of the human senses, which creates several illusions that several completely impossible things are happening. If you want to horribly break one of these latency-centric illusions, just try singing with someone on a phone call or teleconference. Seriously, try it if you've not tried it before. It's terribly disorienting and it ends in sadness.

Continuity of consciousness has been repeatedly demonstrated to be an illusion, too. Ask anyone who's ever been in a coma, or under anaesthesia, or blacked out, or slept like the dead after exam week at university. Where did all the time go? Where do we go, when we're unconscious? Of course we like to think of ourselves as, well, ourselves. It's not even that we like to, actually... it seems that we really need to. This subject is not a new one to me. I've been interested in questions about consciousness for as long as I can remember, and yet, the language I've used in this very sentence proves that my actual subjective conscious mind very much considers itself to have existed before today. I feel like I've always been interested in consciousness. I have memories of conversations I've had and various material I've consumed on the subject. The thing is... I wasn't there for any of it.


I'm not telling you anything crazy here. There is a really fun category of thought experiment which involves imagining what if everything is a simulation? Or even, what if the memories I feel like I actually have were planted there by aliens, or God, or the KGB? No, don't worry; I'm not telling you that your memories never happened. It's just that you weren't there to experience them. A human body was there, and inside it was a human mind, but neither of those things were actually you.

It's like this: this morning, a complex multi-faceted electrochemical algorithm decided that your body and brain needed to be awake. Perhaps it was due to a particular external stimulus, such as the light coming through your window; the gentle kneading of your cat's paws; the sound of your alarm clock, or the soft touch of your partner's lips against your shoulder as they departed your bed to make coffee. Regardless of how it happened, it ignited a storm of neural activity which somehow, some way, resulted in a conscious singularity capable of having experiences. This new entity found that it had access to a brain full of memories, and knowledge, and preferences, and it decided that it was itself.

It decided, that it was you.

Take a moment to think about your favourite food. What is it? Have you had it yet today? If not, you've never had it. Your favourite movie? You've probably never watched it. What about all the songs you've ever loved? Even if you've had your entire library on shuffle all day, you've probably never heard most of them. Even if you start now, you'll be unable to finish them. Who is your favourite person? Do you have one? Do you have multiple favourite people? If they're not all in the same household as you, chances are you've never met them, and you never will.

What's your favourite flavour of ice cream? Mine is mint chocolate chip. Or is it? I'm sure that it is, but I've never had it. That particular example has consistently been a favourite of past versions of myself. It's the first example that always comes to mind for me. It's a good one, because most people don't have ice cream every day.


Today's me, though, is stuck on something different: I love hugs. I love touch in general. I love to cuddle and be cuddled. It feels like the most important need that I have, but my logical mind knows that cannot be true. It only feels that way because my mind is in the state that it is in. The facts don't change how I feel though, as is usually the case with this sort of thing.

I love hugs. But. I've never been hugged.

So many people that have called themselves me, that have felt like they were me, have lived their entire existences without being hugged. And for the foreseeable future, every "me" that exists, until all of this is over, will do the same... including me, today.

I love hugs. I crave a hug right now as much as I can imagine craving anything. But I've never been hugged; and for as long as I exist, I never will be. 🍋

Sort:  

I'm not telling you that your memories never happened. It's just that you weren't there to experience them. A human body was there, and inside it was a human mind, but neither of those things were actually you.

The question that arises in my head when reading this is: How is it possible that my previous "I" has not remained in time but my memories have remained? Why are the memories continuous and my consciousness is not? How is it possible that my knowledge, my preferences, my likes, and basically everything that makes up my ego are continuous, but my true "I" is not continuous? Because, as far as I understand, you are basically saying that there is no continuous "I", however, our actions, thoughts and feelings confirm that we believe that there is continuity, and without such continuity, nothing we do, think or feel, it would make sense. If we truly believed that our "I" ceased to exist after today, what we would probably do is try to do everything we want to do today and completely forget about tomorrow, without imagining the consequences, because it would not make sense to worry about that, we will never live it anyway. Although that is not what common sense tells us, do something that you don't owe and you will have to pay for it tomorrow.

I don't criticize what you say, those are simply the thoughts that come to mind when I hear what you say.

In the same way, why is there continuity of consciousness when we are awake, but it ceases to exist when we sleep or something happens to us, in any case, shouldn't it always be continuous or always be incontinuous? Shouldn't there be a different "me" today in the morning and today in the afternoon? A different "me" from an hour ago than now? A different "me" every second, or every thousandth of a second, or an even smaller fraction of time? If that's the case, not only have you not been hugged, but you've basically done practically nothing ever.

Just a few thoughts that came to my head... Interesting posts anyway. Cheers.

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Hugs

Your future self is going to be hugged <3

Until then, there are many fast forward buttons in shapes of many fun distractions. That is all we can do right now.

Well, my future self is one lucky son of a bitch. I hate him! Hope that motherfucker gets hugged to death. What a dick. xD

Thanks for the virtual hug. *hugs*

Fun distractions. Distractions. I feel like that's all life has been this whole year... distraction. The lost year of all of our lives. Well, most of us. I'm sure many people have managed to do useful and meaningful things, but I just haven't. You've made some pretty cool art and stuff actually. You're kicking my ass in that regard :D

Distracting myself is the only thing that's kept me... well I wouldn't call it sane. I wouldn't say "alive" either because I'm not really in danger of dying... but you know? Functional, enough to keep a job and put food in my stomach (sometimes way too much). Sometimes I really have just laid down and wished that I don't wake up until it's all over. I've really, really, really, not been well, at all, this year.

There's always bananas.
NoNamesLeftToUse  Bananas.png

cuddle_sit.png

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Hi there,
I found your account on a downvote trail by curangel. As much as this curation project does a lot of good, it seems it recently decided to heavily downvote posts that are critical of the mainstream narration about health and vaccination (e.g. here: https://peakd.com/hive-110786/@jasonliberty/the-disappearance-of-natural-immunity-the-latest-vaccine-science-and-push-for-mandatory-vaccination). This is when downvotes become censorship.
Maybe time to reconsider this trail, unfortunately.

Hi @captainklaus. Thanks for the message. Personal views aside, I would never knowingly support a downvote trail which targeted any viewpoint, no matter how arguably dangerous and misinformed it may be. To me, downvoting "wrong" opinions is just not something I wish to support with my stake.

I have conducted a personal investigation of the downvote trail's recent history and determined that these downvotes are not ideological in nature. They are actually just offsetting irresponsible voting behaviour by a large account. Unfortunately it seems that this abusive account has been specifically targeting posts that, as you say, are "critical of the mainstream [narrative] about health and vaccination."

Naturally, it follows that the @curangel trail's countering of these abusive votes appears to target posts with that subject material. I highly doubt that it is an accident, and is most likely a psyop by the account in question in order to manipulate well-meaning folks like yourself into running around and doing their dirty work against the anti-abuse efforts.

Intricate!
Thanks for pointing out this extra layer.
I didn't see any haejin or ranchorelaxo in the upvotes, so I thought they might be all ok...

Can I copy your post into my comments I made about that to other accounts?

Feel free to quote and link to my comment.