Who One Is

ecrivan By ecrivan, 3rd Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Philosophy>Personal Philosophy

Some thoughts on the eternal question surrounding people wanting to know who they are.

Who One Is from a Philosphical and Social Perspective

People ask themselves who they are whenever there is a moment of solitude or one to reflect about why they are here. Others might ask themselves this soul-searching question when faced with a mind breaking insult or in a room with people who are completely alien to the observer. That question could be together with questions like “Why am I here?” or “What is the purpose of life?” Answering who one is could also lead to other question of life, beings or who we are as language speaking, omnivorous, logically reasoning and laughing hominids. That might be relative to the anthropologist. If the question were extended to other scientists, then psychologists would add we are being who preview our lives through our dreams, as a means of coping with our lives. Sociologists will add another definition.

Buber asked this question in his philosophical book on the identity of man, whether he is created in the image of the Almighty or what it means to be created, period. This brings up existential questions of existence and one can ask if we have to live in order to exist or it’s the other way around. Maybe both apply since life can be considered cyclic and for every ending there is a new beginning and after every beginning there is another end.

So when a person asks who he is, he might as well consider himself to part of that cycle, of completing his life and leaving a spot for another beginning which could be interpreted as a spot for another person or a spot for himself to move on to another world, another dimension. Obviously to entertain the idea of another time and space, one has to have an ounce of spirituality, an appreciation that life on earth does not end at the grave site.

Most of us like to think of life as linear, that there is nothing after this existence and then again one has to answer whether this was an existence at all or whether one was just a being with no substance. The ideas of essence intertwined with existence has created a conundrum for philosophers and lay people alike since the time of Sartre’s book on Being and Nothingness. There are those who will defend the fact that life as we know it is an empty shell filled by experiences but the has no sense of any purpose in this world and it moves ahead as if he did not exist at all. Others will vouch for the fact that in order for us to experience being whom we are, being labeled with names and filled with reference points since we leave the crib think that we could not identify with words unless there was some existence to begin in and not an empty shell.


Anthropology, Being And Nothingness, Collective Memory, Crow Funeral, Existentialism, Martin Buber, Memory, Sartre, Social Memory, Who Am I

Meet the author

author avatar ecrivan
Am on my fifth book project although I have written numerous articles, short stories, scripts and plays. There are two poetry chapbooks out on the market together with a mystery novelette and an English language guide. I have also been translating fr...(more)

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author avatar Denise O
4th Nov 2010 (#)

This is my thought about it all, in a nut shell...
I believe in God and the after life and I know it to be true...
If how ever I am wrong (I don't think I am) then, I have no problem having lead a christian life, as it is good and all that is good, only helps the ones that come after me.
Either way, it is a win, win situation.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar La Verne
4th Nov 2010 (#)

I agree with you Ecrivan... there is a very reason for all abut our existence...life is not just an accident...there is something more interesting about it that we cannot fully understand for now, and someday all these wonderings would be clear with God by our side...:)

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