“Consider yourself. I want you to imagine a scene from your childhood. Pick something evocative… Something you can remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you WEREN’T there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over… The point is that you are like a cloud: something that persists over long periods, whilse simultaneously being in flux. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made.”


This quote is basically saying: None of the molecules, not a single cell in your body is the same cell as when you at 5 years old. All the molecules in you are constantly being destroyed and remade. The atoms that make up your entire being have been turned probably 10, 100, or 1000 times over. Your brain, which is the master control, contains no surviving cells from 15 years ago. And all the cells that are presently living, will be compeletly gone in the next few years. The memory you hold onto in your brain is no longer associated with the very same cells in which they were created. So how is it that we retain everything, still capable of reliving in the past, when not a single part of us now, was actually there?



2 thoughts on “

  1. this is very interesting. i thought neurons dont undergo cell division, how will they be replaced?on a side note, since matter cannot not be created nor destroyed, every single atom in our body was passed on from the creation of the universe 13 billion years ago. its pretty fascinating to think of that quote in this sense.

  2. @Julx –  Yeah I also thought that neurons stop diving after fetal development… I do know that they are capable of regeneration if they’re damaged… Very puzzling. The only explanation I can come up with is at the organelle/anatomical level… where the cell itself is still there, but the matter that is composed of is ever changing. Maybe……

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