In this episode we approach the concept of the self from a concrete perspective, not in an abstract philosophical way. What do the hard sciences like biology and physics say about the existence of the self? Does the “self” exist from a psychological perspective? What does the science say and what does that mean for ourselves, our future, and how we think about change and self improvement? We explore the scientific search for the self with Dr. Robert Levine.
Dr. Robert Levine is a professor of psychology and former dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California State University. Robert is the bestselling author of Geography of Time, Stranger in the Mirror, and The Power of Persuasion, which has been translated into eight languages. His work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, CNN, and more!
Is our current conception of “the self” accurate?
The hard sciences demonstrate that there is not one, single, conception of the self
The boundaries that we imagine divide us from the rest of the world are vague, porous, and sometimes non existent
The self is a changeable object and we have control over changing it
When does the self become the non-self?
A huge portion of our body is bacteria - does that constitute part of the self?
From a psychological perspective, we do not have a single personality or self
Who are you?
Approaching the concept of the self in a real way, not in an abstract philosophical way
What do virtual body parts have to do with the perception of the self?
What are the consequences of the lack of a concrete, definitive, self?
Your mind can be tricked, despite knowing that it’s being tricked
Context and situation often determine your behavior moreso than your personality / self
The interconnectedness of everything / are we actually separated from the universe / what is the “boundary” of the self?
Where do our thoughts, decisions, and ideas come from?
The notion from early psycho-neurology that your brain decides before we are aware that we have decided
The self versus the non-self
Where do our thoughts, desires, and impulses come from?
The boundary between ourselves and others is vague & malleable
How do we use the fluidity of the self to reshape and edit ourselves?
We are multiple personalities and selves - and this allows for and creates real possibilities for change
What are the implications of this fluidity of the self?
We can actualize the possibilities within our multiple and complex understanding of self-hood to create positive change in our lives
We are the “editors” of our own lives and “selves”
Creating positive change in your life requires thinking for self, introspection, and self honesty
The lowest hanging fruit for keeping track of your “self” and editing to become the person you want to be