According to Osho, the Indian mystic and spiritual teacher, “Consciousness means living with a witness; unconsciousness means living without a witness. When you are walking on the road, you can walk consciously — that’s what Buddha says one should do — you are alert, deep down you are aware that you are walking; you are conscious of each movement.

You are conscious of the birds singing in the trees, the early morning sun coming through the trees, the rays touching you, the warmth, the fresh air, the fragrance of newly opening flowers.A dog starts barking, a train passes by, you are breathing… you are watching everything. You are not excluding anything out of your alertness; you are taking everything in. The breath goes in, the breath goes out… you are watching everything that is happening.

” I think that’s the best phrase to describe the personal identity in this world. Personal identity theory is the philosophical confrontation with the most ultimate questions of our own existence: who are we, and is there a life after death?In distinguishing those changes in a person that constitute survival from those changes in a person that constitute death, a criterion of personal identity through time is given. Such a criterion specifies, insofar as that is possible, the necessary and sufficient conditions for the survival of persons. Nowadays, the Simple View is disparaged as a theory only maintained by thinkers whose religious or spiritual commitments outweigh the reasons that speak against their views on personal identity.

This is due to the fact that it is assumed that a theory of personal identity cannot be weakly reductive without involving appeal to discredited spiritual substances or committing itself either to the acknowledgment of yet unrecognized physical entities or to an Identity Mysticism on the level of persons. As a consequence, many philosophers think that the problems that infiltrate dualism and Cartesian theories of the soul, such as the alleged impossibilities to circumscribe the ontological status of souls and to explain how a soul can interact with a body, render the Simple View equally problematic.While I agree that the options mentioned are exceedingly difficult to defend, I do not understand why they have to be regarded as the only options available to the Simple Theorist. Arguably, many respectable philosophical ideologies, such as conceptualism or Neo-Kantianism, may issue in theories of personal identity along Simple lines without appeal to Cartesian Egos. (Note, however, that these deologies, with regards to the problem of the persistence of people, may also be, and in fact have been, construed along physiological or psychological lines). This suggests that we do not only need a better understanding, and above all more promising articulations, of the Simple View, but also a new taxonomy of theories of personal identity: the traditional division of theories into Simple, Psychological and Physical, even if maintained here by the author of this entry, may not be the best way of viewing the matter.


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