Who am “I”?

Maybe I should stop reading. I just read a thought-provoking article by Rabbi Adam Jacobs titled “A Rational Argument for the Existence of the Human Soul.” In it, he poses an interesting challenge: to describe ourselves without using our name, our profession, or our character traits, something he finds many unable to do. Is our consciousness just an illusion, a trick of the neurons in our brains? Or do we really exist—as individuals, as sentient beings, as souls? That’s pretty deep. In my 45 years, I have to admit I’d never really thought about it. So let me try Jacobs’ challenge: I guess, like everyone else, I’m a human being, with about the same hopes and dreams and fears as everyone else, though a unique product of my cumulative experiences. But that pretty much describes everyone, not just me. To describe just me requires a move to adjectives which are more about me than they are me. I guess I come to the same conclusion Rabbi Jacobs has, that I am a soul, a spiritual being which exists outside of my physical being. Hmm. Not a bad accomplishment for a lazy summer afternoon.

“It is only to the individual that a soul is given.”  –Albert Einstein


About Kelly J. McCleary

Wife and mother of three, author, financial professional View all posts by Kelly J. McCleary

4 responses to “Who am “I”?

  • Kelly J. McCleary

    Wow Yael, that’s deep. I like your use of the term biologically predetermined as the contrast to whatever we call the alternative. It’s the alternative that’s the challenge.


  • Yael

    Amazing post!

    It was, as you said, “thought-provoking.” I sometimes wonder about this and, being a “logical” thinker at times, the scientist within is at conflict. I believe this is the product of our free-will and experiences. It makes you individual and there is evidence of it every day. I don’t run into many amazing women named Kelly just because they are biologically predetermined to be amazing and named Kelly. They choose to act in certain ways and I perceive their actions in however those neurons interpret what I see & hear then react with how I, for the lack of a better term, feel.


  • Kelly J. McCleary

    Thanks, but give Rabbi Jacobs credit – he made it easy to agree.


  • suzy444

    What a great blog, and I love the way you explore proving the existence of the soul, as well as identity here – that these adjectives are about me, not me. That’s a great way to say it. …I personally believe that the ego based personality is temporal, but we do have a more loving individuality at the soul level.


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