You are the sum of your experiences…

601houseThe psychiatrist treating Dr. House in the sixth season of “House, MD” quite suddenly revealed the fundamental truth about human personality. He said literally:

“You are the sum of all of your experiences…”

This truth is apparently known, it is not even hidden in any way. Any psychiatrist can tell you what your person is, literally. Why is it so difficult to make the connection and think about myself in these terms?

I am the sum of all of my experiences. My personality is just that – a bunch of interactions with other people that left an imprint on me. I am simply a piece of clay on which thousands of footprints are left by people passing me by daily. There isn’t really anything else. There is no “real me” in the sense that most people, religions and secret teachings talk about. The psychology has figured it all out already, it seems. We just fail to appreciate and apply this knowledge.

That single phrase set off a chain reaction in my head. I realized that while I was hooked on watching “House, M.D.” for the last year or so, I automatically took up Greg House as a role model and started copying him. I crippled myself to the point where it became really painful to walk, took up drinking and became extremely cynical in my speech. My personality is absorbing accessible traits from the personality I watch on the screen. Unfortunately, it cannot absorb the ability to play piano, the beautiful apartment or the cool job of the role model, so I end up worse than I was.

This process is completely automatic. My personality is just that – a machine that copies anything it sees. All my thoughts are a copy of thoughts of others. All my ideas are ideas of others. My behavior is a mashed up heap of traits of others. There is nothing else. Not at this level.

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