What are we made of?
The answer will be very different depending on who you ask.
If you ask Skinner, he’ll answer that we are a consequence of environmental histories of positive or negative reinforcements. We are made of consequences of previous actions. This sounds like a bright idea once it’s pointed out and much more if you deeply studied it (remember Skinner described himself as a scientist) but, common, where the human dignity is in this theory? aren’t we capable of changing? these questions have decades going on.
Octavio Paz (Mexican poet and diplomat) will also mention these reinforcements, we’re made of oppressions and acknowledgments and if you know Mexican history, well… it will make a lot of sense.
Jean-Paul Sartre (my absolute favorite), on the other hand, will say we are made of freedom. We get to change ourselves and our behaviors. What more beautiful thought than this? He says that existence precedes essence and that’s what makes humans different from animals.
According to Eckhart Tolle, we are made of consciousness and awakenings, we also have ego inside us but this is meant to be dissolved while we go awakening.
Fernando Savater is more of the idea that we become who we are because of the orders we receive, our whims and habits. If you like this author you better start watching your habits.
Erich Fromm believes in energies. If you get to chat with him, maybe he will tell you about the lamb and the wolf energy inside us. We have both a “good” and a “bad” side, it depends on how we use them.
An Ancient Agnostic Tradition has a more poetic vision about this, it says we have this bag full of memories and things that make us, us; we don’t create things, we remember them and that’s why everything you perceive is a projection of yours.
What are you made of?
– V by V.