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Re: Will the real Tom please stop changing for a cotton pickin' minute

Dec 29, 1996 10:53 PM
by Tom Robertson

On Mon, 30 Dec 96, Mark Kusek wrote:

>Tom wrote:
>>I suspect similarity in principle between the approximate sameness with
>>which individuals are known in the span of one lifetime and the
>>approximation, at the macro level, that classical physics is to Quantum
>>Mechanics. Assuming that its rate of change is reasonably steady, if a
>>blade of grass does not noticeably change in 5 minutes, but does so
>>noticeably change in 500 years that it would not be considered to be the
>>same blade of grass any more, that means that the difference between its
>>being considered to still be the same blade of grass and its not being so
>>considered is only a matter of degree.
>Is this your way of saying that you agree with me?

As long as calling something by the same name as before only means that it
has relatively greater continuity to what has been called the same name
than to what has been called a different name, but cannot be identical to
what has been called the same name, yes.

>When you finally get to see your old Aunt Betty after several years and
>she says "My stars Tom, how you've changed!" -  do you really let her
>know that she's got the wrong guy?

When she said this, I, as a good Theosophist who believes that there is no
religion higher than truth, remind her that, since the only difference
between how different I am from the individual whom she knew as Tom and how
different I am from anyone else, now, before, or after, is one of degree,
my still going by the same name is only appropriate to reflect the greater
approximation that I am now to the individual whom she knew as Tom than to
individuals whom she knows by different names, which is due only to how
slowly individuals change compared to how different they are from each
other at any given time.  I go on to explain to her that individuality is a
temporary illusion, just like every other form.  Actually, this has
happened only once with her, since, for some reason, she has never said the
same thing to me, which is unfortunate because I enjoy explaining it to
people.  Come to think of it, no one has ever greeted me in this way after
I have explained this to them.  I guess some people just can't handle the

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