The Individual as A Brain-In-a-Jar

The Individual as A Brain-In-a-Jar

Imagine yourself as a brain locked in a jar. You have no ability to move by your own, you cannot do anything on your own except thinking, feeling and talking. One day your jar is connected to a circus bear, and you hate bears. However, the bear is the only way for you to navigate and to physically move.

Because you are a brain in a jar and because you have authority on your new “body”, your “bear” is your servant. It would do anything for you. Even if you shout at it, curse it, laugh at it and so forth - you will be always dependent in your bear, and because your bear is loyal to you to the point of blind obedience, both of you are unseparated from each other. You may be the boss, you cannot do anything without this precious servant, and this servant cannot do anything without you, because it is in need for mastership and ownership, like a dog.

If you both are stuck with each other, wouldn’t it be wasteful to hate one another? You can escape from everything - family, friends, employment and so forth, but you cannot escape your own body and consciousness. Even if you are launched to outer space, away from the world, you are still stuck in the inevitable prison that is yourself.

Hate is such a wasteful emotion; it can be very tiring, and also lead to stress and even anxiety. If you hate yourself, then this emotion is much more wasteful, because you can’t do anything with this emotional resource; you may be stuck in self-hatred and self-loath, which may damage your health and mental state.

Every organism is stuck inside themselves, like the metaphor where a brain is stuck in a jar atop a body of a bear. Because we are stuck inside ourselves, waging actions of hate against ourselves is worthless and a waste of time. Just like the brain and the bear should cooperate with each other for the greater good, you, as an individual, should cooperate with yourself for the sake of your survival, health and happiness.

And what emotional glue is better than love? Love is the most ideal glue that can motivate people to cooperate with each other - and with themselves. Therefore, you should love your self for the sole reason of cooperating with yourself. If you are divided between your consciousness and the rest of yourself, you may be in a state of inner war, which may harm your daily and mental functioning.

The brain-in-the-jar and the bear should cooperate with themselves until they become a one, unified entity. I know this is a reference to a cartoon, but I find it fitting; you - the consciousness - and your body should work together, and the best way to do so is by love.


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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher