Can we get rid of the original “baggage” we are born with?

An opinion from the Internet:

“Just because something is your natural state of being doesn’t mean that you desire it to be that way. If that were the case there would be no such thing as mental illness, our brains just exist in a “natural” state differently. Some peoples’ natural state is severe depression, and I don’t think that anyone thinks severe depression gives them pleasure.

And I would argue that your argument is just the reverse of what I said. Yes, we can strive to go against our natural impulse to be optimistic or pessimistic, but we will never be able to shake that first impression. The label is rooted in the thought process, not the behavior, and we will never be able to change that initial impression. Kind of like how you can be sober for 10 years but still be very much an alcoholic.”

I agree with you. And the example with alcoholism is very good. We can never “shake off” the qualities, internal program we are born with.

What I try to express — and I could not but now with your help maybe I can — is that such initial programming determines who we are and we can’t escape it, we might be able to suppress it with our own devices.

But there is a method to “escape ourselves” and try to exist, sense, and perceive reality through the desires, viewpoint of others to such an extent that we can actually, in a sustainable manner live independent of who we are born to.

Like when alcoholics set up mutually supporting groups in AA, and through mutual support, mutual inspiration, through positive shame and envy they can remain sober as long as they keep their mutual connections, mutual support. They are still alcoholics but can exist above it.

Many terminally ill patients decide to give up thinking, caring about themselves, and dedicate their lives to supporting caring for others. As a result — defying medical experts — they can live much longer than expected or even heal.

A mother can completely forget about herself, about her tiredness, health, hunger while caring for the child as she transplants her existence into the baby.

Thus on one hand we all have our own original baggage we cannot get rid of, but we can learn how to live independently of that baggage and later perhaps even learn how to use even that baggage for the sake of others.

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I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.

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Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.