A: I’ve come so far in my life and in my growth. I’m embarrassed at my youth and the former self I was. Foolish in beliefs. Foolish in thought. I wish I could have talked some sense into myself so long ago.
B: Why hello.
A: Who are you?
B: Your old self.
A: That cannot be!
B: Well, it’s true. It can be. So it is. It’s very simple really.
A: I don’t see how. But I’ll roll with it…It is so great to see you again! It’s been many years since I’ve seen you in the mirror. You look the same. You haven’t aged a bit.
B: I wouldn’t, now, would I?
A: No, I suppose not. In any case, since you might poof off at any moment, let me talk some sense into you. Those beliefs you have about science, religion, and relationships, you must change them. Reorientate yourself! Things are not as they seem. There is not one way to the world, and there certainly isn’t the solution to relationships you have fancied yourself to find. Your beliefs need to change so that I can live better, sooner. It took me much too long to change them and you are still a ways off from changing, so please change now.
B: That’s ballsy. You don’t even know me.
A: Of course I know you! You are me.
B: Hardly! I don’t even recognize you. You must think of the world as plural and unanswerable. Those are not my beliefs. That is not my worldview. How can you expect to know me when your mind is fundamentally different than mine? If your beliefs are not my beliefs, then you cannot be me and I cannot be you. We are two different people. “You” could never have been “me!” That’s purely logical.
A: Craziness! Yes, I am you! I am you but grown up. There’s a perfect line from when you are to when I am. Therefore, we are certainly the same person.
B: No no no! You can draw whatever lines you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that your mind is different than my mind, which necessarily means that you cannot be me. We can only be the same if we have the same mind.
A: But think of the consequences of…
B: Yes, such a view. That would mean that with every change of mind, you make yourself different from your past selves. And that means that they are not you, thus they could never be YOU. You only exist in the present.
A: So I was never you?
B: Bingo. You were never me. So there’s no use in trying to change my beliefs as if that would affect you somehow. We’re completely different people. Just stay in the present and leave the past alone.
A: And my future selves?
C: We haven’t the slightest clue who you are either. Don’t bother us with your stupid philosophy.
A: That was harsher than I was expecting. Does this mean that I, as myself, only exist in this present moment only to be superseded by future selves who are not me?
B: You got it.
A: But if that is really true, how can we possibly have this conversation if moments of time have passed and presumably our minds have changed at least a little in the process?
B: Why hello. I’m sorry. Are you talking to me? Who are you? You look a lot like me. Are we the same person?
A: Hi. No. I’m sorry. We can’t be. Wait. I forgot what I was saying. Who am I?