The other thought is that on many occasions we seem to be talking past each other - allmost in an eagerness to get them out - but we are not talking past each other, we are creating the harmonics of a comprehensive world view that we are trying to drag out of disparate experiences. Good luck to all of you -- and to me. Later
I like Julian Baggini. Clearly, what he says makes sense, there is no little part of my brain where "little Adriana" exists, and she was there when I was born. There is a specific body and a brain that belongs to me, but there is no "essence" to me; that "essence" is indeed the collection of my experiences and how those constantly interact with the physical me, and that has of course changed throughout the years. Consciousness works as a narrative, so I do recognize myself in the child, the adolescent, etc., that I was, and there is continuity of memories, but for sure I have changed, physically and mentally. However, having this idea of self is a very clever tricky the brain pulls so that we can preserve ourselves, survive, and reproduce, etc.
I have experienced the sense of an homunculus inside my brain, but as a disembodied notion, it has even less reality than my conception of my dog - who if I had the right sensory equipment would look like and electric light show whizzing through a massive amount of space. It bears some resemblance to blood coursing through my body when seen at the microscopic level only at an exponential level.
Michel: It looks like you chose a good topic here - a fair amount of interest generated, and literally years of collected wisdom being communicated in an effort to understand why, where, whither, whence.
By the way, I find little comfort in the notion that my atoms will eventually disippate and mingle with those of Buddha, Jesus, Hitler and Stalin. I would rather have my deceased wife's warm body lying next to me at night than conceptualize her as floating in the ether somewhere unavailable and diffused.