Nothing makes me think about the nature of my consciousness more than running water.

We all have this idea that we are a stable identity, that throughout our lives the same person has been watching. It seems self-evident that they (whoever they are) have been there in the back of our mind, even when we were just a moving plant in a diaper.

Watch a river and you will see the same thing.

A constant rushing, shifting process that somehow maintains the same general shape and structure unless the conditions change. A massive snow melt or someone building a dam, something catastrophically different. This alters the river’s course and what it looks like, but the water is the same.

A stable identity is one of the more difficult things to find, and I often wonder if our attempts to force it freeze us into unhealthy behaviors.

Why can’t we just be water?