I’ve been doing a bit of reading on Buddhism lately, and I’m having a difficult time with the Buddhist view on consciousness. My understanding is that they deny the existence of an ongoing ego or self. Instead, they believe in a series of different selves. So the “you” of today is not really the same “you” from last week. This seems to fly in the face of everyday experience of the self (at least my everyday experience anyway) and is probably a big enough stumbling block to prevent me from ever becoming a Buddhist.
That isn’t to say that I find the viewpoint without any value at all. Which brings me to Mr. Snuffleupagus.
Prompted by a post from Sarah Et Cetera, I checked out the Wikipedia entry on Snuffy. I remembered seeing the episode where everyone on Sesame Street realized that he was real and not just a figment of Big Bird’s imagination. It was memorable for a couple of reasons. First, there had been numerous instances over the years where someone had just missed seeing him, so it was a bit of a shock for him to finally become known. Secondly, Phil Donahue showed up for some reason which I still can’t recall. This gave the whole thing an almost surreal quality.
At any rate, while looking at his wiki page, I discovered that the episode in question had aired in the fall of 1985. This means that I was fifteen years old at the time. Fifteen years old. And watching Sesame Street. Needless to say, the idea that the “me” from 1985 is entirely distinct from the “me” of today doesn’t look so bad given those circumstances.