So I have been reading the book Atlas Shrugged lately. Part three of that book is called A is A. For some reason that really got me thinking about the true nature of things. I have for the last few months been obsessed with prime numbers. They have been described as the building blocks of other numbers, or the only true numbers. But last night it struck me that prime numbers are the only true numbers when it comes to multiplication and division, but if you add in addition and subtraction there is only one true number. That is the number one. Every other number is in essence, a grouping of the one true number. Twenty is not an individual entity, but twenty entities grouped together for the convenience of those who have to deal with the group. Fractions or decimals are merely a portion of the one. All of this is probably not terribly interesting unless you are fascinated by numbers like I am (and even then probably not) but it lead me down an interesting path.
Once I accepted one as the only true number I began to wonder about the true nature of human beings. I have heard it said that humans do not change. They remain the same and the only reason they respond differently in similar situations is the change in stimuli. Now I cannot speak for all humans but looking back on my life, I can identify a few times when I have changed. I realized that the only true change a human goes through has to be a fundamental change. I will call this time x. So the person pre-x and the person post-x are not the same person. There will obviously be similarities, but the change is so great as to have altered the person at a fundamental level. As an example I refer you to the diet craze. Lots of people want to lose weight. Lots of people do something different, perhaps even dropping significant weight. However, within months they have typically gained it back. There was no change. The people who lose weight and keep it off make a fundamental change. For example they become an excercise fanatic, or an anorexic. Both of these I would classify as a fundamental change resulting in a new person. Another example is religion. A person who adopts a new religion (or recommits to their old religion) goes down one of two paths in my experience. Path one, they change religion for some outside influence. In this case there is no fundamental change and as soon as the outside influence fades or changes they fall away from the religion. Path two, they make a fundamental change and regardless of the influences of the outside they are committed to the religion and will not deviate.
This path of thought and discovery about fundamental change has lead me to believe that I, as a human being, cannot modify myself to be a better or worse person. The only way to become a better or worse person than the person I am now is to become a new person. The tricky part will be trying to figure out how to do that.