I, and this may come as quite a shock, but I am not a banana. I am also going to make the wild assumption that you are also not a banana. I have known for quite some time now that I am not a banana, but it all came to a head this morning as I was eating a banana, and wondered, although I am not a banana, could a banana possibly be me?
If you find this absolutely ridiculous, let me explain. Imagine you holding a banana; you and the banana are clearly two distinct items. Now your mouth is clearly yours, full of your teeth, your tongue, and your saliva, it is a part of you. You take a bite of the banana, chewing, it gets smashed in your teeth, stuck in your gums, and mixes with your saliva. Gross? Definitely. But also it makes distinguishing between you and that banana just a bit more difficult; are you and the banana still two distinct entities? If you still think so, let's go on.
After taking a bite of the banana, you swallow it, it falls into your stomach, goes through your digestive tract, and somewhere in here all the nutrients your body can take from it are pumped into you to make you strong, and yada yada yada. So, the question is, is the banana part of you? If so when did that happen? If not, how can what sustains your body, not be a part of you? Like a car your body needs fuel, without that fuel the body can’t do what it’s intrinsically meant to do, just like a car may not be the gas, but a car unable turn that gas into an explosion to propel it forward isn’t a car, its a lawn ornament, and that explosion is only possible with a tank of gas.
So in this light, that banana becomes a part of you, because of the function it serves your body. Which begs the question, are you your body? Well, I think the answer lies in our speech. After someone passes away we talk about them in the past tense “James Dean was an actor.” We do this because they no longer are. So from here, I began to wonder about living parts of us that we don’t really appreciate.
Take your appendix, or if you want, think of a tumor. It grows inside of you, it lives, can be benign, may not hurt you at all, it’s just there. You are not an appendix, nor are you a tumor, but these seem to be parts of you. On the other hand, you can cut them out and feel just like you did before, you didn’t lose anything that is fuelling you like you would if you lost the banana after you swallowed it. Nor did you lose anything that would kill you, or anything that even did anything for you, as if you lost your heart or your big toe. So is this tumor or your appendix a part of you? Or are they just attached to you.
To end this off I’m not sure I have any answers, but I think the next step is to wonder if you were to lose a part of you, assuming it didn’t kill you, would you still be you. Maybe even other loses seem to change you more, like losing a friend or a loved one. In the end I’m not sure we can know for sure where exactly you or I end, but I know one thing, I am not a banana.