It is as simple as confounding a question that has intrigued people from antiquity to the present: who am I? Are we our body, or our brain? Are we the person we are in relation to others, or the sum of the experiences and people we have met? Are we who we are today, who we have been, or merely a work in progress? Do we become different persons if we “lose our mind” or lose all of our memories? Do we lose “selfness” if we receive a donor transplant, or if we lose a body part? And in how far can we call ourselves “self” when we are populated by foreign cells? As national, racial, gender and physiological boundaries are becoming more blurred, the question of who we are is becoming even more complex. Read further for some contemplations on the question of identity and how it affects how we relate to the world around us.

(original illustration: NPR, edited by Soon-ok Heijmans)