The most curious thing about the post "The "I" outside of the body?" wasn’t that you concluded you weren’t in the museum when you fainted, or that you concluded you weren’t in the museum (depending on your answer) when you were contemplating your vacation in Maui, Santorini, Capri.
The most curious thing was that you, sitting wherever you were sitting with your body, were able to readily claim this fictional museum worker as “you”—and not just one version of the person, but multiple. Your avatar was reading that post on your phone or on your desktop through your body. Your body was likely nowhere near a museum. Even if your body happened to be right inside an empty museum during sunset, you were able to imagine a different you from the one in your avatar body. And you didn’t need to be one or the other at any given time: you could be both, simultaneously.
The POV encompasses the greater you, beyond the body of your avatar.
Consider what happened. Please really consider that which happened when I said “Imagine you are…”
You became that museum worker.
Some might say that they didn’t really become the museum worker. They merely imagined being one, and thus it wasn’t real. If it were real, then, Ithaka, are you saying that we are everything that we imagine, really? This “Imagine you are…” thing happens so frequently. Do you mean to say that we’re that which we imagine, every time?
Yes. That’s what I’m saying.
The “I” needn’t be restricted to the body. The body is an important element of the “I” so long as we exist in the avatar world, but it needn’t be restrictive. And it never was restrictive. Consider again how instinctively our POV navigated from our own body to the imaginary body of the museum worker. Also consider how equally instinctive it is for the POV to navigate to your own past body or to your own future body. Those bodies from the past or future do not exist in the avatar world—and yet, it is so easy to see them as “I.”
There is no real difference between our past/future bodies and the imaginary body of the museum worker.
It’s the same as how, in a novel, there is no real distinction between the way a POV looks at the protagonist versus at any other character or the setting or the wardrobe. The same exact alphabet is used to describe both the protagonist and any other element. The same exact font is used. The reader and the writer need not sit on a special chair to write or absorb the part about the protagonist versus the parts about other elements.
They’re all, equally, letters on a page.
And in the same way, everything the POV perceives in our avatar world is all, equally, perceptions of the POV.
Thus, when you were reading that post, not only were you that museum worker, who is a human, but also everything else in that post. You were the empty art museum soaked in sunset orange. You were the paintings from Monet and Manet. You were also the now-absent fragrances of perfumes, hair sprays, and body lotions. That means, not only did you travel in space, but also you traveled back in time within that space. You were able to be that which is absent by being able to imagine that which was once present.
There’s more. You were also the feelings and thoughts of the museum worker. You were that person’s cozy and content self. You were the “I am not so charmed by working at a museum anymore” vibes. You were the excitement for the as-yet-nonexistent vacation.
This is how, in our life stories, there can be entire scenes about shoelaces, sunscreen, or a pair of glasses, which tell us more about said stories than some human characters. The shoelaces, sunscreen, and pair of sunglasses aren’t human, but they are part of our POV, which is all we can be aware of with our everyday awareness.
When we pick up the earrings of Grandma, who died thirty years ago, that object conjures up a whole bunch of stories about Grandma through our POV. We can make our memories of Grandma’s living days, or even our memories about her memories, more real in the here and now than anything supposedly concrete. We become her, our memories of her, and our memories of her memories.
The fact that the earrings aren’t human and cannot “hold” memories in any “real” way is irrelevant. It’s not the earrings that do the holding; it’s our POV that does it.
The worldview tag is best read in this order. The later posts build on the earlier posts.