What is a person?
A person is living organism that has the ability to think cognitively and experience specific feelings.
Fusion of mind, body, and spirit
When do we become a person?
When a fetus develops the capacity to think, use organs on its own ?
When do we cease to be a person?
When we lose the ability to think, breathe, use vital organs on our own energy.
Until the last time people use your name
Personhood in RELATION to something else, something you are a part of
That can continue after biological, physical demise
Drawing boundaries to what a person is
Individual subordinated to the group
Membership in group
When you’re born, you are not “new”
You came from something else
Caste Already attached to social group when born
Karma and dharma
Karma: your fate, life is dictated by karma
Dharma: destiny as you begin to make decisions, determines where based on your destiny you are reborn
in ongoing cycle
Destination: aiming to reach selfrealization
Not about individual
Ancestral spirits play an active role
Upon death, one becomes an ancestral spirit
Don’t have a “soul,” but embodiment of ancestral spirit (resides in you, drives your course in life)
Children = partial persons
Children who die don’t become ancestral spirits
How might this affect your life if you thought of yourself as an embodiment of an ancestral spirit?
Animals = kin
Humans are distinct from animals, but not radical distinctions
See that they share many attributes
Both physical, social
Humans have characteristics to a greater degree than other animals (feeling, talking, etc.)
On the other hand, in Bali they don’t allow children to crawl b/c too close to animals No dualism between material and spiritual or animal and human
Personhood is gradually gained
Personhood continues (even after death) until all debts paid
Communication with ancestors and spirits through dreams
Winds, sun and moon = persons
Personhood extended to nonhumans and objects
Rejects idea of “self”
Let go of “selfish” desires and attachments
Reach state of enlightenment
Reincarnation… but goal is to break the cycle and enter nirva