The personality is a set of conditioned behaviours of which we are mostly unaware. If you doubt this wear your watch on your opposing wrist for a week. These behaviours make us utterly predictable to those who know us best. ‘Here we go again,’ they think or say. Which is why we need to live in community—to be reminded now and then that we are robots. We need the personality in the same way a chick needs its shell—as an adolescent protection, only useful for as long as it takes to peck our way out of it.
A study by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University found that humans produce approximately 60,000 thoughts per day and that 90 percent of them are repetitive. No one chooses to host this cranial roar. We think we think but we don’t. We are being thought.
Our desires are narrow, specific, repetitive and opportunistic. We conform to them, not they to us. There’s no benignity in a desire. After a while we start to look like what we want.