I’ve been reading an interesting book, “I am a Strange Loop”. The author is a famous philosopher on the nature of consciousness. The specific bit that I have been most interested by so far is the authors take on what is the nature of a “I”.
He has pointed out that each of our brains is made up of a separate left hemisphere which controls an eye and an ear, and a right hemisphere which controls the other side. Yet we don’t view these separate parts as independent consciousnesses. They combine to make one. To take this further, we have billions of separate cells that we don’t consider to be separate selves either. By extending this philosophy to twins or to marriages, you can see how two people literally become one. In some ways the two people join together to become something greater than themselves, and over time they grow closer and closer. They develop many traits, styles, even appearance, thought processes, philosophies and valuess together that neither would have created on their own.
You can see this fully grown when a couple who has been married for fifty years has one of the pair pass away. Often the other one dies soon after. Even if that does not happen, that person will have the other on their mind every day. I talk to my Grandma Gross regularly and she usually mentions Papa who passed away a few years ago.
I think that this is also why couples who have been together for a long time (spending a lot of time around each other) have such hard breakups. You are not just losing the other person, but you are losing the joint entity that you had built up together. Even when that joint entity includes abuse or cheating, it hurts to have that new consciousness die.
I think that this can also apply to groups… a group of people spending significant time together often gives rise to a new separate consciousness. This is especially true in successful companies where everyone believes in the mission like Tesla under Elon Musk or Microsoft under Bill Gates. I myself have many times noticed that I put my company’s interest ahead of my own personal interest.