Here are some assumptions I once upon a time embraced:

  1. That I exist as a distinct individual.

  2. That I am a single entity, with all my seemingly differing personalities being mere aspects or overlays of the one essential me.

  3. That there's also something outside of me called "the world", which is at least as real as myself and which I can perceive in various ways.

  4. That both I and the world are changing from moment to moment.

  5. That the events which constitute these changes occur within the medium of time, which is a linear, consecutive sort of thing.

  6. That the past, the ordered set of already-experienced conditions and events, is real and that memory is a record of it.

  7. That some conditions and events possible within me and the world are better or more valuable than other conditions and events.

  8. That I can interact with the world and make changes in it according to my judgment of what conditions or events might be better or worse than the conditions and events I currently perceive or expect to perceive.

  9. That the function of memory is to re-experience conditions and events of the past so that they may be evaluated with respect to certain standards or ideals, with the aim of making the not-yet experienced conditions and events of the future more in line with what is wanted.

  10. That identities other than myself exist within the world.

  11. That these not-me identities have their own ideals—and therefore their own judgments as to goodness and value—which may or may not be similar to my own.

  12. That conflicts arising from differences may be at least partially or temporarily resolved, either through conquest or compromise wherein balances of gain and loss are agreed upon.

  13. That happiness is determined by the overall gain-to-loss ratio, and therefore must be won through efforts of discipline, mastery, skill, knowledge, etc.

  14. That any such gain-to-loss formula must also take into account factors of "natural" law, which contributes to conditions and events in both the world and the identities experiencing them; and that these factors, while complex, may be at least partially known and mastered.

  15. That there is a timeless, immortal essence of me and others, but the ever-changing attendant personalities are subject to dissolution and death — as is everything else in the world.