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I was walking down the street, just tonight, and there were like, some rambling words sprayed on the wall. Proper weird, I thought. So I looked closer, and this was what it said. And it's kinda haunted me since.

I can make you, you,
And I can break you, true, too.

I can build, high, fly.
And I can destroy, flat. Fancy that.

I float as a bubble,
I can weigh as the very planet itself.

Don't bother to philosophise. I was there before philosophy.
Don't try to see the cat. I was definitely there before the cat was seen.

But if you could have me..

Wonder what it could be.....

Update/hint/

Now the answer's been got, but not all the clues have, have some hints :)

Bubbles:

Well, thought bubbles of course. Always depicted as cloudlike shapes, in comics. I'm surprised that wasn't got. :)

Planet:

There's a specific phrase for this - having the weight of the world on ones shoulders.

Cat:

Wrong cat? Have another guess. (Why does everyone assume that cats mean Schroedinger, anyhow!)

Cat answer:

Remember Sylvester and Tweety-Pie? "I tought I taw a puddy-tat".
"I thought", and then, only afterwards, "I saw a cat".

Definite proof that the answer existed before the cat was seen!

And of.course, this answer would definitely be on Twitter... where else would you find Tweets :)

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I think you are..

a thought

I can make you, you,
And I can break you, true, too.

Similar to @Sinh's answer, our thoughts can define or break us.

I can build, high, fly.
And I can destroy, flat. Fancy that.

Skyscrapers and space shuttles are all born from ideas and so are bombs.

I float as a bubble,
I can weigh as the very planet itself.

While thought bubbles do seem light, more troubling ones can feel like carrying the world on your shoulders.

Don't bother to philosophise. I was there before philosophy.
Don't try to see the cat. I was definitely there before the cat was seen.

We were already thinking before we thought about thinking and thought experiments did precede Schrödinger's cat.

But if you could have me..
Wonder what it could be....

Sparing a thought about thought, who could've thought?!

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  • $\begingroup$ Right answer, but very wrong interpretation of some clues, ("bubble", also "the cat" onward, also "weight" is missing a tiny edge that completes it). Do you want to retry them, or have a hint, before I add them under a spoiler? :) $\endgroup$ – Stilez Oct 4 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Stilez can't think beyond my current answers right now so I'll take the hint if you don't mind :D $\endgroup$ – greysaff Oct 5 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ Added 2 of them under spoilers, and a hint on the 3rd. @Bananenkopp got the essence of the last line already. Those help any? $\endgroup$ – Stilez Oct 5 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Stilez I got the thought bubble and world on your shoulders right, no? Just missed the "weight" part but I think I got the general idea. For the cat, I really can't think beyond Schrodinger :| $\endgroup$ – greysaff Oct 5 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ The cat answer could be on Twitter..... $\endgroup$ – Stilez Oct 5 at 15:52
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Could it be something like

an ATOM?

I can make you, you,
And I can break you, true, too.

You are made out of atoms, and so is anything that breaks you.

I can build, high, fly.
And I can destroy, flat. Fancy that.

Buildings and planes are made out of atoms. Atomic weapons.

I float as a bubble,
I can weigh as the very planet itself.

Atoms are tiny and even in the air. Neutron stars / black holes?

Don't bother to philosophise. I was there before philosophy.
Don't try to see the cat. I was definitely there before the cat was seen.

Atoms have always been there. Schrodinger's cat / quantum theory?

But if you could have me..

This line is probably stylistic with no riddlish content.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A brave guess that doesn't quite fit. Sadly, no. $\endgroup$ – Stilez Oct 4 at 6:33
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Well, I used my answer to find the answer.

Imagination

I can make you, you,

It is a big part of your personality.

And I can break you, true, too.

If you imagine all the bad things that could happen to you, you get depressed.

I can build, high, fly.

You can get everywhere in your imagination, you can think of almost everything.

And I can destroy, flat. Fancy that.

Like destroying yourself your fantasy can make you behave badly. "Fancy that"... big clue here.

I float as a bubble,

In your imagination you are protected and free like beeing in a bubble.

I can weigh as the very planet itself.

Of course imagination can be a heavy burden.

Don't bother to philosophise. I was there before philosophy.

Without imagination there would be no philosopy.

Don't try to see the cat. I was definitely there before the cat was seen.

Maybe this refers to images where things can be seen if you look differently, maybe a shape of a cat or person in the leaves of a tree or something. So the imagination of the painter leeds to this picture, not the imgaination of the observer.

But if you could have me..

If I have you I can solve this riddle (hopefully)

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good! Not quite right though - like @greysaff, "bubble" and "cat" are wrong, and "weight" is missing something, and that's why yours, though almost right, can't be quite the right answer. Going to +1 anyway, as much for the gorgeous style of it and complex loops you found :) $\endgroup$ – Stilez Oct 4 at 12:46
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Is it:

Conscience

I can make you, you,
And I can break you, true, too.

It's what defines you.

I can build, high, fly.
And I can destroy, flat. Fancy that.

I float as a bubble,
I can weigh as the very planet itself.

It can be weightless or heavy as the world, it can be what eats you inside.

Don't bother to philosophise. I was there before philosophy.
Don't try to see the cat. I was definitely there before the cat was seen.

We always have it, even before we knew what is it.

But if you could have me..

Hmm, what was you doing in the night to have your own conscience haunt you?

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  • $\begingroup$ Another clever answer! Not quite a fit, but a good one. Going to + it anyway :) $\endgroup$ – Stilez Oct 4 at 9:02
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I propose another answer:

Uncertainty - the clue about Schrödinger's Cat is the give away, I think: before the cat is observed it is in a superposition of alive and dead simultaneously; which is fundamentally an uncertain state. Being a thought experiment, thought occurred simultaneously with the cat itself; therefore thought seems an inappropriate answer. But, uncertainty is what that Cat is all about.

It was there before philosophy (and gave rise to it); it can be buoyant and whimsical (like a bubble), or it can weigh one down (like a planet; gravity); and, in like kind to that, uncertainty can give rise to answers which build and create, or which destroy; as happens when one becomes paralyzed by it, or when it escalates conflict through paranoia about the intentions of one's adversary, or through the misunderstandings that often give rise to conflict in the first place.

...and, of course, uncertainty can be a characteristic that defines personality, making a person who they are ('making you, you'); whether indecisive, curious, or confident, the level of uncertainty one exhibits becomes a primary point of reference in how people perceive each other. ...and uncertainty can break a person, causing them to lose perspective and act irrationally, which can lead to dark and destructive places.

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  • $\begingroup$ All of which is extremely fascinating, and clever. I like it. But sadly, it's also, extremely missing the clue :) To reiterate: "Wrong cat"..... :) Is Schroedinger's really the only cat we all know ;-) $\endgroup$ – Stilez Oct 7 at 18:41

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