Saturday, 7 June 2014


What is the relationship between the present subject of consciousness and the remembered self of past actions? The present and remembered selves are spatiotemporally continuous. This is the criterion of personal identity for practical, legal and moral purposes. In this sense, it is undeniable that a past action was performed by me and not by anyone else.

Spiritually, past and present selves are neither simply identical nor simply different. I did it although it was not the present I that did it. (On the other hand, the very recent self has remained capable of "wrong actions," in Buddhist terminology.)

In meditation, we approach:

acceptance of responsibility, as against attachment to guilt, by letting memories of past actions arise and pass without denying, suppressing, rationalizing or analyzing them, except when the analysis can lead to a beneficial outcome;

an awareness, realization and understanding that are deeper than feelings or emotions and that cannot be hastened by either thought or will - so we need patience.

I also need more clarity about past and present selves.

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