Reply To: The permanent, unitary and independent self

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Home Forums Discussion topics In-Depth Meditation Training (EN) The permanent, unitary and independent self Reply To: The permanent, unitary and independent self

Sara Caldwell

For some unknown reason yesterday, every angle of light, every sound, every color, shape, smell, etc. brought back memories of all different phases of my life. It was very confusing because intellectually I know that I’m not permanent, unchanging, or unitary, but at the same time, why, then, do I have memories of “me”? Are these memories just regular thoughts, but that I am particularly attached to them (hence the very strong feelings of wistfulness, sadness, loss, etc.)? Can I learn to let them go as easily as I can let go of other thoughts? Is nostalgia just a very tight clinging? Is memory just something that our consciousness needs to have in order to survive (ex.- remembering what danger is and to stay out of its way)? What is the purpose of memory?

When I think of “me and my life”, that is problematic. It’s not “my” life. I think (but am not sure I’m accurate) that it’s just heaps of inter-related aggregates that behave a certain way due to causes and conditions. But I still wonder what, exactly, is the thread that binds one moment of the experience of these inter-related aggregates to another? I call that thread an “I” or “me”, but what is that continuum, really? Is that continuum not actually a single thread? What about the continuation of the thread into other lives? What is the binding factor of the continuation?

I guess this idea just raises a lot of questions. I definitely rejoice that there are yogis and yoginis who have found the answers. I aspire to do the same.