Does the past exist at all?

Or is what we call the past only a misuse of the present?

Obviously, yesterday has come and gone, but what remains of yesterday as psychological knowledge in any form must tell us far more about the brain as it is operating now than about anything else that may have happened before. I wonder if this is clear. Let’s go into it.

1 Like

My comments are limited to the psychological past.

Does the past exist …

It depends on what you mean by ‘exist.’

If memories exist, the past exists. If the psyche exists, so does the past, since the psyche is held together by the past (thought and memory). If causality exists, so does the past, same reason.

I wonder why you say that? Sounds like I am saying, I know, and that’s enough. Isn’t it questionable that this knowledge is at all true?

Then can we go beyond the realm of comments? Any comments from the past will keep us paralyzed, therefore unable to move together. But the point is that the brain operates in this way, seeking first to make a comment based on acquired information. So the brain is accustomed to paralysis.

Perhaps you are getting the wrong end of the stick. What is psychological knowledge?

Having gone through the inner workings of me through K’s words, I became dividing when I think Saying: ahh, this is the past… Am thinking of the future now, which is from the past.
A new conflict is there now, a new division. Knowledge is active in my observation, which is comparison. There is seeking there, and also the image of that which is whole (or should be whole).

Now, are you suggesting that memory, as we have it now, is part of the organism like any other part? If so, would that also apply to the content of this memory?

So what are we talking about if it is not able to be talked about?

1 Like

Psychologically, I am the content of my memory. So even before I begin to enquire I am already dead because I am stuck in this groove of memory. And movement within this groove is what I call enquiry or dialogue. But there is actually no movement at all. Because real movement means freedom from the groove. Memory cannot move.

What is psychological knowledge? We are both of us suspicious that such a thing exists, are we not?

I know its called psychological knowledge, as a means to talk about it, but why start with a problem of knowing what it is?

What can we offer to each other beyond written comments in an online forum like this? I could post an image, but that’s basically a comment. I could speculate, or speak about my personal history, or speak about humanity – all comments. I could point to what I think is a fact, but you might interpret it as a comment. Of course I could also remain silent, but that effectively stops the dialogue in its tracks.

It has the potential for that.
However, using a past ‘meal’ as an analogy… conditioning may only see or feel it as either a not unpleasant after taste… or indigestion ! … but even that still may have some potential for something ‘new’ ?

Stored memory can’t move, I think this is simple enough to notice. So going back to the initial entry, observing the static nature of memories once they are stored.

Now those memories come by through thought in various situations, and a lot of the time for me, they surface up with no conscious logic of mine. In this perspective, seeing clearly the static nature of the content, then I end up paying attention without getting stuck with the (Particular) content. Does this make sense?

Is the movement (with stillness being part of that movement) holistic?

I was the content, psychologically, and this perspective makes it clear that I am the movement?

But I don’t know what it is - that’s the whole point. I think you are missing it. There may be no such thing as psychological knowledge, merely a psychological response from a centre that believes it is rooted in the past and that it is acting from its own version of the truth. The moment the centre says, ‘I know,’ it has abandoned the present moment. This is fairly clear, surely.

But you have just done it - you have offered a question. And the question you have asked has no immediate answer from memory: neither of us know what we can offer that goes beyond the usual, habitual responses. Therefore the question puts us both in a new place, if we are truly sensitive to the question. Can we meet one another from this new place and not from the old?

Any thought or feeling that triggers self-consciousness?

Self-consciousness is composed of thoughts and feelings. Where do those thoughts and feelings come from? As you are reading this now, any response as thought or feeling must come from this reservoir of our self-consciousness. But is there a response that doesn’t come from the reservoir?

Is there a movement that doesn’t include me at all? Because the moment I say, ‘I am the movement,’ I have immediately created more content. As we said earlier, even from the start of the enquiry I am already a dead thing. Can I remain dead and not invent a dozen ways to resurrect myself?

I have eaten the meal. It was a most delicious meal. But I cannot eat the same meal again, even though I may duplicate the ingredients, the cooking process, the ambience and everything else. The very desire to have the same meal again is what changes it.

1 Like

For most of us, any urge to clarify something we are unsure about - like this question for example - automatically animates psychological knowledge.