Memories seem to arise unbidden. A smell, a sight, an object, photo, artifact or music or a phrase or word can be the initiators of our minds then constructing a memory. Associations, real or imagined, old and dusty or sparkling new are then set into motion and we replay a fading copy of an old film, some are so old they’re in black and white and have no sound. We have memories from before we were born although we usually don’t see them as such.
Many pasts have been coming up for me in the form of memories that have scenes and stories and ‘stuff’ going on that relate to events that seemingly I experienced. What appears to be a new factor, or one I’m just now noticing is that the memories are distinctly tied in feelings.
Feelings that pertain in that they can still move or affect me right now, here in this time and place. A smile, a regret, a sorrow, a joy, etc; but now they seem to be the point of the memory. And, interestingly that is the basis of the word “Resentment”; Re-sentere, to feel again.
There are many judgements, false and real insights, opinions, beliefs, knowingness and complete or partial delusion that feed those feelings and the feelings feed all the above. A quite interesting cycle that is difficult to step out of and difficult to let go of. At least that is my observation and that is coupled with the fact that we can express ourselves without having to actually re-feel, the things we learned from.
Memories of loss and failure seem to be fewer just because the distance that old age gives our perspective, and memories of achievement and gain shrink to tiny specs because our current reality does not include a lot of hope or wishing, yet tends more to gratitude and acceptance.
Still I was completely twisted into huge confusion and anger recently and it felt like it had a life of its own and it seemed to be very difficult to see it as part of me and not something outside of me. That experience directed me into looking more closely at how the karma of the past is also the karma of the present, just a long string that has to play itself out. Somewhere, somehow.
If I participate and take responsibility for every thing I’ve ever set into motion and accept the fact that I am, as presently constituted, the result of every decision I have ever made in my life. Whether I knew I was making a decision or mistakenly thought I was being forced to be or to respond or react in a certain way, is not relevant.
I have to take full responsibility for all of my past, and here’s the good part. It’s not a burden, its an opportunity to let go.
Letting go is not unburdening, it is allowing things, all things, to come and go. To come. To go.
Responsibility starts with Right View, the first step of the Eighfold Noble Path. The only way I can change is to change how I do things and what I do. And, what I choose not to do, is equally important.
The doing of not doing is a
Way to see clearly in a murkey
Sea that some things need a
Little help and others a lot.
Get going and be still, is
My advice to me, for good.