The other day I was taken to some deep thinking about human nature, the way we think about ourselves, and how our theories can limit or liberate us. I watched a few interesting lectures by Daniel Kahneman where he speaks about how differently people conceive whether they are happy, considering whether it is from the experiencing self’s point of view or the remembered self’s point of view. His point of view is that often you think about how happy you are based on your remembered self, which is again dependent on memories, and not necessarily the actual experience.
Another video which I watched on the fiction of memory by Elizabeth Loftus explains through several case studies and her own encounters with subjects, that how easily we are fooled by housing memories that never had an actual content in our lives. And how false memories get into our life from an early age to all through the life, and through several sources – misinformation around, interpretation of dreams, imagination, hypnosis, therapy induced thoughts etc.
If it is extremely difficult to ascertain if all our memories had true content, and if it is our remembering self that does the decision making (and not the experiencing self), what is the role of our true objective self? What am I truly? A bunch of memories of possible experiences, and projected perceptions about life?
The theories that are limited by the concept of human self in terms of memory are unable to offer a constructive, positive and transformative path for our journey, apart from the analytical picture of how complex our thinking about ourselves is. And this is primarily because the concept of deep, wholesome, surrounding, organic consciousness which is the nature of the Core-self, is absent in the frameworks. If at all we bring in consciousness, we try hard to prove that it is just an illusion created by the brain, or biologically and culturally embedded, all of these relying on the concept of human memory.
But if human memory itself is so so complex that it cannot be presented within a simple correlation of actual life event and the memory of it, how can we even rely upon understanding what we are truly – based on this flimsy but important part of life?
The one way out of this puzzle is to consider Consciousness as organic (and not emergent or a neural representation) and trace the Core-self as our true identity – the Being-self.