It's not wrong to say I exist in the past, it's just careless, imprecise and confusing. The identification is a bundle of memories; a set of labels, qualities, personal experiences, etc. There isn't an 'I' (or a 'me' to be less confusing about it) at the root of those thoughts, and to imply a set of memories somehow amounts to existence is to lend them some ultimate reality, and to refer to it as existing also lends reality to a past. To say "I only exist in the past" is to imply that the conceptual 'I' does exist in some conceptual past. It doesn't.Mouse wrote:Well now let's see, if I self reflect - on my memory(past), my emotions(past), or what I know(past), then self appears.
What you are pointing to is prior to this moment. You are pointing to the moment when I come out of the state of nonduality due to this idea that I exist, and I then identify with what appears in my inner space, the memory, emotions or what I know. The question at this precise point is- Does an entity now exist or does it not?
Does a ghost exist if you see one? Sure it does even though it may disappear next moment. To say I am that ghost is obviously an error. But you are not saying that, you are saying the ghost doesn't even exist.
So I see it is true that a false idea is the start of it. But further on, once I have identified with that idea that I exist and the psyche has created a ghostly entity I now identify with as my self.
So I reckon your statement that my self does not exist is even more confusing. It is everybody's experience.
Here is a better explanation:
How about that? It explains everything.barry long wrote:You have to stop thinking, wishing, dreaming while you’re awake. While I do that, I exist. I only exist in the past – as a reflection on my memory, my emotions, or what I know. When there is only perception, now, in the senses, I disappear. Then there is the state of absence – no person, no individual. Just what is.
I know this isn't what he wants to say, since he also says "no person, no individual. Just what is.", but if this is so, what is it that exists in the past? A more precise reference for existence would be that which is aware of this bundle of thoughts, which is not an entity, and does not come and go with the thoughts, and does not exist in some past.