Here’s something crazy to think about.
Every single thing you know about your identity, and every single thing you know about your life, is rooted in the past.
Who are you? You can only answer that question–using words and descriptions, anyway–by referring to the past.
You’re a sister or brother or so-and-so’s child? How could you know that from your present-moment experience? You can’t. There is no sister, brother, or child here, now. You need memory for that.
You could be sitting on your sister’s lap right now and you wouldn’t know that you’re a sibling by present-moment experience alone. You need to refer to a thought about the past that says “You are my sister and I am yours”; a thought you learned at some point.
Where were you born? There’s no trace of it here, now. You need to refer to a birth certificate or a fact someone told you that you may or may not remember.
What were some of the most pivotal moments in your life? What was the most traumatic event? Who was your first love?
Nothing here in the present moment can speak to any of that. None of that exists in your present-moment experience. It takes a time machine, often referred to as “thought”, to pull up a re-presentation of something experienced in some other time and space.
And the re-presentation is often a fuzzy, vague, incredibly malleable one.
It’s kind of curious, isn’t it, that every single thing you know about your identity and your life is a fuzzy, subjective re-presentation of something that isn’t here in present-moment experience?
It kind of makes you wonder…what’s here and alive now? What’s here now that is not a reflection of the past?