People reading my book, The Untrue Story of You, can easily understand that the past plays a part in our lives—but few realise just how much it shapes us and everything we do.
The central koan of the book -the thought thinks the thinker - says it all, but its full and profound implication isn’t readily grasped.
This is because we are hypnotized by the thinking process into believing we are an autonomous being who has free will, and makes decisions and choices.
However, most thinking is a function of time - from a past event to an imagined future - and so comes from the past. Those thoughts create a ‘you’ in the process.
But because we are beguiled into thinking we have free will and choice, we also believe we can change, and this is the bedrock of therapy. While therapy undoubtedly helps many people, permanent and deep change is difficult while we hold to the thought that there is an ‘I’ in control and can change.
Real change is possible only when we clearly see that the ‘I’ that wants to change is part of the problem, and is a manifestation of the past. If that can be seen as clearly as the hand in front of your face, change happens naturally. The dream ends.