Deeper than what I feel

Felt meanings are volatile: they move our hearts and affect how we act. Yet real as it all these feelings seem, they do change; and if I follow them,  then who I seem to be changes in accordance with them. When I am being ‘me, the harassed, overworked’ my manner will have a different flavour than when I’m ‘me, welcoming you to my home.’ Actually, I have quite a few selves, or subsidiary personalities, which take centre stage dependent on the situation, pressures and natural conditions like health. My world-view and motivation may change between one of these personae (these selves that we have within us) and the next – sometimes I can hardly believe it when someone reports back to me what I said when I was in a difficult mood. In fact, I might comment that ‘I wasn’t quite myself then.’ These ranging personae, of which any one can be occupying the ‘me’ space at a given time, are based on felt meanings that arise around one’s role, function, and relationship – as well as on physical health and current attitude. The most residual ones, the ones that really feel like me, are the ones carried in the heart: ‘I am the one who has to do all the work (and receives no recognition)’; ‘I am the one who can’t manage and needs others to make decisions for me…’ and so on. They direct us through event after event, and yet we might not even recognize them as such because the mind will imagine that the feeling is being created not from some internal bias, but from the situation that’s occurring around us.

Ajahn Succitto, Kamma, Self and Liberation

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