More on how the sense of self is formed

We live within a continuum of action and result, in which whatever we do while conscious of doing it leaves a result in the mind. These results may be experienced as the reactions and responses of others, or as effects on our physical well-being, but the deepest result is mental. That is, our actions have a psychological and emotional result that shapes our minds. After all, this is the way we learn: we do something and from the results – from the feedback that other people or our bodies or our own minds give us – we notice whether that action gave us well-being or pain. Through contact, that feedback gets lodged as a memory, a perception or felt meaning. It’s a detail on our psychological road map of how to proceed through life. That detail, a memory, or a piece of behaviour becomes one strand in the weave of our identity. That’s how your mind gets shaped, for good or for ill. And one result ….is the sense of self.

Ajahn Sucitto, Kamma, Self and Liberation

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