The core self is ceaselessly recreated for each and every object the brain interacts with..…
the owner of the movie-in-the-brain emerges within the movie . . . Antonio Damasio

Billions of photons stream into our eyes every second and compile into an image of a world surrounding us. Sounds, smells and other sensations are also experienced through the available bandwidth. Some is selected for attention.

living in the past
But we don't live in the present. We live in the past. We experience things after they have happened.

Celestial events can precede our sensation of them by millions of years. The time it takes for their light to reach us.

Nearby events occur fractions of a second before we receive news of them and a second or more before we get around to processing the news.

Countless memories of sensations, images and words teeming around beneath conscious awareness assemble themselves into an image and theory of the world.

We are cocooned within that frame of reference of memory of past experience. Whether that world is still there or ever was is conjecture and maybe ultimately unknowable.

Until we know, if we ever do, we can strive to expand awareness.

our sense of being ourself
As we grow up we discover our existence as we interact with the sensations of our body experiencing the world. We begin to experience ourselves and interact with our image of the world as if it was outside of ourselves. A sense of being a particular person emerges and gradually persists.

This is similar to when we awaken slowly in the morning. Sensations in the body gradually displace the feelings and images of dreaming. We then notice sensations and images of the world around us. We then begin to be aware of ourselves experiencing the images and this soon progresses to an awareness of where we are and then who we are and then what has happened to us recently and then what we plan for the day.

During awakening we progressively discover ourselves and then gradually become aware of the thoughts and images that are symbols of our sensations and memories.

we are what happens to us
Our knowledge of our selves, and our image of ourselves is continuously created by our interaction with our environment. Without an environment our usual idea of our self vanishes. If we spend 24 hours in a float chamber deprived of sensation or in deep meditation the picture of the world around us that we take for granted in everyday life no longer stays together. We enter a world of shifting images and scenarios drawn from old memories.

Dreaming is similar. When external stimuli are reduced during sleep we produce images and stories that make sense of passing sensations and memories. Our autobiographical self with its memories of our history slips into the background.

Our awareness of our self is awareness of change. Without change there is no sensation of existence.

Our sensation of existing arises out of the thousands of stories that happen as we interact with the world around us. If we have few stories we have little existence.

If we don't have a life of our own we can find a second hand one in imagination, myths or idols. Or take the roller-coaster ride of a movie or book for an emotional and mental workout. Or go shopping.

stories have 3 parts


a description of characters (a hero perhaps) - unknown at first
we have a sense of how we feel . . . . .. . a context is described


something happens - we respond to something that happens to us
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .a problem arises


a description of the main character – changed - more defined now
we have had a workout - we have been stimulated - we feel a bit different or a lot different - we continue to exist - we exist a bit more

we have a little more history . . . . .. . . . . . there is resoluton

When we believe our stories they pull us into their orbit and other perspectives fade. We are our stories. We maintain them by rehearsing and repeating them and reorganising, adding and deleting bits to get them to accommodate our world-view.

The awareness therapy pages describe how to examine and reconsider these narratives. With focused introspection it is possible to experience stories taking shape and rising into awareness as we make sense of feelings and events and fit them into how we imagine ourselves and present ourselves to others.