I talk a lot about thoughts and memories and all that stuff that goes on in our head, but there is a single word that encapsulates all of it: imagination.
We have all these ideas and scenarios that seem to be occurring, but that we cannot document or show in any real way. If we are engaged in a story that never happened or could never happen, we are okay with calling it imaginary, but we want to think our memories are more real.
It may be difficult to accept, but our memories are not any more real than our fantasies about being the biggest movie star in the world or being a princess or being able to fly or whatever.
Our memories are made of the same material as the screaming crowds and dragons and the wind as we soar through the air: all imagination.
Then we take these imaginations and create stories around them and we apply these to our present situation.
And we suffer.
We suffer because instead of being present with what is, we are investing time and energy in things that do not exist in any real way.
They existed when they were happening, but the only place they are happening now is in our head.
There is not somewhere where the past is still playing out, there is not somewhere you can go to change it or make things different.
The mind likes to latch onto this idea, but it only serves to put us in opposition to what is.
What would right now be like without comparisons?
What would the past be like without ideas of how it could be different?
What good is there living in the imagination?