In confabulation, a person with particular brain damage makes up memories. S/he does not realise s/he is lying. For example, one might forget what one had for breakfast, and so subconsciously create a memory of eating. An interviewer would not necessarily be able to tell that a memory might be imagined, though sometimes the memory is highly unlikely, such as of alien abduction.

Memory is a “reconstructive process” that pieces together rough drafts of an event based on a lifetime of experiences and perceptions. And being imperfect, human memory needs something to check up on it: call it the executive within. Don’t take that article as the last word, it is fifteen years old and there is further research since then. This is newer.

I have a clear understanding of myself and my history. I am feminine. I have undergone a series of spiritual growth moments, learning about myself, having been forced into self-denial by my childhood, when my controlling mother did not want me and could not accept my unconventionality.

Unfortunately, I had a clear understanding of myself when I was twenty, a Christian gentleman heading for a professional career. That broke down as I saw the lies underpinning it- I lie to myself because I want to see myself as a good person- and I became aware of its contradictions.

Much of my journey since has been maturing. I saw that I was at once arrogant, imagining myself the centre of the universe, and self-effacing, seeing myself as “a worm, and no man”. I worked to come to a sane golden mean: I am a human being. Yet still I desire a sense of self as something more or less a comprehensible, comprehensive unity. So I make one.

This does not mean that I am merely self-deceiving. For example, as much as I know someone might be tempted to deny that transsexuality was merely perversion, even if it was, I know I am not autogynephiliac.

The self-understanding I have created, partly unconsciously, may get in the way of greater self-understanding: or that “self-understanding” is not necessary, when a better question is, what do I want, or what should I do, now?

The spiritual way of life continually invites us to let go – let go of clinging to the past, let go of trying to become someone, let go of the illusion that we are separate from the Source. What are you willing to let go of today? – The need to be comprehensible.

Delacroix Barque of Dante

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