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The system would be the Identity System, of course, and its purpose, Dr. Block would decide, is pretty negative from the perspective of anyone who would like to be more aware, more present, less distracted.

Leaving aside for the moment the ramifications of Dr. Block’s system for the practical self-maintenance of the usual victim of “the illness of our time,” I come to the nice fit with the Fifth Remembrance. For if we simply accepted our sins as part of who we are, with all the same kinds of consequences our successes and simple achievements have for us – then, of course, we would have to give up on the idea of keeping intact that fine picture of ourselves the Isys wants us to have.

And since the mere fact of our agonizing over the past shows us we have not simply accepted it as part of who we are, we may use the Fifth Remembrance of the Buddha –

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.

as a call to action right now, an admonition to stop trying to escape those consequences by paying our unconscious deference to Queen Isys in even our daydreams.

How to stop is a long story, but a good direction is opened up by Dr. Block’s refrigerator-hum experience. Giving it a little thought, we see that it is really quite like mindfulness meditation. In both cases we discover that the self is a far wider, deeper thing than that anguished little boy or girl cringing before the Watchbird on its perch or Isys on her throne. In fact, the experience of conscious awareness of the world around us rather than the world wrapped so darkly and tightly around that Isys figure from our past – that experience can be so liberating and so promising that the practitioner feels compelled to attempt to alter his or her life so as to find this happiness more often.

The case of Jill Bolte Taylor makes us aware of a higher level of awareness or presence and for me (>>>) provides a kind of goal for practice and even an orientation to death.


I specify the personal here because I don’t think this is a common goal of mediators. But I am only a beginner.