One thing is certain: whether in our waking life, or in the dreams that visit our evening's rest, thoughts and feelings fill our every present moment.
Like the invisible winds that move the branches on the trees, we live in a world of this unseen, but ceaseless, flood of thoughts and feelings. In one sense, we're constantly being washed over by the waves of all past human experience. These ancient forces, combined with our individual mechanical associative reactions to present events, all serve to give each of us the sense of a self with both a past and a future.
But this self is fictitious. Its nature is a kind of ghost house, a complex but empty structure created by the stream of thoughts and feelings that provide it with its false sense of life.
This false nature, a false self that we live from, is unconscious. And yet, the imitation life of this unconscious nature is so complete, most men and women never suspect their lives are being lived out for them by something with less substance than a shadow.
The lower nature of the false self has no control over the thoughts and feelings that tie it down because its only life is derived from their constant movement. The sense of self the lower nature creates is nothing but an effect of thought considering the content of itself, and as such it is as powerless to change the world it considers as is an echo to change the voice that gave it birth.
Only as this lower mind is made conscious of its own actual deceived condition, are we released from the psychic grip it has upon us. That's why our task is to become increasingly aware of ourselves. Inner light is the only power that can resolve the captivity created by inner darkness.