Duration is the continuous progress of the past which gnaws into the future and which swells as it advances. And as the past grows without ceasing, so also there is no limit to its preservation. Memory, as we have tried to prove, is not a faculty of putting away recollections in a drawer, or of inscribing them in a register. There is no register, no drawer; there is not even, properly speaking, a faculty, for a faculty works intermittently, when it will or when it can, whilst the piling up of the past upon the past goes on without relaxation. In reality, the past is preserved by itself, automatically.
“One’s past is a gradually increasing weight,” wrote Bertrand Russell. “It is easy to think to oneself that one’s emotions used to be more vivid than they are and one’s mind more keen. If this is true it should be forgotten, and if it is forgotten, it will probably not be true.”
The “self-system” or “self-concept” is but up from an organization of schemas and define what we mean by “I”, “me”, and “mine”.