A lot of good questions there!
We all have psychoemotional "knots" in our personal histories. Especially from our childhoods. Traumatic events that generate painful neuron/memory/emotion patterns that seem to get stuck, persist, sometimes disappear, then resurface periodically (and sometimes dramatically) at triggers.
I'm wondering to what extent these knots can ever truly be untied and "healed?" I.e. is it worth the time and energy to work at unraveling them? They are, after all, just memories, archived stories. And most of them are buried so far in the unconscious mind that it could very well be an act of futility to try to reach them anywhere near directly.
I agree that lots of them can't normally be accessed directly but I find that they can float to consciousness during meditation without
(and this is important) their normal emotional load and can then be seen for what they are - which often causes them to unravel on the spot.
And BTW, don't call them just
stories, because memories and archived stories are what the "self" consists of.
I'm wondering if the "solution" to the suffering that these knots call forth (when triggered) is not to figure them out, psycho-analyze them, work to undo them ... rather, to heal the medium in which they arise, the mind itself, moment-to-moment thought, consciousness ... through meditation and mindfulness.
Does "healing one's consciousness" via meditation/mindfulness take care of the knots? Perhaps not in the sense of un-knotting them ... rather in the sense of enabling them to filter out through consciousness like toxins do through kidneys, smoothly, painlessly, without leaving a trace?
I think I have just answered those questions.
Or is this a bit like treating the symptoms rather than the underlying cause?
The "knots" are symptoms or results of earlier suffering but they have then become the cause of present suffering. Treating or dissolving them addresses our present suffering, and that's all we need - and all we can possibly do, anyway, since we can't travel back in time to address the past injury.