After reading Geoff Livingston’s blogpost on how Experience blinds you, I realized yet again how ‘experience’ as we know it has two sides to it. On the one hand, the most touted one, experience makes us wiser. It enable us to think faster, better and provide better solutions to problems. Flip the coin and you see that it prejudices us. It fine-tunes, brainwashes at times, our minds to certain ‘learnings’ which in turn block the way for any new possibility, comprehension or exchange. We become the proverbial frog in the well.
I went digging further and stopped at Memory. That’s where it all begins, doesn’t it? Experience without memory is like an unheard (unrecorded) song - it’s there but you don’t
know remember it, so effectively for you, it doesn’t exist.
“It’s a poor sort of memory that works only backwards.” remarked Lewis Caroll once. It’s a known, but undeclared fact, that our memories might just be the single most crucial reason responsible for our continued existence. It’s the reason why a kid doesn’t play with fire once she’s burnt her fingers and why you know that like every post of mine, at the end of this one too, you might want to contact me for reimbursement of your time.
Memory manifests itself through experiences. Our lives today at this moment are nothing but a sum of our experiences, latent or active to our conscious. There can be no subtractions here. You can multiply it and even divide it, but no removals. And that it’s this sum that, in ways which are beyond our constant purview, determines every single moment of ours today. Every single moment.
If you were to consider my last, almost threat-like (unintended!) statement to be true, I sincerely hope you understand the ramification of memory in our lives.
Take a pause. Observe yourself for five minutes. Browse another tab. Then come back here (bad mannered readers are not my favourite).
Like I once stated in a previous blogpost, we have become slaves of our memory. It’s an invincible tool which has mastered us instead of it happening the other way round. The devilry is so cunning, so intricate that the best of us are unable to sidestep it.
“We don’t see things the way they are, we see them as we are.”
A ‘bad’ memory, usually, finally routes itself to Fear while a ‘good’ one, to Love. And then in all our acts, we operate from either of these bases. The farther we move along the time/age scale, the more we move away from our earliest memories - our most defining ones. And until a deliberate endeavour is undertaken to revive and understand those, to resolve our perspective on those, the listlessness of our current circumstances will keep on confounding us.
Told ya - slaves.