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Oct
29

Memory, The World As We Want to Remember It…

 

Time’s a very fleeting concept in the grand scheme of events. I wonder at times if all that we are is anything more than imagination. I have spent many years of my life and whatever has gone seems like a distant memory. It’s a giant memory with multiple other memories in it, some sweet, some sour, some bitter and some peaceful. Each memory is like a chapter in a book. But I wonder if these memories are no more than my imagination and if any of it really happened? Is there a reality beyond my memories? Is there a vault where everything is being kept along with my memories? Your memories? The memories of the entire world? And what is the purpose of these memories when they aren’t concrete and possess no more value than the affect they have on an emotional level? Making us happy, sad, ambitious and regretful?
What if the entire world we live in right now is another memory? A collection of memories? Someone else or some other people had this memory and they twisted it to this shape and size? Are we living someone’s memory, or someone’s imagination? What if beyond the vastness of this universe are the boundaries of the thought of a super being, or a group of people with very strong imagination? Am I a strong memory?
I am real because I think I am real but the me from two seconds ago is gone. He is dead and all I have of him is a memory, is he real? If he was real and is no more real, where did my reality go? And if this token is true, am I real right now in this moment? If I am real this moment, will I be real the next moment? That would be a paradox because I cannot exist twice, I can live in this moment. Call it a second if you may, but the second is just another fragment of our imagination, the need to quantify time, what about the milliseconds and the thousands of time capsules in them? Is my life anything more than a reel of film rolling continuously, frame after frame? Where are the frames going?
Thinking about how the present me will be gone in a second makes me feel fake and translucent, like a piece of glass before it shatters. But this analogy isn’t correct because the piece of glass, which may shatter, will continue to exist in smaller bits and pieces. But wait, will it continue to exist because I will be able to see its bits and pieces? Where will the bigger piece of glass go? Will it die with the older me? Does this mean that change, which is an inevitable part of our ontology, is nothing more than reality converting into a memory?  I am still confused about the reality of my memories. What if they are another fragment of my imagination? An experiment was designed in 1974 by researchers Loftus and Palmer to test the reliability of memory and if it could be manipulated after its creation. 45 people watched a film of a car accident. Nine of the 45 were asked to estimate the speed of the cars when they “hit”. Four other groups of 9 were asked the same question but the word “hit” was replaced with the words “smashed,” “collided,” “bumped” and “contacted.” Those whose questions included the word “smashed” estimated the cars were going 10 mph faster than those whose word was “contacted.” A week later test participants from a similar but re-engineered experiment were asked about broken glass (indicative of more serious accident), and those whose trigger words were stronger said they remembered broken glass even though the film had depicted none. Looks like something so minute as a single descriptive word can manipulate memories of an event.
If this is how memory works, am I sure my memory has not been altered by an external stimulus? If my memory has been altered by an external stimulus, what parts of it are from the reality that actually existed for me and which parts from the tempered reality? And who would induce the stimulus to temper my memory? Or have the stimuli been induced by me to make my memory conform to the way I wanted it to be? I have a memory of me as a 4 year old child being held by my dad in front of a giant Ferris wheel, the memory seems so real. But my mother tells me we never went to a theme park before I turned 6. But the memory is so real. How, then, do I have that memory? Was it created or copied from a magazine that crossed my eyes or a movie on the television?
I always felt there were absolute memories and not-absolute memories. You could be sure about the absolute memories but the not-absolute memories were usually in doubt. I remember going to a specific mosque to offer a prayer on Eid day (a Muslim festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan). This wasn’t too long ago and the memory felt very absolute. However, half of my family strongly sticks to their recollection of never having gone to that specific mosque in our lives. If they are true, how did I end up with such a detailed memory? And if they aren’t correct, how can they forget something that was once so vivid?
We don’t remember the world as it was. People have added, subtracted and subjectively remembered it. There is nothing wrong with this practice. Because the world dies every moment and the reality of this world fades with the passing moment. What then is our history? Is it our past? Or are they two entirely different concepts as the philosophers have said “History is only written, the past is what happened”. Maybe all those books written about history are nothing more than subjective scribbles of the world from older times, the world as we want to remember it, maybe all we are is evolution of a subjective recall of times that are no more than fragments of strong imagination, unreal yet memorable.
Maybe, just maybe…

 

 

1 comment

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  1. Q.G says:

    waiting for Nov Archive…Every things fades in this world but i believe Do some thing unique for the human beings so you can be part ov history! we shouldn’t have to see just ourselves,not be too much materialistic! I know its rubbish for you..

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