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Memory – what a gift. It’s probably taken for granted by most everyone because they’re too busy – remembering. It’s a stretch but try to imagine living without it. I’m not thinking about amnesia but simply wondering what living would be like if the human mind had only instinct to go by.
Living in the moment, currently in fashion, encourages accepting and being aware and present to the eternal now, focusing the mind on the power of the present. But what if that were all we could do? One moment at a time and that’s it, that’s life – and how it happens.
Imagining a mind without memories is like seeing oneself in the middle of a desert with no horizons. The human animal being more animal than human, making the most of each moment, and whatever it brings. Existence without history, knowing only the now. Intelligence? Only what the senses provide. No need to remember anything of the moment before, the one before that, the one … And on and on. Looking back would be like staring into that mirror in a fun house, seeing only self in that moment, endlessly multiplied.
Fortunately our minds do remember. The now we are experiencing, even while reading these words, is weighted with our stories. Every moment of the past we carry with us as we carry this moment into the next.
Memory is essential to intelligence. What we know we were once given by experience, by having something to think about, by imagining possibilities, by remembering. Our memories record our narratives. Sure, we’re forgetful but let’s just call that editing, especially with what we choose, either consciously or unconsciously to forget. All simply part of being human.
Our memories are treasures beyond belief. All are priceless and unique because they are ours alone. Even when shared memories are molded differently by each mind.
We are not gods who know all things but what we do know and remember can remind us that even though we are made in the image and likeness of our creator we are yet to be whole. There is so much more to know, here and perhaps hereafter. Every one of us needs to remember that.