Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stop The Boil

I could spend the next three days listing the benefits of forgetfulness but Ive forgotten most of them.

I sometimes think that human memory is something like a boiling pot of stew. When the pot is filled halfway the stew (that is swept up in the currents of the pot (my metaphor for a heuristic structure of knowingwith apologies to Bernard Lonergan)) runs efficiently with carrots rising to the top in unison with the other vegetables. But when the pot becomes too full and unable to process all the elements of the stew some elements cannot rise up to the top. The boil runs but not efficiently. More vegetables are loaded into the pot every day of course. Every time I get a phone call or email Im adding a few elements. The deeper the stew becomes the less I can recall.

The boil is a reflective activity of consciousness organizing past memories and making conscious judgments about them. The boil is also in many cases the process that blocks deep recollection.

The only way to allow the deep elements of memory to resurface is to stop the boil and let the trace elements of the depth float back to the top. (Dreams are an aberration of the process. The boil is of a different sort; a deep mixing unencumbered by the conventions of the day to day world.)

More on the Benefits later.....................