Selective Memory

It seems to me that memory seems to isolate us.  That may sound strange, but hear me out.  We tend to fragment the world by the personal way we view it, which actually creates barriers which are very difficult for others to penetrate.

It is through memory that we define ourselves.  Paradoxically, to bring an end to separation or isolation, you have to be willing to see the unreality of our memory.  As an example, think of someone you know well, such as a sibling or friend, and bring up a mental picture.  Ask yourself what you really know about the person, beyond physical characteristics. Think also about personal traits, such as likes and dislikes of this individual, or interactions you’ve had.

When you finish thinking about this person, you might assume you have an accurate reading of this individual.  Yet, everything you’ve recalled came from your memory, and what you’ve really described is your own individual viewpoint.  The same person could be described entirely differently from another person’s perspective, and what seems a positive characteristic to you may be a flaw according to another.

It seems obvious that everything in our description / memory of another, is completely relative.  You are really describing your perspective, and moreover, your experiences with the person are uniquely your own.  Therefore, if everything you thought you knew about the person has turned out to be indirectly about you, it’s obvious that memory serves to isolate.

Because it is completely relative, our viewpoint can’t be called real.  Reality doesn’t depend on a viewpoint – it simply is.  We tend to live within our own private worlds, and don’t get to look beyond the distortions of our memory to discover the true fabric of reality.  When we cling to memory to define ourselves, we will always have a sense of separation.  We need to be willing to see the unreality of memory.


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