Print

Print


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Marjorie Greene <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I'm again amazed at how the mind plays tricks. Where, oh where, did I get
this "reading before the fire" motif? 

familiar enough, to me, these Little Senior Moments.

part of the problem, i excuse myself with, is that Memory is, i understand,
laid down in layers.

when we "remember" something we don't actually remember the Original Memory,
only the last "layer" of any given memory.

and then this last accessed memory becomes the new layer which is the one
which is accessed the next time we recall the memory of this particular
topic/event.

i think of it as something like sediments at the bottom of the sea: there is
some kind of fundamental geologic event which results in a "feature" appearing
on the surface of the bottom (=the Original Event).  each subsequent accessing
of the memory adds a layer of sediment to the topographic shape of the thing,
and it is this top layer alone which is accessable.  each layer is congruent
with the form of the original 
"feature"/memory, but not completely identical with it; and, since the *whole*
memory is rarely accessed (only a part of it), parts of the Original get
progressively "lost," as well.

and, this means, among other things, that any "mistake" in the memory 
--whether laid down in the Original or in any subsequent Accessings-- is
devilishly hard to go back and "correct."

the more frequently the memory is accessed the more prominent it becomes,
mistakes (if any --and, there are *always* mistakes, of one sort or another)
and all.

*then* we do things like building a Great Mare's Nest upon the supposedly
solid foundation of these firm but mistaken Memories:

>A whole study on this theme, bringing it up into the modern period, has
crumbled before my eyes! 

[the realisation of a Classic Mare's Nest, that sounds like.] 

which creates new Memories, which are then repeatedly accessed, with new
layers of mistakes potentially laid down each time, which are then
subsequently accessed.....

*then* there's the problem of becomming so attached to one's (my) own
magnificent, beautifully constructed Mare's Nest that, even after i've
discovered that it is founded upon a House of Cards Made of Sand, i *still*
prefer the Version of Reality which it represents over any new one which
corresponds more closely to the "facts."

very depressing, actually, when you stop and think about it.

but, i try not to think about it too much, as that generates Memories --which
can, of course, be False.

you have my complete sympathy.

christopher

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html