Have you ever wondered why we can’t remember something incredibly important, like a close relative’s name when you need to introduce them to someone, but yet you can never forget some of the most hideous, stupid, inane, mind-squinching things?
The question circles around in my head constantly the past few days.
Why, why, why can’t I annihilate gross images, scary things, disgusting stuff from my memory banks?
Why, why, why can’t I remember wonderful people, details from a red-letter day, words that hover at the edge of my brain?
Is it the shock of a particular thought or word or image that embeds it more permanently? Does the vile and vulgar register on gray matter in a more potent formula of chemical reactions? Are happy, joyfilled, pleasant thoughts less powerful, less meaningful, less memorable for a reason?
The brain, the mind, and consciousness fascinate me.
I read a book once called Sophie’s World, which in story form explained many philosophies. It seems like it might have addressed this very question. But of course, now that I want to recall those details, I can’t.
Seems it covered Marx, Socrates, Kierkegaard, Kant, Democritus, Darwin, Plato, St. Augustine, Hume, Spinoza, Floyd, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley and a few others. It’s been at least fifteen years since I read it, so it’s miraculous I remember any of this.
I’ll have to scare up a copy of the book. I loaned my out and never got it back. When I’ve gotten through it and found an answer or two, I’ll get back to you.
Did, or will this book help me with my question? I have no idea. But it has come to mind as I’ve thought about the remembering and forgetting issue. So I’m kind of going with it. Seems like it might have opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about and viewing the world and life in general. Somehow it feels like it might help me understand my remembering and forgetting. Who knows. Like I said, I’ll find a copy and dig in and see what I find.
Most likely I need an anatomy book, or a neuroscience book. That’d probably be more helpful, but I’m less likely to understand what I’m reading.
In the meantime, I’ll keep wondering.
And remembering. Ack!
And forgetting. Eesh!
- See-through brains (laurakkerr.wordpress.com)
- Fun with Brain Chemistry (bigsnafu.com)
- Brain Boosters To Convert Your Weakness Into Energy (focuspillsonline.wordpress.com)
- How do we remember things? (deakinscicomm.wordpress.com)
- How Can I Improve My Memory? (psych.answers.com)
- Why Do We Forget? (psych.answers.com)
- Sophie’s World [Book Review] (uhm80.wordpress.com)
I’ve always been hopeless at remembering people and things, but now that I am an aging gran I can blame it on the deterioration of my little grey cells. 🙂