Memory is a Stranger

Where am I going? Why is time uncontrollable? What is time? Why is the ‘I’ so bound by the time?

Whenever an idea of identity is introduced, the factor of time is essential to define it. Without time, an identity cannot exist. For example, to define oneself, one draws from experiences of his/her life that happened in a certain period in the past. With those experiences, he/she decides certain values to live up to in the future. While in the present, the identity is defined by the past experiences and future expectations. Without the factor of time, it will be quite hard to define oneself. Why is time so essential?



To think deeper here, we may need to investigate memory. Memory is a complex phenomenon varying in significant levels between every individual living entity. With two people experiencing the same event, it registers and impacts the two individuals very differently. While a number of reasons could be attributed to this variations in memory impact, it is clear the way memory works is not the same for everyone. Some remember a lot of detail while others would not remember as much. While some consciously forget certain things, the sub-conscious somehow remembers it. There is also this huge dilemma about conscious memory and sub-conscious memory. Who decides what one must remember? While of course we may choose to remember certain things forcibly but when in a natural environment, who decides what our conscious memory remembers? How do we control that which occurs by itself? Mostly we are not even aware that a lot goes on beneath what we are conscious of in this very moment. That’s a whole other thought path which we shall investigate in a later post.

Now, why memory? Memory is again inter-twined very tightly with time. Memories generated and saved determines the quantum of time spent by that specific living entity before the beginning of physical decay. Not just based on the number of memories, but there may also be an aspect of quality and emotional quotient to the memory. The strong bond of memory and time is reflected in the characteristic called ‘continuum’. Both time and memory are always fleeting, never remains the same ever, changes in quality based on mood and other sensational experiences. Time is a phenomenon that can only be felt/experienced but never seen or heard. As long as we are bound in this continuum of time, we can never witness time objectively at all. What we define as our identity relies on the memories which are in turn bound by time. Only when we truly disassociate ourselves from the clutches of our memories can we be free. Only then can we feel the present moment without it being dominated and sullied by the memory. Truly being in the present moment means to detach from the chains of time and memory. The very idea of 'being' must be questioned. Such a moment cannot be described any better using words or language for even that is enslaved by time and therefore finds expression through time. This feeling can only and only be experienced by the individual and cannot be explained and any attempt to do so will result in creation of religions and cults. 

Memory is like a chain – day in and day out, this chain continues to be made with newer and newer links. How the chain is formed is highly dependent upon the individual’s genetic construction. Each individual has a memory chain that they identify themselves to. This memory chain is quite strong for individuals with higher levels of ego while it is really flexible and weak for the ones with lower levels of ego. The ego or the identity can be destructed with the destruction of the chain. It is when one truly experiences a moment without hesitation, longing or desire, that you break the chain and stay unbound to the ever present karmic memory chain. This in essence means living without desire or seeking or longing for anything to happen. It is a state of complete peace and tranquil. Everyone must have the right to unleash their wings and fly – by which I mean, all of us must realize this chain and break it, once free from the bond, the resulting peaceful state will be the path towards enlightenment for all living souls. This will hopefully be humanity’s purpose and all the advancements in technology seems to be taking us there rightfully.

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