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July 7th, 2018
Every time a memory is recalled, it is not like pulling up a picture from a folder in your computer. It happens more like this:
Imagine getting a lego set. You open the box, dump all the pieces on the ground and turn to page 1 of the instruction booklet.
Selecting the pieces called for, you slowly build the lego star ship, or castle or submarine. You proceed from one step to the next, until you are done. And then your creation is immediately taken away from you. Instruction booklet and all.
That’s our analogy for experiencing reality on the fly.
What about memory?
Let time pass.
Now dump a truckload of random legos on the floor. With no instruction booklet, rebuild the lego star ship, castle, submarine, or whatever it was you experienced building.
How accurate do you think you’ll be?
When you ‘remember’ again, might you build it differently? Most likely you do not remember all the steps. You only remember the broad strokes. The feeling.
And your ‘rebuild’? The result of your remembering? That gets taken away from you too. Immediately.
Maybe that first time you rebuilt from scratch, it wasn’t quite right, so next time you change something so that it feels more accurate. But then that second rebuild gets taken away from you too. Immediately.
Recalling the same memory over and over does not necessarily make it stronger the way flash cards improve memory of specific information.
That memory is most definitely changing.
It’s like a game of telephone. We all know that one. One person whispers a sentence into the person next to them in a big circle. Inevitably it changes. What comes back? Who knows. The only thing that’s certain is that it’s not going to be the original.
What are you telling yourself?
What should you tell yourself?
Whatever it is, it would be wise to bring along some healthy skepticism with regards to how accurate you’re being with yourself.