In Active Side of Infinity Castaneda advises: recapitulation of major events in ones life and thanks-giving to friends who have been helpful. Got me to thinking about memories of daily events, simple happenings, throughout life. What have I done to fill the hours of my 77 years? Maybe I should write a book of one page for every memory I can recall. My feeling is that it will be a very short book full of trivialities. But it may reacquaint me with who I am.
The book project will require great objectivity in order to court truth by not embellishing or omitting relevant details. From time to time glimpses of moments flit by with missing details and lost conclusions. Which reminds me of Aunt Olga back in the ’50s trying to put names with lost faces and events. She kept asking my dad and other siblings “Do you remember?” At the time I didn’t understand the significance of her futile efforts.
We have heard from near death survivors that every moment of life rushes by as one moves toward infinity. That must be a blowout trip I would love to recreate and savor the experiences while in this life. I realize joy and great sadness will tumble about without mercy but it does appear to be a necessary adventure. Since it is considered part of the preparation for arriving fully conscious in the afterlife. Basically what is done is done and the rest is fun in one’s preparation for the unknown. It is unknown is it not?
Some memories are so very way out I have contacted those in the know only to learn that yes that is exactly what and how it happened. Sometimes friends have worse memory recall than myself and I remind them of events they had long forgotten.
My surprise to learn Memory is the subject of much study. There are endless classifications and processes that scientific brainiacs create and track with their magical viewing technology. It’s most interesting to learn the importance of sleep, known as the great consolidator of memory, most of which is done during slow wave sleep. Guess what? The more one sleeps, the better the memory. That is definitely compatible with my personal agenda.
A fairly recent study finds the elderly have greatly improved memory function in the early morning hours while young memories function better after noon into the early evening. And the elderly are more right-brain oriented, making them more concerned with the whole picture rather than little details. This makes for possibilities of much greater creativity when circumstances are right for personal expression.
I regret not having kept a diary of every single day no matter how insignificant. How wonderful it would be to review my entire life in print form. I did keep a diary for my 7th grade in Junior high and what a revelation of things I would have never remembered. I had only a sketchy memory of the delightful relationship with Jack, the class genius who expounded astronomy on fun filled hayrides and rowed the boat on bumpy rides in narrow creeks at Indian Springs, Georgia. What a marvelous life.
Buddhism teaches to live in the very moment one is inhabiting and avoid ruminating on the past and the future. Yes, that is really the way to move from day to day. But in terms of preparation for death I am more inclined toward the sorcerer’s way and the idea of reviewing my archive of memories before the review begins at the moment of death. Here’s looking at you!