“And the book says, ‘We may be through with the past, but the past isn’t through with us.'” We don’t know whether we carry the memories or memories carry us. It’s an ocean of memories and we always swimming in that and memory is the diary that we all carry about with us. In psychology, memory is an organism’s ability to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. The present is not the memory, present becomes past by converting it as a memory. Our behavior, beliefs, activities, thinking, etc, all depends on the memories that we have. Ultimately life is all about memories.
Memories decide the life and it’s beautifully explored in the movie ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘. In this movie, an agency will service in erasing the memories required by the client like erasing the relationship or information about the person. Jim Carrey, the hero, who undergoes this procedure to erase his lady love, regrets in the middle of the procedure about the mistake he had done when he encounters the sweet memories with his lady love and the crux of the movie is how he struggles to get rid of the erasing procedure. So the entire movie happens in Jim Carrey’s brain (memories). So our present and future depends on our memories. If everything is erased, then it is a restart to your life.
The interesting thing about the memories is, how its stored? Eventually brain performs some complex processing, mapping, arrangements, compressing, etc. All these cannot be done by the brain while storing itself. So it stores in default way and later it arranges properly. That’s why we require sleep and in sleep it automatically arranges by the process of dream. Dream de-fragments the memories to arrange it properly and try to create (virtual) solutions for your problems, so that it prepares you to face the next day energetically.
The movie ‘Science of Sleep‘ portrays this aspect very well. The film tells the story of a young man whose vivid dreams and imagination often interfere with his ability to interact with reality. In that the creation of dream is expressed as a cooking recipe. First, we put in some random thoughts. And then we add a little bit of reminiscences of the day, mixed with some memories from past. Love, friendships, relationships and all those ‘ships’, together the songs you heard during the day, things you saw and also personal. And thus dream is prepared by the brain. The director explains this phenomenon as ‘Parallel Synchronized Randomness’ (P.S.R). The dreams are created by synchronizing the memories randomly in a parallel fashion. So everybody dreams while sleeping, some remembers it and some not.
What if we are not able to create the memories, as shown in the movie, ‘Memento‘, where the person cannot create new memories and he can only remember things for periods of 15-30 minutes. So he remembers the things by making notes, taking pictures and tattooing important facts on his body. The hero believes that having a proper system of orderness around him can survive without creating memories. When the hero is questioned that he can’t trust a man’s life to his little notes and pictures, he replies, “Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They’re just an interpretation, they’re not a record, and they’re irrelevant if you have the facts.” So living in present is nothing but living without memories.
Another interesting point is, memories are in a four dimension plane in other words it can move along the time dimension freely. You can think about your childhood memories now, but you can’t get back to childhood days since physical body is in three dimension plane and moving along the time dimension. The movie ‘Butterfly effect‘ revolves around this concept that one can travel along the memories. The hero performs the time travel through his memories and tries to changes the events to alter the future. The term butterfly effect refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (which involves the chaos theory), signifying the small events in life will create big changes. We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.
So intelligence, thinking, imagination, etc, all depends on the memories and its arrangement. Happiness also depends on the memories and we are constantly working to have good memories, so that we dilute the existing bad memories. Actually, it goes on like a cycle and we really don’t know, are we dreaming in the dream?, as depicted in the movie ‘The Matrix‘. Everybody thinks they do good things by creating their own theory around them based on their memories.
So, where these memories are going to takes us? In the movie, ‘Eyes wide shut‘ starring Tom Cruise, which exists on the plane of dream or reverie. In a scene, Tom Cruise is being led away by two gorgeous model types and he asks where they are leading him, to whom they reply: “To the end of the rainbow.” One of the young ladies then asks Tom Cruise: “Don’t you want to go to where the rainbow ends?” To which he replies: “That all depends where that is.”
Eventually two young ladies represent the desires and Tom Cruise represents the mind. Actually, rainbow never ends because it is a circle and Tom Cruise’s reply shows the mind control. Thus holding the memories in order is all about the mind control. And the life is a box with full of memories. Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.
“Brain is the most complex thing in the universe and it is right behind the nose”