Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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The Purpose of Memory


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Sun, 13 Dec 2015 #1
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Memory is created by awareness -- it is impossible to remember without first being aware. With a brain that has the capacity and health to remember, memory will result from awareness.

As I see it, the evolutionary purpose of memory is to prevent a repetition of the past. Memory is recalled, and with awareness there is a seeing of what that memory represents -- represents now -- and action takes place. Without memory, there would be endless repetition.

An example of this endless repetition is that of a fly beating itself to death against a window pane. The fly is incapable of realizing the uselessness of flying again and again against the window -- incapable because his primitive memory, if memory exists at all, doesn't suggest to him that uselessness.

max

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Sun, 13 Dec 2015 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5201 posts in this forum Offline

Interesting post, Max.

While not trying to deny what you say, I often the feel the opposite is true - that I find myself thinking about some experience exactly because I was inattentive when the experience occurred. Because I did not live something completely, I am doomed to try to complete it, in thinking.

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Sat, 13 Feb 2016 #3
Thumb_leaping_fire_frog_by_sirenofchaos natarajan shivan India 86 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
the evolutionary purpose of memory is to prevent a repetition of the past

Memory is the result of incomplete actions says K.

The effect of memory as you say is to prevent the repetition of past. As I see, past in your statement refers to storehouse of partial responses which creates conflict, and memory refers to that which happens along with awareness, therefore the memory you refer to has to correspond to what K calls as self knowing which prevents the response as self.

In any case, as I see, the memory resulting from awareness is not of the details but of the futility of partial actions and therefore of the wholeness in action. It is not something that could be recalled but nevertheless gathers itself up in the act of deepening perception. It is not awareness recalling memory, but awareness is a state wherein everything related to the event is brought into the orbit of perception.

With awareness, we can't say memory is recalled, but it is included. The recall of memory to establish perception is the act of self or in other words, it is a partial action. Getting into details of the observed for the same reason does not free us from division with the observed whereas awareness does.

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Sun, 14 Feb 2016 #4
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

natarajan shivan wrote:
It is not awareness recalling memory, but awareness is a state wherein everything related to the event is brought into the orbit of perception. With awareness, we can't say memory is recalled, but it is included.

Good observation, Natarajan. I have since come to see it this way also. Memory is never "recalled" through any overt or deliberate act, it is just that, with the necessary sensitivity (awareness, again), memory is "re-membered"!

It appears that any attempt to recall memory is a reaction of thinking, and hence it is actually an impediment to remembering. This seems to be the case with words. They flow faster than one can speak them, but when one attempts to recall a word there is a lot of stumbling and, in the end, perhaps an inability to recall at all.

If all of what we are saying is true, it should be of real value to those who work in the field of cognition and memory.

max

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