Memory is fiction

A recurring theme in some of my recent reading has been the nature of subjective time. Among other insights, that the past and the future are delusions, created by the mind. This is a little easier to grasp for the future. Any ideas we have about what is going to happen is clearly fiction. But the past feels more “real.” It happened. I remember it. But that’s fiction as well.

“A memory is only as real as the last time you remembered it. The more you remember something, the less accurate the memory becomes. The larger moral of the experiment is that memory is a ceaseless process, not a repository of inert information. It shows us that every time we remember anything, the neuronal structure of the memory is delicately transformed, or reconsolidated.” — The Frontal Cortex

This reminds me of the scene in Blade Runner when Rachel discovers her memories are implanted. A disturbing thought because (for most of us) we ARE our memories.

But if that’s not really so, if our memories are fiction, who are we? Probably not who we think.

Related: Selective Memory Theatre

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