Friday, May 2

The Memory Of Experiences Maketh Man


Aristotle says in his treatise On the Soul: 'Memory belongs to the same part of the soul as imagination.' It's why the ancient Greeks set such store on memory. But is Aristotle right?

Colin Wilson in his excellent book Mysteries argues the case this way:

"Think of a scholar surrounded by a library of books. He may be merely a dull pedant who knows how to find information. But if he had the contents of all of the books inside his head, this would be a different matter. He would know the books, be able to compare Plato's views on the soul with those of St Augustine, or Alexander the Great's military strategy with Julius Caesar's. Such a man would possess wisdom rather than knowledge; he would be a genius, a kind of god." Source

Not entirely sure if that is correct, as many can recall all sorts of facts and figures but know little of life and wisdom. As I see it memory does play a part, but it's the memories of our experiences that is important. It's why we should, perhaps, experience many things - and this could well be the purpose of reincarnation.

If we have known great happiness and sorrows, succumbed to temptations, suffered ill health and good health, watched with tears in our eyes as our children go out into the world, have loved and also lost - as well as a myriad of other things - and can remember and recall them, then we are more likely to understand others, be able to forgive when necessary and may also begin to have an inkling as to what this life of ours is really all about.

When I was at senior school our motto was Manners Maketh Man but really it should have been Experiences Maketh Man. Without them we are a blank canvass.

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1 comment:

  1. Terrific post, Mike. The message is similar to the law of one!