Stream of Consciousness Topic: My earliest memory
Memories are weird. They don’t actual reproduce the event as it happened but instead are a representation of what you perceived and since everyone’s perceptions are uniquely their own every memory is uniquely personal. It stands to reason that if an individuals memories are built from the perception of past experiences then memories can change with age as experiences change our perceptions. This may sound a bit circular in thinking but I believe life is somewhat circular so the structure of this line of thought makes sense to degree. Which brings me to the topic of this article, “My earliest memory.” I wanted to preface this a bit because I can say with complete confidence that I remember being born.
Yeah. Crazy, I know. The memory is very much without context since I had nothing to contextualize it with. The memory is simply darkness, then light. I want to take a moment to make perfectly clear that I’m not a spiritual person and I’m in no way remotely religious. Mine is a world of scientific facts and the endeavor to find logical, factual, testable, and documentable proof to the happenings in the world around me. I don’t believe in reincarnation or life-after-death; the world I inhabit at this very moment is all there is to existence and that does not scare me. The most important thing to know about my view of the world is that it is always open to reinterpretation when new information is presented, a.k.a The Scientific Process.
I think back on that memory a few times a year, and I have ever since I was a young child. This is why I know it’s my earliest memory, I have very detailed memories about remembering it. That is the best way to keep a memory alive, re-remembering it. After that earliest memory there is a blur and then I remember things around age 3 maybe. Again, it’s hard to be exact since the context of the memories is vague and without asking my parents for details about the events I remember, and then hoping they remember those events also, it’s almost impossible to know if my memories are accurate. Just because I remember something doesn’t mean it actually happened.
It’s fun to watch my children remember things. They frequently can mix reality and fiction and form memories that feel very real and accurate but are only partially true. This comes back to the context and perception bit again; we can only perceive that which we have context to perceive. Imaging how you would perceive a four dimensional being, since our context of space is currently only three dimensions plus time, we would have difficulty understanding what our brains where perceiving because contextually it wouldn’t make sense to us. Until we have the ability to truly understand the context of high dimensions our perception will be skewed and inaccurate. Just like my earliest memory is skewed and probably inaccurate. There is a memory recorded in my brain, but it’s without context so it’s mostly formless thus it becomes the simplest form it can be; darkness then light.
I don’t know what this memory mean about how my brain works or if it even has any baring on me as a person. It is simply something I think about from time-to-time and find that many people are amazed and usually very skeptical when I tell them about this. My logical, analytic mind agrees with this skepticism but still the memory persists. So while I can not test and verify this memory, I still believe it is there. So maybe that is the basis of spirituality and religion, I don’t honestly know but I will try to continue to remember.