Where were you when the towers
came down? This is one of the most abiding memories of our time. Etched in the
psyche forever, a wound in history, an unconscious nightmare. And this
particular weekend, ten long years on, seems to many people an appropriate time
Memory is a form of witnessing. This is why we have Remembrance Day, a special day when we remember those who died in the armed conflicts since the First World War. You see old people standing in silence, pain etched on their faces, their presence and their pain testament to those who cannot be here. Remembering is a way of honouring them, and honouring their memory. In doing so we honour ourselves too.
That morning most of us witnessed by a tv screen, remote, dumbfounded. Watching as tv cameras replayed the same iconic scene over and over. We watched, addicted, the many fall to their death, or running to escape the billowing black smoke. Those who were present at Calvary.
We live so much of the time in memory. They are like picture postcards of the mind. We cling to them as to lovers. They give us comfort. They give us assurance. Yet they are very fragile, and rarely consistent. Ask someone about an event you shared together, say a family member, and you will invariably find that their recall of it is very different from yours.
We keep pictures to remind us of who we are and what we created, like one fearing sudden amnesia. They are the judge that never sleeps. They keep the ‘picture’ alive in us.
Yet this is the incorrect use of
Emotion is memory too. When you feel an emotion you think it’s new in the moment, but it’s really the memory of an old feeling. If you can stop in the middle of an emotion, say anger, and realise that this is just a memory of the first time you got angry, then you can interrupt it.
So what do we remember? What do we still see?
recall of a dream is the very same as a memory you have of an actual event. The
rational mind can differentiate, and knows the appropriate place in which to
file both. We then think we know what is real and what isn’t. Who hasn’t woken
from a really pleasant dream where we’re back in childhood sporting with
playmates now passed away? In the instant we want to turn over and go back into
the dream. We want to be swallowed up by that blissful moment of contentment
again. The contents of a nightmare work the same way but the outcome is rather
different. Awakening, panic stricken you throw off the bedclothes and can’t
wait to put it behind you.
That’s the strange thing about memory, it’s all taking place in your head.
Everything that ever happened to
you happened in your own personal universe. The way your eyes record an event
is unique to you. A person standing beside you witnessing the exact same event
will see it, filter it, experience it in a different way, even if the
differences are minute. Our minds are like our fingerprints, no two are the
Understand then that every piece of reality is happening in and through you.
“It’s all in your imagination”, is a popular saying often used as a term of dismissal. But to use it thus is to completely underestimate the power of the imagination. The imagination is the bedrock of all things. Be careful how you use it.
“Not only do you create the way you look at things, you create the things you look at!” (Lazaris)
A lot of what you see when you look at others, or think about others, is the out-picturing of your own programs, your own scripts. If you see others through the fog of your programming you only see the representations you make of them, and fail to see their true beauty.
If I see something as bad, that’s my seeing, it’s reality for me. It doesn’t mean I’m bad, only that I chose to see bad, and make that a part of my universe. I may have a perfectly good reason for doing so. That’s me justifying my choice.
In this case it’s a projection of something in myself that I’m not willing to look at, an unremembered memory. Hero worship, where I project what is good out from me, is the same thing only in reverse. I don’t want to acknowledge my own magnificence, therefore I place it on another.
That is why true forgiveness does not see the sin in others. Not because of any moral imperative, instead it recognises that it is not real.
There were no towers.
Touch any one of them with the gentle hands of forgiveness, and watch the chains fall away, along with yours..... (ACIM)
The suffering you felt as a child, and the suffering you witnessed in the world is a cloud in your memory. For some reason you chose to experience it in this lifetime. Its reality does not extend beyond that, in the same way the nightmare has no right following you out of bed when you wake and shake it off.
We are created by, and come from Source, which is imperishable love. Therefore to talk about this and death in the same sentence is just gibberish. We’ve become so fascinated with and addicted to the idea of death that we are creating more and more of this in our minds. It’s in all the literature and fiction of the ages. Including the fiction of the newsreels. Cameras going on in our head.
........death is the result of the thought we call the ego
Seeing through the eyes of forgiveness is to re-member love.
I cover this topic in 9/11 - let’s put an end to hate from a somewhat different angle.
See also Spring Awakening, which looks at tolerance and prejudice, among other things.
Lastly, I go into the whole phenomenon of memory in some considerable depth in Birthing.
I leave you with a final quote from A Course in Miracles, and wherever you are, be kind to yourself this weekend.
“In the holy instant, in which you see yourself as bright with freedom, you will remember God. For remembering him is to remember freedom”.
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