Rewrite It


We are very much the creation of the stories we tell ourselves.

... just turn around any of the major psychological stories you tell about your own life.
Read them backwards. You picked your wife because she was very different from (or very much like) your mother. This is an old saw in psychology. But suppose your soul gained practice with your mother for the life later lived with your wife.

Or suppose a person conceives of her childhood illness (that kept her bedridden and out of touch during crucial socializing years) to have been early practice at the work she does now, like writing in solitude or inventing electronic devices or becoming a therapist. She had to be isolated for those years in order to follow her seed.

This way of seeing removes the burden from those early years as having been a mistake and yourself a victim of handicaps or cruelties; instead, it's all the acorn in the mirror, the soul endlessly repeating in different guises the fundamental pattern of your karma.

[James Hillman]
with Michael Ventura
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse, p.27, 68, 69

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These coincidences amaze her. Never does she feel so thoroughly suffused with beauty as when the nostalgia for her past love blends with the surprises of her new love.

The intrusion of the previous boyfriend into the story she is currently living is to her mind not some secret infidelity; it adds further to her fondness for the man walking beside her now.

[Milan Kundera]
Ignorance, p.80

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All messages and parts of messages are like phrases or segments of equations which a mathematician puts in brackets. Outside the brackets there may always be a qualifier or multiplier which will alter the whole tenor of the phrase. Moreover, these qualifiers can always be added, even years later.

In the realm of communication, the events of the past constitute a chain of old horseshoes so that the meaning of that chain can be changed and is continually being changed.

What exists today are only messages about the past which we call memories, and these messages can always be framed and modulated from moment to moment.

[Gregory Bateson]
Steps to an Ecology of Mind ('The Group Dynamics of Schizophrenia'), p.232-3


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Personal memories are more like mental reconstructions where the original details are contorted, at least to some degree, by who we are today.

Recalling a memory, in fact, appears to be a collaborative effort of different parts of our brains. It also seems to be strengthened and modified each time it’s retrieved.

Scientists have a term for this – reconsolidation. And they’ve found that a memory is not only a reflection of the original event, but also a product of each time you call it up.

So memories, it turns out, aren’t fixed; they’re dynamic, reshaped by our current emotions and beliefs.

And that’s not a bad thing. As Fernyhough posits, the purpose of memory is about adapting and looking into the future as much as into the past.



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Related posts:-
Carry Each Other
Guiding Fiction
Twisted out of Shape
Fear Visions

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