Posts Tagged 'memory'

Memories, Immortality, and Tulkus

Bodies are memories, constantly remembering how to recreate and repair themselves, with slight deviations, gradually noticed as age.

Bodies – appendages, organs, cells, and genes – also retain a memory of millions of years of evolution, passed offspring to offspring.

Even rocks retain memories of ancient sediments deep in long-gone oceans or in churning fiery depths inside the earth.

Organizations are memories, also remembering how to constantly recreate, repair and maintain, all while learning to adapt.   There are restaurants in China that are thousands of years old, governments and their agencies, corporations and their offspring and mutations, all persistent memories.

Without memories, no continuity, no underlying stability, no identity.

During sleep I forget, forget who I am, and dream of strange new identities and settings, shifting from one to the next.  I lapse into deep sleep and forget even my dreams.   I wake.  My body is still here.  All my memories are still here – reminding me of my identity, my ambitions and desires, my plans, my worries, my friends and enemies, and what’s in the refrigerator.   From  nothingness during the night, each day “I” am reincarnated.

And via the Internet we can find how many times and how many people have recorded variations of these thoughts.   Together we are the memory of our species.

Now to the most recent reason I started thinking about this:

Tulkus – Passing Memory and Identity from Life to Life

Continue reading ‘Memories, Immortality, and Tulkus’


My grandmother’s house

This is a painting that my mother did of the house where she was born, in 1920, and where she lived until she married my father.  She painted this not long after 1984, when she and her sister and brother closed the house and got it ready for sale after my grandmother died.

painting by Mary Elizabeth Duncan Work

painting by Mary Elizabeth Duncan Work

While my father’s business was getting started, my parents, brother and I also lived in this house for a few years beginning when I entered the first grade.  It was a wonderful house, with great places to hide, and the back yard was full of flowers, especially irises and wisteria, and a grape arbor, and big trees to climb, and lots of shrubs to hide in.   Over the next 30 years my family and I made many visits to this house to see my grandmother, and to celebrate holidays and special gatherings with aunts and uncles and cousins.   I still visit it in my dreams. Continue reading ‘My grandmother’s house’


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