Friday, October 28, 2011

Bones, Whitaker, Wall Street, and Our Collective Memory

As I watch the news report constant images of the changes, and the challenges of and to change, every day in our world, I think about how we create collective images of ourselves through our cultures that are part of our personal and therefore social identity.  If you’re a fan of the show Bones, as I am, you may remember Dr. Temperance Brennan, the scientist on the show whose passion, among others, is anthropology – the behavioral patterns of life, of course including human life.  She defines people’s behavior in anthropological ways – such as when Booth’s girlfriend gives him a tie, Brennan explains to him that she has entered into a new level of relating to him, i.e., entered into a “social contract.”  I love the script for this show and the dynamics of the cast of characters because they’re an interesting and very different bunch of personalities who manage, through their work, to unite with the same focus of solving mysteries that lead to catching criminals. Solving of mysteries requires an open mind, and a passion for discovery, for new knowledge. The characters display this well, and often in a humorous way. Knowledge can be “heavy” (challenging) for us at times when our mind has been accustomed to dessert, snacks, rather than the art of the whole meal and its many benefits (internal/external interactions).  I love a good laugh, and I also love knowledge. I appreciate the way different personalities develop and share laughter and knowledge. As the evolution of television shows and advertisements show too, we are constantly seeking to stimulate our minds, our multiple senses. But what are we learning and how are we using this knowledge? As I heard one young man say in recent news from “Occupy Wall Street,” we as a country have gotten off track of focusing on being our best selves not just for our own selves but as a country. (paraphrasing).

Because my mind has always has a place for certain types of trivia, I “automatically” remember and relate to certain cultural references that are part of my conscious memory bank.  I remember scenes from the Poseidon Adventure film which we saw as kids as vividly as if it were yesterday. I remember lines from films that I enjoyed watching 25 years ago. I have favorite commercials on television that change as new cycles of marketing change. I don’t forget the ads though. They remain in my fond-memories bank. As I’ve learned more about memory and what memory means to us as a human being (eternal energy), I think about different memories of my family, all those I love. Scenes, senses expand as different memories are stimulated in my memory nodes in my brain. I remember the scent of frangipani leaves in our back yard when we were children in Nigeria, the bright blooms and the silky white leaves. I remember expressions on our pet monkey’s face. I remember the handle of the machete that our gardener used. I remember the bloodshot eyes of the friend we called Carpenter.  I remember balling my finger into a fist as I lay in the crib, squinting my eyes into shimmering shades of light as I awoke from sleep.  So much to remember once we begin to appreciate memories and share in the thrill of what they mean to us as evolving energy beings. While watching Piers Morgan interviewing Michael Moore and many others “Live from Occupy Wall Street,” I heard Moore say if you’re a citizen you have to be involved. That’s the job of a responsible citizen. To add the word “responsible” ought to be redundant, but I understand more clearly than ever that our lessons in any given life create for us opportunities to learn to love – ourselves, others, life, growth, change, evolution.  

I’ve also listened to several interviews with Mark Whitaker, Managing Editor of CNN Worldwide, on his new book, My Long Trip Home.  What a fascinating story.  I especially appreciated how he explained going back and interviewing, talking to, people from his early life and family, asking questions about events and people. Initially many of the answers he got were things like, I don’t really remember that.  As he continued asking questions, details began to emerge. Memories revive as we are prompted to think, to remember.  A friend told me recently that she heard someone say People just don’t want to think! As she thought about this comment, she said her experience shows that it isn’t that people don’t want to think, but that we don’t necessarily know how to think. Questions prompt us to think as we remember the lives we have lived. The Ethical Values which make up our human design as spiritual beings are the grid of energy that guides us once we open our mind to learning and appreciating the absolute power of energy as our potential to create through love and the often challenging dynamics of growth and change as a human family. “Living in the moment” doesn’t mean forgetting what has gone before or what will come next – to me it means becoming ever more conscious of All That Is!

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