3 Difficulties of Memory

Perhaps the most difficult thing about the persistence of memory is the incoherence with which it persists. The relationship between the past and the future as each is transcendentally unified into the present – this is the incoherence of which I speak. For at moments I will feel myself a child of my past, its offspring, and at others I will feel more an acolyte of the future, as yet to be initiated into it. At other times I feel an orphan of the former and an apostate of the latter – an atom adrift in an atemporal vacuum. It is as if reflecting on both past and future I feel nothing. Such is the incoherence of the thing – I can at some times feel intimately bound to my history and futurity, at others feel as though both were synthetically unified to me, violently, rather than analytically deduced from me, peaceably.

The second most difficult thing about this is the kind of intimacy I bear. At moments the past will kindle itself before my eyes and I will see it in flashes, as though it were right before me. It is never as though I were living it again. No, my memories are never that intense. Rather, it is as if light were superimposed like cellophane over my eyes, and I saw and felt as if I was in that place of remembrance again. One light goes on and another goes off – my attention is fixed to the first light as soon as its beams strike me, and I can’t help but want to attend to it. It is with dreamy delight that I reflect on my past, for it wins me the deepest joy to remember my mother, grandfather, aunt, and sister. It is with the deepest admiration that I love them. And yet, at least in this mood of reflection, I feel them synthetic to me, over and against me. They are distant, strange, other.

The third most difficult thing about memory is the alchemy whereby it represents itself. One memory at one time represents an entire world of possibilities, a set of feelings about human relations. Namely, relations among those humans with which I had close contact. Another memory represents another world, another memory is another world still, and so on. All such memories conflict with each other a priori since the number of relations present in each is incommensurable. That my contact with others tinctures the hue of the whole world – this is a thought with which I have only now begun to grapple. That the whole of my life is somehow iterated severally, day in and day out, over the individuals with whom I associate. This much is alchemical inasmuch as it is agonistic or self-opposing. As I oppose myself to another, I feel them in their otherness from me. Feeling them, my whole situation to the world changes as they see me unique to them. I am wrought by their perception, as Vulcan wrought Achilles’ Shield over the fires of mount Olympus. On that shield portended the future of mankind; in the mind of the other portends my associations with him – the world we will share.

Who cannot feel the constant flickering of eyes? Who does not dream of solitude where the perpetual motion machines shrink to their shelled ghosts? Who does not dream of rest in a restless world? O, what dreams may come!

Whatever does not furnish action is false

Whatever does not furnish action is false. That action need merely be the minimal reorganization of experience through a new history, a new which shocks the old. This noetic action of the new is learning, and it itself is true in proportion to its own furnishing of action.

No memory can be meaningful except as it portends further remembrance, as it actuates one to remembering anew. The rest of a memory’s truth, therefore, is its stimulation out of the noetic and into the hyletic – out of mind and into matter. Thus, no mere thought or mere truth can be as such without its stimulant function.

“What can I do with this?” This question is the acid in which all basic pseudo-truths are dissolved.

Publication of an ownmost

Problem: is the publication of an ownmost analytically self-contradictory? That is, is the publication of an ownmost even possible or, rather, will the attempt thereat always collapse the ownmost in the “they”? [1], see entry on “mineness”

In plain terms: can one ever say what is distinctly their own, or will their saying it just thereby make it no longer theirs? If this is so, then whatever is felt always hides beneath the threshold of speech, for speaking denies the feeling – it is not that feeling. Thus, it is not merely romantic that one can never speak as they feel – it is semantically necessary.


[1] D. O. Dahlstrom, “The heidegger dictionary,” p. 325.

Correspondence, the ecstasy of reason

Correspondence is an ecstatic kind of reasoning. It first sees a structure it has long known as tried and true – let us say the relation between the legs and the face of a table. Then, on seeing another state of affairs, it gradually moves its constituent parts as though game pieces into a formation. This movement is assisted through the prior encounter with the structure, for the structure warrants and justifies the movement under this proviso: 

if it worked before, it can work again 

Example: suppose one is considering society. One can consider different institutions as legs which uphold free intercourse between men. The legs have ground in Reality, their rules set fixtures which govern hard and fast relations. Such hardness allows an open face, akin to the face of the table, in society itself, absent of strict rules. Envision one leg as the army, another as logistical supply chain management, another through economic consulting, and yet another through the government. These rule-bound institutions allow freedom outside themselves. 

This is an ecstatic vision, for its structural correspondence depends on nothing but the experience of a physical structure. It is on this experience that the maneuvering of the constituents of the state of affairs, in this case society itself and its parts, is performed. Thus, the ecstasy follows from experience itself and the alleged immediacy wherewith reasoning occurs. Reason follows no tracks (as in math and jurisprudence), but is led by itself to judge whatever it finds. 

This is, moreover, analogical reasoning. With nothing but Reason itself as its ground, analogy might then be called the height of ecstasy. Such is magic and the magician’s tables.