Audio of Jan Cox 5 May 2001
Copyright Jan Cox, Jan’s Legacy 2014
Notes by Cfish November 2014
Suggested Title: Made Up Memories (A Relentless World Wide Hustle)
Begin: Someone was being interviewed on TV. And as the interview got going, the phrase “you will find this interesting” was followed by details of the person’s family life and their high school memories. The interview could have been of someone you found interesting or of someone you like. (ex. an actor or musician)
And I wondered if you folks had listened to an interview of this sort, and if you listened to yourself that what was promised as “interesting” was not interesting to you, to anyone else, and if you put yourself in the place of the person you liked, the details of your grammar school adventures would not be interesting to you.
I am not making fun of all this. You either know what I mean or you don’t. Its a chamber music game. Pretend you are sitting in a crowd, sort of friendly, and you pretend to listen to somebody - then they pretend to listen to you for a while.
05:00 If you stop and listen to what you are doing, almost everything you talk about socially, (ex. rock and roll, cars, TV) even if it appears to have some passion, you do not find it interesting. (I believe some of you are seeing this) Even if your mind is arguing the point (“maybe it will become interesting”) , you actually have no interest in what you or anyone else is saying.
So the question is “why do humans do it?” “Why does the brain make us do it continually. Though you may not start every conversation with the preface “you will find this interesting” - its implied socially. (ex. Interrupting someone or someone interrupting you to make a point.)
But no one notices. (And I don’t know why I keep stepping in that small hole.) I proposed last time the running commentary of “the mind” is seeking structure, where it has no structure. Not when compared to instinctive structural life. (ex. muscles remembering not to stick their hand in a fire)
“The mind” continually talks about things passionately and that appear to fit the facts. Something I have laid out before is “the mind” is not for entertainment or to drive us crazy, it exists to help us survive. But when it is not helping us to survive, then this other thing (social conversation) drops by.
10:00 And as always it is a valid point that social conversation may be good for survival. It always gets back to something real. But the surface of it (The preface “you may find this interesting”) if you look - an objective panel would say, of someone coming up with ten minutes worth of memories about high school, they would find it ‘not’ interesting.
If you are ordinary, ten minutes worth of memories may be interesting but it is faulty memory. Large parts of memories did not happen to you. Memories of non crucial matters is faulty. Muscle memory, (anything done for survival) things like not sticking your hand in a fire, or riding a bicycle, muscles do not forget. (discounting aging at some point)
15:00 When the brain unreels, “Let me tell you what happened to me” (social conversation) it is mostly fiction - maybe with a few facts. (ex. a fact maybe that you are living in Atlanta in 1980) Half the memories you have now are probably from movies you saw.
This “unreeling of memories” is “the mind” trying to establish a stable memory based on the fact “the mind” has no stable memory. Socially, you do not need a good, stable, mental memory. Its chit chat and the sound of running in place. I can’t prove any of this. You either know what I am saying or you don’t.
20:00 Conversations do not usually start with “Let me tell you what I made up.” Conversations usually start with “let me tell you what happened to me.” And then your brain jumps in and wants to do the same thing. “Your mind” says, “That reminds me.” And if you listen to yourself what you relate did not literally happen.
(I don’t really like to put it that way. No one knows literally what happened. The whole universe just happened in that moment.) And I asked myself “why are social conversations like that?” And it struck me it is irrelevant. It’s not doing any damage. It’s the brain doing it. Social conversations are fiction but not lying.
People just don’t listen to themselves. It’s not them doing the social chit-chat. It is “the brain.” It also struck me, “my memory” is not trustworthy at all. And then it struck me everyone else is that way. Then I said to myself “whats going to happen?” and I realized - nothing. Its just the way things are.
So “what kind of understanding can I get from this?” Why does the brain say in our head, then out loud, and then the brain listens to itself - “Let me tell you what happened to me?” It is just bits and pieces of yesterday. And these bits and pieces of yesterday, require no conscious planning.
It is just something that fits or relates with what the other person is saying. I say the brain is trying to make memory - constantly where it has none. The story the brain comes up with - and it never seems to have any trouble - is a substitute for a substantial memory.
Even if the tale the brain comes up with is interesting enough to listen for a minute, the brain knows, it has no stable memory for non crucial events, and all it is doing is compensating for it, by a relentless stream, of made up memories.
And the greatest one, is the one where you are a “culmination of your memories.” If you see what I mean.