The Relationship Between Time and Memory
A discussion on the importance of memory, and its relationship to time. Written originally to a dear friend in reply to a letter sent by them.
Let us examine briefly the concept of time.
There is only one moment, and that is the moment in which you are at that moment. The past consists of an infinite number of previous moments, while the future will consist of an infinite number of moments in which you have not yet dwelt. The link between the past moments, the present moment and the future moments is your memory - no more, no less. The present moment is the result of the action of your memory upon the infinite number of past moments, and the future will similarly be the result of the action of your memory upon each successive moment. Because of memory, you have the capacity to make choices based on the experiences of those past moments that will affect and direct your future moments. But when it all boils down to it, we have only one moment, and that is the one in which we find ourselves now. Time being thus proved to be no more than a concept, a convenient and commonly accepted means of measuring the distance between one moment and another, it is similarly shown that by holding too tightly onto the past moments our appreciation of the current moment is reduced and curtailed, and this restricts our potential to fulfill our hopes and dreams of the future and experience to their fullest the moments in which we have yet to dwell.
Through moments of viscitude, through periods of hardships, through the loneliness of bitterness and pain, the soul is drawn into a closer relationship with God. In times of ease, it is easy to forget. But through these moments of trial the memory is made sharper and clearer, and the purpose of life is made clearer. Through the bad times, the unimportance of the material is made manifest, for what is it that is affected but the spirit. And through the memory of God, the spirit can be made to shine and sparkle.
Yes, it is easy to become despondent. Yes, it is easy to become discouraged. Yes, it is easy to become depressed. But if we do not know these, then how can we recognise their opposites when we find them? As memory is the opposite of forgetfulness, so joy is the memory of grief, and surety the memory of uncertainty.
As every day is followed by a night, so every night is followed by a day. As the heat of the midday sun must inevitably give way to the cold of the moon at midnight, so too must the cold of the moon at midnight give way to the heat of the sun at midday. Through your knowledge of the dark, your knowledge of the light is sharpened, and through your knowledge of the cold, your knowledge of the heat is made clear. And how do you know which is heat and which is cold? By your memory - no more, no less.
July 2008
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