Reply To: Readers Ask: How Can We Upgrade the Illusion?

#4738 Score: 1

51 votes

Thanks for this response, Deepak. As I watched the beginning, I found myself suddenly yearning (becoming aware) for a bite of that chocolate myself…that is, an experience of the chocolate as smell, touch, shape and taste. (You picked an apt metaphor for a chocoholic!) As a writer, I find that words are poor substitutes for experience, but it is my calling nonetheless to turn thoughts, experiences into concepts as a way to broaden my experience and share it with others.

When you speak about “losing the memory of who we really are,” that is quite evocative for me. I have a distinct memory from 30+ years ago of not being invited to my boss’s wedding. I even recall sharing (dare I say, nursing) that disappointment with a colleague who also wasn’t invited. Since boss and I were friends long before I came to work for him, that really stung! When I shared this disappointment with him recently, he went and found my RSVP, that said I was unable to attend! Needless to say, this was not only embarrassing, but made me doubt the accuracy of many other memories that I have long made into a “story” of who I am.

So if I am not the one who wasn’t invited and am, instead, the one who declined the invitation (since I still don’t remember even receiving the invitation, I have no idea why I would have said no), then my experience was one of being excluded, a misinterpretation of reality! All these years later, it is brought to my awareness that this was not true, this was a different experience altogether. And, by the way, we have remained friends all these years nonetheless.

So our memory of things past (as Proust reminds us) is not necessarily pure truth, even if that shade of truth becomes part of our experiencing. I have the ability to remember/recreate that story in a new way. But it does give me a good story to tell!

Are you saying, though, that individuals hold this power within the collective? Because surely, we as Americans, or humans, or part of the Cosmos, have created the scenario in which we now collectively find ourselves. Can we recreate a collective story? This sounds like myth making. Do we all have the power to construct a new, better and joy-filled mythos?

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