Ok so this train of thought came to me the other night when I was partaking of the salad with my buddies.
I realized how that everything we know and ever experienced is just a memory. You know like if you remember something you did as a kid there is really no way to know if it was true because it is just a memory and memories can be messed with. So how do we know if we ever did anything or if we just think we did. Our memories are all we are and all we know. In the end our memories will be all we leave.
I dunno it seemed more profound before I typed it out
I have this "idea" that when we die we sort of live in the memories and experiences of those that we interacted with and then those that they interact with. Sort of one of those spiritual "all are one" kind of theories.
It's not necessarily a belief but just an idea to one of the infinite possibilities. It depends on the interactions you had with other people and how you have effected those people and how those people will treat others based on how you treated them. Just another way of thinking that those perceptions will live on forever as long as memory is possible and you don't do something about it.
Perception is a very tricky thing. BBC Horizon had a couple episodes about it, one was "The Secret You" and "Is Seeing Believing". The prior was more focused on what defines you, the latter on how easy it is to fool your perceptual tools (eyes, ears, etc).
In terms of your individual memory, it all inevitably comes down to trust. You have to ask yourself "how willing am I to trust the 'memories' that I have in my own mind?" Personally, I think we all need to take our memories with a grain of salt as basic neurology has taught us again and again that our perceptions are fallible as a result of the limitations of our senses. One of my physiology textbooks put it rather elegantly I think by stating that the brain is like a telephone (using the sense of hearing as the analogy): the ear is like the receiver, picking up sounds from the outside world and converting them into an electrical signal to be transmitted across a distance (the neurons do this in the body). Telephones, however, convert the digitized information back into a physical sound wave at the other end of the line via a speaker. Our brains can't do that, but instead they simply interpret the "signal" as best they can and we end up with a subjective idea of what the impetus sound wave that struck the eardrum should sound like. By that logic, it makes sense that people can't rule out the possibility of two people witnessing the same event (be it a sight, smell, taste, etc) and their individual brains interpreting the various sensations entirely different. Granted, then you enter into the argument that perhaps two individuals will experience a sensation entirely differently, but they'll call it the same thing because of the absolute nature of our language. For example, when I see grass, what I interpret as "green" in my head might appear as "yellow" in someone else's mind, but we'll both point at the grass and say "That grass is green" because we've been taught through our language that grass is supposed to be green. Confusing, isn't it?
As for dealing with others outside of ourselves, I resort to what one of my old philosophy professors used to say: "To be is to be perceived." In essence, his argument was that our very existence is the sum of the evidence that we leave behind for those around us to acknowledge, whether that evidence comes in the form of insubstantial memories or concrete objects, such as personal items, journals, etc.
but no, most memories are altered, be it because of age or because the person wants it altered.... Instinct is a memory passed down though you, that allows you to know what will happen before it does.... ie fear of hights because you know if you fall from a great height you'll die, yet you've never jumped from that high before... who knows.......
I read somewhere that the more you think about something the more your mind alters the memory. This is why criminal cases that take months to investigate have witnesses with totally different stories and make it a bajillion times more difficult to solve as time goes on.
that is infact what I was going to post. people say "recall" a memory, even though memmories aren't recalled, they're recreated (IRONY) every time you "recall" a memory , your mind recreates it in your mind, though slightly altering it every time. so the memory stuck in the back in your head for life isn't what actually happend because you recreated it so much!
Interesting idea. I have to agree about the changing thing, but it depends on the event, say a really happy moment in your life, your going to change it slightly over time so it seems better and better. But when remembering a real sad moment, your memory is going to react differently to that.