Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Infant Memories...

I've heard it said that we are blank slates at birth. My own memories from the womb involve self aware thoughts and feelings. I do not have sensory memories per se, just mostly emotional. We've been so conditioned to believe we don't remember anything from our earliest ages that most of us believe it, but it's not true. I even remember having the conversation with my mom at a young age asking her why I didn't remember anything. The answer she gave me lead me to believe it was true. "No body remembers anything from when they are an babies." Well, that was wrong. Most of us just don't recognize what the early memories are. It is true that I don't have may well defined memories from before 3, but I do have some, mostly in the form emotions, without much sensory relationship to them. We don't have much in the way of sensory memories because our brain isn't yet developed enough to fully experience the the physical senses. So how is the brain going to to record such events? It would be like holding your finger over a tape recorder's mic while recording. I think much of the confusion on this topic comes from not understand this simple fact. Yes, we don't have many memories of physical events, but we do have the memories of the emotions that those events caused. We carry those memories our entire lives without realizing them and what they are. My memories of that period are not recovered. I've had them all along. It just took me a long time to realize what they were in the context of my own experience. From what I remember, I most definately had a well developed personality just waiting for a chance to express itself. But that's a different topic.

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