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  • Ron Tizzard
    May 28, 2012 - 14:12

    Russell, your column this week is intriguing; off the average chart, different, catching many people likely by surprise, as we don’t frequently (broadly) philosophize about our personal cognitive retentions, evidenced by the lack of participative feedback to this point…though I think you’ll see more in the next few days. You may get some feedback from a few contemplative monks, I hope so…they have computers these days.My sense of your metaphysical query is that we never really possess our thoughts; that our thoughts, or cognitive sensory experiences in life are but periods of happenstance we enjoy, develop phobias about, or simple insecurities perhaps; and sometimes, just sometimes, take mystical possession of, as they serve some temporal purpose for us, subjectively occasioned. Then, to your question…at some point we (might) hypothesize, with some degree of phobic trepidation, that our subconscious refuse centre, perhaps on automatic, cleans house. We are rational beings, different from many other known species of beings or forms, having ‘variable’ abilities, or reasons to retain information about the recent present or past. Of course, one’s sense of ‘reality’ for each of us is also variable, predicated on our personalized, rationalized life-experiences. Generally, our personal intuits are drawn from previously experienced life-exposure opportunities for ‘personalized’ interpretations of experiences and events; the emphasis on the ‘personalized’. We have limited abilities to retain any information on a day to day basis, let alone through years of congested, personalized real-life experiences...not always good. To your point, I believe each of us has personally stylized (inherited) cognitive filters; with experientially related, pre-determined settings for cognitive retention purposes i.e. emotive-determining filters. Take, for example, your recent column on the Mount Cashel boys; trauma, and/or the absence of ‘quiet emotional occasion’ for many of these boys to cognitively digest, retain, or emotively desire to recall personal details of their trials through the years, is an example of case in point. My recall is that none of them rushed to a microphone to tell their stories, as there was no perceived utility in it for them, per their emotional lens. The question you pose, from my perspective, is a very personal one, specific to each one of us, not that you suggested otherwise. We spend most of our lives in a very utilitarian environment, where every thought, desire, feeling, touch has a purpose, realized or not. There is nothing…that just simply ‘is’. ‘Where do those things go, these things that I remember, when I am gone, you asked; I would suggest, Russell, that they cease to exist…for/with you… as you cease to exist, they cease to have purpose.