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Friday, September 10, 2004

Mind Probe

If you could spend one year in perfect happiness but afterward would remember nothing of the experience, would you do so? If not, why not?

Follow up:

Which is more important: actual experiences, or the memories that remain when the experiences are over?


At Friday, September 10, 2004 8:23:00 AM, Blogger rdturpin said...

This is a tough one, Good Wife. But I like it.

A year of perfect happiness without retention of the memories? Nah, I think I'd rather pass on that. While perfect happiness would be nice (hell, I'd settle for moderate happiness), losing the capacity to remember that happiness would almost make the experience worthless.

To get into your follow-up prompt, I think both actual experiences and the memories are important...perhaps not equally important, but I'm still unsure about that.

I look back to actual experiences that have meant something to me. When I was going through those experiences, I enjoyed them immensely, but I didn't realize the impact of them on my being. Basically, they were fun and I had a good time going through most of them.

The real lessons from those experiences, however, came from the reflections afterwards. With just about everything you do, people urge you to reflect on it, learn from it, and incorporate those lessons into your everyday life. This leads me to believe that the memories that remain might actually be more important than the experiences that led to those memories.

Without the experiences, though, there would be no memories. ;-)

That was a very long, rambling post just for me to say that I don't have a freakin clue!

At Friday, September 10, 2004 9:48:00 AM, Blogger Chuck said...

I would have to say no. While I would certainly like to experience wonderful things, I couldn't bare to not remember them. Now the bad times is another thing. Might not mind forgetting them, but then again often what is learned from the bad times is important too.

At Friday, September 10, 2004 11:02:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Damn right I would. It seems to me that memory is only one benefit of perfect happiness. I'd imagine that a full year of perfect happiness would have a really positive effect on one's outlook, physique, behavior and such, even if you can't remember why.

I'm reminded of those nights at house parties when I'd be royally shitfaced. I'd see that unattainable piece of ass across the room and say to myself "hell, it's not like I'll remember this tomorrow. Why not take a shot?"

At Friday, September 10, 2004 11:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I would! Remember the old saying,"Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it"?
With any luck....

At Friday, September 10, 2004 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Opaco said...

that is a good one...i love when you do this...

ok, for me, it is the memory that is the most important. i love how memories of experiences seem to grow better with time. like cheese. i love cheese, my favorite is the cheese produced by a local company here in oregon. it has such great flavor.

ok, back on track, like all the memories i have of my father. especially since he passed away when i was 11, i love the memories i have and i know some of them have been exaggerated, but i don't care.

At Friday, September 10, 2004 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

growth is impossible without memories. the actual actions would mean nothing without remembering them.
mistakes would be made over and over and over, not knowing you made them.
having memory of an experience, good or bad, allows you to relive it and change from what you remember - say, if you were in a car accident, remembering could humble you and make you a safe driver and prevent you from overreacting in traffic. or say, you met the love of your life and the two of you make love on the beach and sleep under the stars. remembering that could save your marriage/relationship and give you hope of love when something goes wrong.

At Friday, September 10, 2004 12:05:00 PM, Blogger wilde_thought said...

Yes I would do it. As long as I got to experience the paradise and remember all of the events for 12 months it would be worth it even if those memories were wiped away at the end of the year. Could you imagine your physique at the end of the year? Damn, how did I get this buff and why do I have the yearning to walk around in nothig about a terrycloth robe?

While we're on esoteric questions: Yes, I would take a million dollars too even if it were paid to me in pennies. Where's my shovel?

At Friday, September 10, 2004 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Yes, as long as it's what I consider to be one year of perfect happiness and not what the anonymous Church Lady thinks it is... I guess I watched too many episodes of the Twilight Zone where wishes got twisted...

Although I won't remember, what about the people who shared the perfect happiness experience with me. Wouldn't she be grateful enough to continue beyond the one year???!!! ;-)

Follow up: Actual experience is always better than the memory. For example, a great fuck is always better than its memory. It's better to live life to the fullest in the moment or you may not have the good memories. Memories are sweet, but the actual experience is the best!

At Friday, September 10, 2004 1:52:00 PM, Blogger StuckForNow said...

Memories last a life time, experiences are but a fleeting moment

At Friday, September 10, 2004 6:15:00 PM, Blogger FireResQGuru said...

Hmmmm..... interesting thought. Even more interesting are some of the responses and the reasoning behind them. Allow me to throw a twist into it. Any of you that have read my posts will understand why I am about to say this.

I would jump at the chance for a year of blissful happiness. Who cares if you forget it after a year? Remember that old saying " Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all"? What a crock of Buffalo Chips! It is not better to have lost.... but with a year of perfect happiness, and then no recollection of it - there is no down side to it! With a little luck, all the other memories that I am dragging around with me will disapear too. Now, THAT would be a bonus.... and hell, if I could manage to get rid of them, I'd give up the year of perfect happiness. Give it to someone else who needs it more than me!

As for the follow up..... gotta go with the experience itself. Memories are never as good as the real thing, and we tend to alter the memories over time anyway to fit our desires.

At Friday, September 10, 2004 9:30:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Waterhouse said...

I tried to post earlier--failed. All the wise words are taken, so I'm left with the asshole college professor approach.

Anticipation and "remembrance of things past" are what make us human. Sunsets are fantastic. Noticing a sunset is amazing. Carrying it with you into the dark--amazing.

Even a guys with a quasi-depressing blog has about a thousand moments frozen in time and any time I want, I can remember them and smile. Laugh. Cry for the shear joy of recognition.

So, well, I'll skip the immemorable bliss.

But thank you for the question. My high schoolers will be answering it Monday.


At Saturday, September 11, 2004 12:01:00 PM, Blogger dangerouspenguin said...

I'm pretty happy already. I can't actually picture a life that I would enjoy much more than I enjoy mine. Maybe a little less time at work and a little more recreational reading would be nice, but otherwise I've got it just about as good as it gets, I think. So no, I wouldn't.

At Saturday, September 11, 2004 4:05:00 PM, Blogger Marcus said...

I would jump at the chance. Seems to me that if I remembered it afterwards life would just seem so very dull and boring in comparison. So I would be much more likely to go for it knowing I wouldn't remember than if I thought that I might.

At Sunday, September 12, 2004 1:11:00 PM, Blogger English said...

To me there's not much point in having the experiences unless you have the memories to cherish afterwards. Memories are what make you smile when they pop in to your head on some random Thursday afternoon...

At Sunday, September 12, 2004 2:14:00 PM, Blogger Algor Langeaux said...

commented here:



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