We forget things collected mechanically by the brain and always remember events in which we are somehow emotionally wrapped. We remember striking moments of our lives, exciting moments where beauty and love are condensed.
But we also sink back especially, where we have been psychologically hurt and wounded and where fear was present.
We hold these wounds like precious jewels. It is weight that does not drop easily from our shoulders.
My friend told me a story about her daughter and her pet bunny. The little girl doted on the bunny. One day the bunny got sick and died.
The child had fits of crying and hand wringing. My friend helped her daughter bury the bunny with an elaborate funeral. A few weeks after they buried the bunny, my friend’s daughter came to her and asked if they could dig up the bunny.
The girl wanted to see it, to indulge her wound. She wanted to gaze repeatedly at her loss, turn it over and touch it, feel it, again and again. Human.
The Amygdala is the dark aspect of the brain formation that is storage of emotion and memory. It is the encoding and retention of emotional information or learning, particularly the information relating to survival. It is the brain’s muscle of memory.
Memories are different than memory. The part of the brain in which our memories reside is encrusted with all sorts of images, mostly of the past, covering our head like a veil.
When something new is dropped on to that thick layer of thoughts and remembrances, it gets more difficult to recall. Like a sponge. It absorbs the things we live most intensely, sucking them up.
There is a Zen story that tells of a Japanese master who received a university professor.
The professor came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in, the Zen Master, served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and he kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself.
“It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” the Master said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?” (Gary Zukav, The Zen Lee Masters.)
Some people let shadows of dark events stay in their minds dragging the past into the present while others chose to get rid of them and continue on with life.