Photo: Dmitry Zhuravlev, digital collage, untitled, 100×65 cm, print on canvas, 2020 / Facebook Sil-Sol
Memory fixes in the mind and body the whole experience of a person’s life. We can say that a person is to some extent a collection of fragments of memory. That is, a person is what he remembers, what he entered and absorbed into himself. He identifies with certain life experiences, people and values. It does not exist outside of this context. What a person has not absorbed, not lived, not felt on a conscious and, to a greater extent, subconscious level, is not him.
Thus, in part, memory is also a limiter to the possible variations in behavior, sensations, and thoughts. Memory is the basis of self-identification. It is important to note that here memory also means everything that a person lived, felt, but did not realize at the same time (for example, his infantile or childhood experience).
Memory is the basis for future decisions and their variability. Imagination is something over which God himself has no control. It can do everything. And indeed, the imagination drives the development of mankind, opens the way in space and inside a person. And it can destroy us.
Imagination is the creative power of God. Thanks to it, man flew into space, created the most ingenious masterpieces of art and architecture. Memory and imagination seem to oppose each other. Memory limits, imagination expands.
Can the imagination turn on without a basic set of images, knowledge? No. Discoveries are made on the basis of existing knowledge, even if they contradict the original data. Thus, memory is not only a limiter for variability, but also a foundation for turning on the imagination.
The law of dialectics, the unity and struggle of opposites, works.
So in what cases does memory serve as a limiter, and in what cases is it the foundation for creating a new one? If memory fragments are associated with emotions, especially the emotions of fear, then the law of self-preservation is triggered. Don’t go – it will kill you! Bad, dangerous, painful things are remembered three times longer than good and kind things. This is how the human psyche works.
That is, memory + fear = limitation.
By the way, imagination works great in both directions. It can create something new and useful, and subject to fears, it breeds and multiplies them in all possible ways.
Memory + joy can also serve as limiters, as they stimulate the repetition of pleasure – the so-called dopamine loop.
Imagination is a dangerous tool. They need to be used carefully. And memory is your best friend. That is, taking into account experience, trial and error, and most importantly, not forgetting the basic values of humanity, it helps to direct your imagination to those areas that serve the good.
And here another, no less important ethical question arises, which immediately rehabilitates memory. Already many times the human genius has destroyed itself and everyone around – nature, animals … That is, the imagination has no morals and ethics. It is either developed or not.
But the vector of its orientation depends personally on the person and the society that raised him. Maybe not in vain in the Middle Ages, the church had a monopoly on knowledge. Ethics! The first and most basic is the ethical side of the issue, ethical, universal values. They are the main ones.