Monday, December 24, 2007

How I Perceive My World


From early on I valued the gift of memory above all others. I understood that as we grow older we carry a whole nation around inside of us, places and ways that have disappeared, believing that they are ours, that we alone hold the torch for our past, that we are as impenetrable as stone. Memory still seems a gift to me and I hold tight to those few things that are forever gone and always a part of me, while the new life, the changing view streams by.

Recently I had a vision. Memories as far back as my earliest forgotten childhood, yes, even as far back as my pre-existence at earlier stages of evolution, thronged past me. But these memories that seemed to repeat every secret of my life to me did not stop with the past and the present. They went beyond it, mirroring the future, tore me away from the present into new forms of life whose images shone blindingly clear -- not one could I clearly remember later on.

I seem to apprehend the background of the physical world rather than its surface. The decisive thing for me is not the reality of the objective world, but the reality of the subjective factor -- the world within myself -- of the primordial images which, in their totality, constitute a psychic mirror-world. It is a mirror with the peculiar faculty of reflecting the existing contents of consciousness not in their known and customary form but, as it were, sub specie aeternitatis, somewhat as a million-year-old consciousness might see them. Such a consciousness would see the becoming and passing away of things simultaneously with their momentary existence in the present, and not only that, it would also see what was before their becoming and will be after their passing from this world.

Naturally this is only a figure of speech, but one that I needed in order to illustrate in some way the peculiar way in which I perceive, or sense, the world within myself as well as the world "out there." It is as if an image is transmitted to me which does not so much reproduce the external object as spread over it the patina of age-old subjective experience and the shimmer of events still unborn. The bare sense impression develops in depth, reaching into the past and future, which is probably the case for all introverts like me. While for extraverts sensation seizes on the momentary existence of things open to the light of day.

Mine is a murky netherworld of sensations and images, stripped of temporality. Sensations, images, and feelings for me exist beyond time, and seem to emanate from the past, present, and future simultaneously and indiscriminately.

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