The journey within oneself

While I have previously discussed how we must be able to adapt to changes in our environment and situation, another we must be ready for is how we ourselves change.

As we grow through life, and we accumulate new experiences, they form the framework by which we perceive the world around us.  We are not the newborn baby that stares with wonder as she sees the world anew.  Nor are we the six-year-old, watching in fascination as water droplets roll down the window.  It is the day to day living that combine together to give us our experiential perception.

Simply put, there are two types of memories in the human brain.  The first is episodic memory, where we remember a specific event, action or place and we can readily identify it.  The other is semantic memory.  We don’t remember how we learned something, as it has no event to which it can be attached, but somehow it is still in our mind.

Our brain is a combination of these two discrete types of memory.  These are the combination of all of our experiences.  Clearly, this is not static.  Even semantic memory shifts over time; for example, our political views may alter.  We don’t specifically remember it changing, but small episodic events shift our perception and therefore change how we view the world.

So our life is a journey of change, of perception and of learning.  The years pass by, but we do not remain unchanged.  Indeed, if we did not change and grow, we would still be but that newborn child.

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” – C. S. Lewis

Life is for living.


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