Ethereal Shitstain of the Spotless Mind

Technology booms and blooms like an inflatable flower, but we’re still not at a stage where our brains can be as manageable as hard drives.

Scientists have developed ‘beta-blockers’ which work by preventing your brain from ‘re-building’, thereby strengthening, bad memories every time you think them. Good shit for phobias and peeps with post-traumatic stress, but what about the everyday Joe with (arguably less serious) mental hang-ups? Would this kind approach be recommended?

Scared to let go, scared to hold on; scared to forget, scared to remember.

I’d need an extra couple of hands to count the people I know with a situation that falls into this category; this shit is common. You go through an emotionally taxing experience, and whilst you can whittle time away and distract yourself with countless activities there is always the threat of a memory-relapse. It always comes back to hit you and, because you’re ‘re-building’, its always much worse than the time before. Its tough! But its human. Thats the problem. If we were to go erasing bad memories would we be cheating?
We would lose the link that connects our lives with who we are. We are the result of everything we have ever seen, heard, done and not done, so erasing specific nuggets would either leave us with unexplainable facets of our personality, or completely remove those characteristics. Scary.

Then again, is this such a bad thing? If there is something in your head that starts to take over, that starts to eat away into everyday life, surely your ‘personality’ is only being eroded by that? If I were to remove every humiliating experience in my life, sure, that would be dumb. I’d walk around like Captain Planet and probably end up dropping my shorts in the queue for a sandwich; I’d have no concept of humiliation. But what about simply removing the emotional attachment to specific memories?
I would never want to forget any aspect of my life, but I wonder whether changing the way I thought about some of them would make me a better person…?

My head says no, my heart screams yes.

Honestly? If you told me I could escape prolonged mental anguish over specific and inescapable aspects of my past/present? If you timed it right, I would go down that rabbit hole. And that’s my heart, desperate to sidestep the furore of repetition, the agony of heartache. But my head is well aware of the stupidity of such a manoeuvre, well aware of the value within these buckets of torture. For it is the ability to synthesize all experiences, all love, pain, anguish, joy, hope, fear, gain and loss, it is the ability to take all these things and turn them into the foundations for something wonderful. That wonder is simply ‘the next’.

It is not erasing memories that most people should be after, but the hardwired link between head and heart. It is this which can be the ruin of man. In order to separate this connection at will we’d need…well, I’m not sure there is anything we can do; its just what makes us ‘us’. And beta-blockers? Again, if there is something really awful in your life then maybe they can help, but if that ‘awful’ thing can really be seen (from a 3rd person perspective) as something regular, then endurance and acceptance, time and a pair of bollocks are your best tools. In essence, it is the creation of our own beta-blockers that is the real human test. We need to be able to push through any pain and emerge, scathed but intact. It was Churchill who said “If you are going through hell, keep going”.

The cavernous enclaves of the human mind are way too complex and winding; if we began blocking up passages or knocking down walls, I fear we’d either release the Minotaur or destroy our path of golden thread. I’ll take my difficulties as they come, and allow them to take their course; no cheating. Whilst I may occasionally drop off the mental map, I’ll trust in myself that its all for the best.


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