Belief in Reincarnation Tied to Memory Errors

In summary: I forget the details. Anyway, the worms were conditioned to avoidance of a certain color. After a while, the researchers introduced a new worm to the group and the old worms went crazy, attacking and eating the new worm. It turned out that the old worms had "remembered" the experience of being scared of the new color and had reacted accordingly. This experiment showed that memories can be stored in the cells of the body, even if the cells are not directly connected to the brain.In summary, past-life believers were almost twice as likely to misidentify names from the earlier list than control subjects. This suggests that they have difficulty recognizing where a memory came from.
  • #1

Ivan Seeking

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... Subjects were asked to read aloud a list of 40 non-famous names, and then, after a two-hour wait, told that they were going to see a list consisting of three types of names: non-famous names they had already seen (from the earlier list), famous names, and names of non-famous people that they had not previously seen. Their task was to identify which names were famous.

The researchers found that, compared to control subjects who dismissed the idea of reincarnation, past-life believers were almost twice as likely to misidentify names. In particular, their tendency was to wrongly identify as famous the non-famous names they had seen in the first task. This kind of error, called a source-monitoring error, indicates that a person has difficulty recognizing where a memory came from. [continued]
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/070406_past_lives.html

I once agreed to try regressive hypnosis for a local author and hypnotist. It sounded interesting and it was free.

I visualized and recanted four or five "past lives" thoughout the session. Although the images were often vivid, and though a genuine emotional connection was often felt, I was left with the distinct feeling that my mind was grasping for a story when prompted to produce one. On some levels it all seemed very real, but I was also aware that a part of my mind was rejecting the idea that these were memories, and instead was telling me that these were involuntarily constructed memories in response to the promting of the hypnotist. When he would ask, "what do you see now", I felt compelled to produce an answer that I did not have. So in this way it did not seem real. But then I would begin to see images that immediately fell into a storyline, and as soon as these were conveyed to the author, they seemed more like genuine memories. So, while I walked away not believing that I had experienced anything supernormal or genuine, I can see where others might easily be fooled. I should also add that there was one event visualized that was very moving and difficult to shake. To this day [~fifteen years later], in spite of everything that I have said here, that particular memory seems real.
 
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  • #2
Ivan Seeking said:
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/070406_past_lives.html

I should also add that there was one event visualized that was very moving and difficult to shake. To this day [~fifteen years later], in spite of everything that I have said here, that particular memory seems real.


Ivan,

There are several important questions here.
1. What is the human memory?
2. What is consciousness?
3. Is there a kind of conservation of energy involved?

From a Buddhist point of view I believe reincarnation exists, already just as a kind of conservation of energy or matter transformed in specific energies.

If Loop Quantum Gravity physicists accept i.e. braids in spacetime, then that means that specific combinations of spacetime are made in the deepest levels.
If these (sundance?) braids can be woven then they have integrity. So these braids MUST be insulated from the other, and MUST have a kind of boundary or be a boundary.
Braids and the woven lattice can be specific "memories" .
Why would such braids only be related to matter and not to spiritual interactions?

On my website you can find how I explain reincarnation with holons (coupled spacetime).

Dirk
 
  • #3
Twice as likely?! That's crazy..
 
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  • #4
Thrice said:
Twice as likely?! That's crazy..

?

Please explain.
Are you alluding on some quantum superposition, or other magic stuff?
:shy:
 
  • #5
pelastration said:
Ivan,

There are several important questions here.
1. What is the human memory?
2. What is consciousness?
3. Is there a kind of conservation of energy involved?

From a Buddhist point of view I believe reincarnation exists, already just as a kind of conservation of energy or matter transformed in specific energies.

If Loop Quantum Gravity physicists accept i.e. braids in spacetime, then that means that specific combinations of spacetime are made in the deepest levels.
If these (sundance?) braids can be woven then they have integrity. So these braids MUST be insulated from the other, and MUST have a kind of boundary or be a boundary.
Braids and the woven lattice can be specific "memories" .
Why would such braids only be related to matter and not to spiritual interactions?

On my website you can find how I explain reincarnation with holons (coupled spacetime).

Dirk

Then there is always the "genetic memory" explanation for "reincarnation"

Now that brings us to cellular memory, another angle. Some people say thatmemory is not just contained in the *brain*, but in every cell in the body. So the stomach "remembers", the lungs "remember", etc. It is true that massage can trigger past-life memories around events that affected that particular part of the body in the past life. But, of course, this doesn't
prove cellular memory.

And proof was offered in the form of observing worm behavior

Years ago I remember reading about a study in psychology class, where they taught some kind of worm to "run" a simple maze. Then they ground up the trained worms and fed them to untrained worms--you guessed it, the untrained worms fed on ground up trained worms, ran the maze better than untrained worms fed a regular diet.

So *some* kind of memory apparently can be transmitted biologically, at least in worms.

But I don't think this memory can be genetic because that is all digested.

http://www.bio.net/bionet/mm/neur-sci/2002-February/047901.html

Its possible the idea of reincarnation is a mythological and vestigial remnant of an earlier and broader understanding of geneology or of genetic engineering.
 
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  • #6
That "worm experiment" result was likely a false positive. From what I recall, other researchers tried to reproduce the results, but were unsuccessful.
 
  • #7
Worms seem to be very popular. :tongue2:

Here is another one:

Amrit Sorli, A New Understanding of Time and Gravitation in Physics

In The Model of The Dynamic Equilibrium the gravitational field functions as the carrier of the cosmic consciousness and is simultaneously connected to the activities of living organisms and evolution in general. All information about the development of the evolution are in the cosmic gravitational field. The idea is similar to David Bohm`s idea about The Implicate Order of The Universe and non-mechanistic biologist`s idea about The Morphogenetic field. The relation gravitation - cosmic consciousness leads to idea, that maybe the density of the gravitational field is higher around living organisms than around the same dead ones. This implies that the weight of living organisms is higher than the weight of the same dead ones.
Fg live = Fg dead + D Fg
*
The results of the performed experiments have shown that there is a difference between the weight of living and the weight of dead California worms. Might be also that at the dead some unknown energy(matter) is living the body, that the theoretically predicted dark matter functions as the morphogenetic field.

and:

Amrit Sorli, A New Understanding of Time and Gravitation in Physics Preliminary experiments have been carried out in the Microbiology Laboratory, Biotechnica Faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia in June 1987. Measurements have been performed on a Mettler Zurich M5 scales, accuracy 2 micrograms (2x10E-6g), maximum load 20 grams. The experiment was later repeated at the Physical Chemistry Laboratory, Faculty for Natural Science and Technology, Ljubljana (August, September 1988). Two Mettler Zurich scales, type H20T, accuracy 20 micrograms (2x10E-5g), maximum load 160 grams were used in the measurements. Identical results have been obtained.

The experiment involved putting 70 grams of live California worms and one small test-tube, filled with 0.25 ml of 36% water solution of formaldehyde into the experimental test-tube. The control test-tube contained 70 ml of distilled water and a small test-tube with formaldehyde. Both test tubes were welded, wiped clean with 70% ethanol, and put into the weighing chamber of the balance. Approximately one hour was allowed for acclimatization. Later both test-tubes were measured three times at intervals of five minutes. Then the test-tubes were turned upside down to spill the solution of formaldehyde and again measured seven times at intervals of fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes after poisoning, the weight diminished on the average by 93.6 micrograms. The entire experiment was repeated twelve times. The standard deviation amounted to 16 micrograms. The pressure in both test-tubes was one atmosphere for the entire duration of the experiment, the temperature in both test-tubes was the same. Neither the pressure nor the temperature could have therefore been the cause for the difference in the weight.
 
  • #8
Hey Pelastration, long time no see. :biggrin: Since you visited last things have changed. We need to stay away from theories and stick to any evidence that might exist. Any theories meeting the specified criteria are posted in the Independent Research forum.
 
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  • #9
Evo, you delete your post?
Why?
 
  • #10
Ivan Seeking said:
Hey Pelestration, long time no see. :biggrin: Since you visited last things have changed. We need to stay away from theories and stick to any evidence that might exist. Any theories meeting the specified criteria are posted in the Independent Research forum.

Ivan,

I am very carfull not to post here my theory!
Some moderators would love to ban me. I know. :smile:

Strange however that some guys - phd's - with absolute crazy ideas, like a mathematical universe, are given space in awe. :rofl:

Oh, I loved PF in the old days! That was a liberal way of communications. Since Bush people took over ... we are in a different world. :devil:
 
  • #11
Ivan Seeking said:
Hey Pelastration, long time no see. :biggrin: Since you visited last things have changed. We need to stay away from theories and stick to any evidence that might exist. Any theories meeting the specified criteria are posted in the Independent Research forum.

And Ivan,

if we are in the "Scepticism and debunking" area, can't we give pro's and cont's? And motivate them! o:) Like in the US senate.
 
  • #12
Math Is Hard said:
That "worm experiment" result was likely a false positive. From what I recall, other researchers tried to reproduce the results, but were unsuccessful.
You remember correctly. Thanks to t_e for remembering this also.

"Reconstructing the history of worm-running (McConnell ran a journal called the Worm Runner's Digest for a while!) can be a bit tricky. It was very controversial so textbooks (other than those written by worm runners themselves) tend to just ignore it. Most accounts written at the time are highly polarised, either uncritical or completely dismissive. As a topic it is almost entirely ignored in modern textbooks, probably because nearly all the results were misinterpreted at the time. It is, however, salutary to see how these misinterpretations occurred. It should cause healthy skepticism of more modern claims made about memory which might fall into the same pitfalls (inappropriate memory test, inappropriate interpretation of manipulations etc.). "

http://www.dur.ac.uk/robert.kentridge/bpp2mem1.html
 
  • #13
pelastration said:
And Ivan,

if we are in the "Scepticism and debunking" area, can't we give pro's and cont's? And motivate them! o:) Like in the US senate.

:biggrin: The problem is that there is no way to separate potentially valid theories from nonsense. One would have to be an expert at everything! And to allow any theories means that we allow many bad theories that only discredit the forum and the reliable information and evidence that gets lost in the clutter. So, since evidence is all that matters to scientists, I decided to limit the forum to evidence only - scientific and anecdotal evidence are both acceptable. The Independent Research Forum is intended to provide an avenue for inspired thinkers to share their ideas under reasonable guildelines. Speculation is allowed in this forum but only to the extent that it draws upon accepted [mainstream] scientific principles and laws.
 
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  • #14
The new posting guidelines are posted here
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5929
 
  • #15
pelastration said:
Evo, you delete your post?
Why?
I was trying to edit and it double posted. My post is above.
 
  • #16
Ivan Seeking said:
:biggrin: The problem is that there is no way to separate potentially valid theories from nonsense. One would have to be an expert at everything! And to allow any theories means that we allow many bad theories that only discredit the forum and the reliable information and evidence that gets lost in the clutter. So, since evidence is all that matters to scientists, I decided to limit the forum to evidence only - scientific and anecdotal evidence are both acceptable. The Independent Research Forum is intended to provide an avenue for inspired thinkers to share their ideas under reasonable guildelines. Speculation is allowed in this forum but only to the extent that it draws upon accepted [mainstream] scientific principles and laws.

:cool:

Jesus! Is this reincarnation or déja-vu? I should also add that this is very moving and difficult to shake. To this day, in spite of everything that I have said here, your post activates particular memories. It must be an experience I had heard during mainstream discussions about how many hairs (strings) angels have on their head! Was it in 1560 AC or 1570? Ivan we are in 2007! :devil:

BTW can you point out where I was supposed to go out of the guidelines? Was it because I was referring to the "mainstream" (speculative) LQG braids approach Smolin likes?

For your info in my email correspondence (Nov. 17, 2003) with Lubos Motl I wrote: "Btw in Oct 2002 I mailed the concept already to Greene, Smolin, etc. but never get reactions."
Lubos Motl answered: "Maybe in Lee's case, his non-answering might be a result of unjustified elitism because his theories are not that terribly different from yours. ;-) Best wishes
Lubos".
So Ivan, what is mainstream?
 
  • #17
Ivan Seeking said:
The new posting guidelines are posted here
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5929

Yes Ivan, I know. And I accepted them.o:)
 
  • #18
In The Model of The Dynamic Equilibrium the gravitational field functions as the carrier of the cosmic consciousness and is simultaneously connected to the activities of living organisms and evolution in general.

That is an example of something that is far too speculative unless you can provide papers published in a peer reviewed journal like Nature, Science, the International Journal of Theoretical Physics, etc. to back it up. AFAIK, there is no scientific evidence for a cosmic consciousness, so the theory speaks to evidence which does not exist. If there is scientific evidence for this published in a respectable journal like those mentioned above, then please feel free to post it. And of course everyone is free to share personal experiences that seem to involve the unexplained, or well documented evidence of the same.
 
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  • #19
You really can't trust your memory.

I have had a memory since I was three of being in a structure I considered a stone chapel or castle. I'm inside and there is very little light which I see coming though a small rectangle of a window above and to the right, there is so much haze inside that the sunlight is in a visible beam. There is a large picture on the wall to my left. I later realized this was a tapestry, not a picture. For years I kept remembering this image. When I was 12 I was going through a book and I swear I found a drawing of that tapestry in a book on castles. The memory of the tapestry now is nothing more than a haze.

Since I was very interested in castles and history since the age of three, it is very possible that I saw this in a book and made a more romanticized memory of it.

Oddly, I very clearly remember the first time I had this "memory". I was at the end of my parent's driveway and suddenly "remembered" being in the chapel. Even though I was only three, I knew that this wasn't right and didn't mention it to anyone. THAT I still remember quite clearly. What's funny is that I don't believe in reincarnation.

I should clarify that at three, I "read" books by looking at pictures. I could not actually read.
 
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  • #20
I have had the opposite experience as well. For as long as I can remember, I had these flashes of two blonde boys who hurt my arm when I was a toddler; not sure how young but no more than three I'd say as I can remember the relative height of the bed. From there, I recall being on a table and lying under some of equipment and a bright light. I also had flashes of doctors standing over me and talking.

Even though I only have a few mental snapshots of these scenes, they seemed distinct, so one day I asked mom and dad about. They said or implied that they had no idea what it could be. I seemed to remember that I was at my aunt and uncle's house when my arm was hurt, so I asked my aunt about it, and she also implied that she had no idea what it might be. Now this was starting to bug me. If I was hurt and was taken to the hospital when that young, someone would certainly remember this, so it was hard to understand what I might be remembering. But I stuck to my guns and continued to ask about it from time to time. I had a clear memory that to me seemed absolutely real and I just couldn't believe that I was wrong. And to me this is how most memories are. I remember dreams and daydreams, but I remember them for what they are. I am not aware of any other memories that I believed to be genuine that weren't.

Finally, only a few years ago, my aunt admitted that this did happen. As nearly as I could tell it was kept quiet because the attack on me was unprovoked and malicious- both boys were quite a bit older than me - and it created some bad feelings in the family. So in spite of the fact that I had a total of four people telling me that this never happened, I knew better.
 
  • #21
Evo said:
You remember correctly. Thanks to t_e for remembering this also.

"Reconstructing the history of worm-running (McConnell ran a journal called the Worm Runner's Digest for a while!) can be a bit tricky. It was very controversial so textbooks (other than those written by worm runners themselves) tend to just ignore it. Most accounts written at the time are highly polarised, either uncritical or completely dismissive. As a topic it is almost entirely ignored in modern textbooks, probably because nearly all the results were misinterpreted at the time. It is, however, salutary to see how these misinterpretations occurred. It should cause healthy skepticism of more modern claims made about memory which might fall into the same pitfalls (inappropriate memory test, inappropriate interpretation of manipulations etc.). "

http://www.dur.ac.uk/robert.kentridge/bpp2mem1.html

Good reference Evo. Thank you.

There are memories and there are interpretations of memories.

Are we being fed some kind of marketing bs from the Buddists? They tell us about the Dali Lama as a small child walking through the streets of a Tibetian town he had never visited yet it turns out that he knows every street and knows what's under each rock or whatever. He recognizes some of the older folks and this is all chalked up to reincarnation and his experiences during a past life. Is it total hooey like stigmatism and apparitions?
 
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  • #22
Ivan Seeking said:
I have had the opposite experience as well. For as long as I can remember, I had these flashes of two blonde boys who hurt my arm when I was a toddler; not sure how young but no more than three I'd say as I can remember the relative height of the bed. From there, I recall being on a table and lying under some of equipment and a bright light. I also had flashes of doctors standing over me and talking.

Even though I only have a few mental snapshots of these scenes, they seemed distinct, so one day I asked mom and dad about. They said or implied that they had no idea what it could be. I seemed to remember that I was at my aunt and uncle's house when my arm was hurt, so I asked my aunt about it, and she also implied that she had no idea what it might be. Now this was starting to bug me. If I was hurt and was taken to the hospital when that young, someone would certainly remember this, so it was hard to understand what I might be remembering. But I stuck to my guns and continued to ask about it from time to time. I had a clear memory that to me seemed absolutely real and I just couldn't believe that I was wrong. And to me this is how most memories are. I remember dreams and daydreams, but I remember them for what they are. I am not aware of any other memories that I believed to be genuine that weren't.

Finally, only a few years ago, my aunt admitted that this did happen. As nearly as I could tell it was kept quiet because the attack on me was unprovoked and malicious- both boys were quite a bit older than me - and it created some bad feelings in the family. So in spite of the fact that I had a total of four people telling me that this never happened, I knew better.
So they decided to make you crazy instead? I don't understand the logic in that. :bugeye:
 
  • #23
baywax said:
Are we being fed some kind of marketing bs from the Buddists? They tell us about the Dali Lama as a small child walking through the streets of a Tibetian town he had never visited yet it turns out that he knows every street and knows what's under each rock or whatever. He recognizes some of the older folks and this is all chalked up to reincarnation and his experiences during a past life. Is it total hooey like stigmatism and apparitions?
There are a lot of compelling cases for reincarnation. Dismissing reincarnation would be no different than dismissing any religious belief, so no, we can't just say it's not true, IMHO.

I choose not to believe in reincarnation because this life is bad enough, I really don't want to do it again. :grumpy: :biggrin:
 
  • #24
Evo said:
There are a lot of compelling cases for reincarnation. Dismissing reincarnation would be no different than dismissing any religious belief, so no, we can't just say it's not true, IMHO.

I choose not to believe in reincarnation because this life is bad enough, I really don't want to do it again. :grumpy: :biggrin:

Especially as a worm.

I saw 7 years in Tibet where Brad Pitt is told that a foundation for a school or a dance hall or something couldn't be built because they'd be squishing worms in the process. When he asked why the worms were so important the buddhists told him it was because the worms had actually been their mothers. Worms do seem to play a big roll in the study of reincarnation.
 
  • #25
Evo said:
So they decided to make you crazy instead? I don't understand the logic in that. :bugeye:

Oh, don't you know, the quickest path to resolving conflict is denial. :rolleyes:

Perhaps this relates to some kind of memory errors? :biggrin:
 
  • #26
transformers, more than meets the eye :tongue2:

inside joke o:)
 
  • #27
Evo said:
There are a lot of compelling cases for reincarnation. Dismissing reincarnation would be no different than dismissing any religious belief, so no, we can't just say it's not true, IMHO.

That sounds interesting, could you share any links to compelling cases from a credible source?

IMO, unlike religious beliefs, some claims to reincarnation may be testable. For instance, it would be possible to try and see how claims of "previous lives" match with actual history.
 
  • #28
Hi Evo,

Have you visit the site www.chilpastlives.com?[/URL] In the forum section many has expriences similar to what you related. Those more experience can guide you on how to differentiate past lives memories.

Many of the member do not "believe" in reincarnation too. There are there to seek answers and clarify doubts.

Torrd25
 
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  • #29
Hi siddharth,

Here is a link to Dr. Ian Stevenson from Virginia University.


http://www.researchchannel.org/prog/displayevent.aspx?rID=3638&fID=345 [Broken]

He has done extensive research about reincarnation.



Regards,
ST
 
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  • #30
here's a thought: reincarnation is a redundant concept born from a skewed human perspective: all humans [and to a lesser extent all DNA based organisms] are essentially the same entity being perpetually replicated with relatively insignificant edits to the source code via sexual reproduction- all of the differentiation between us in terms of personality/memes/memory/culture [which are in constant flux anyway]are not dissimilar enough to really distinguish one self from another- but we like to pretend that it does- and we are just stupid enough to feel like individuals

Krishamurtri said "reincarnation is a fact- but it is not true"- this is not as inscrutable as it would seem
 
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  • #31
Ok, first allow me to say I am not a physicist or physics student, I'm just really curious about this...

I google searched human memory and conservation of energy, and it directed me here...

I am a psychology student and have recently been thinking about memory in terms of conservation of energy/mass. When the body metabolizes food, it creates energy, and to create thought, you need energy- right? My question is, if that memory is not stored as long-term memory, it is discarded (forgotten). What happens to it then? Is thought a form of energy? If so, does that energy get released in another form when it is forgotten? Any thoughts? (no pun intended)
 
  • #32
maybe the memory cells digest the old memories to create new ones using the bits and if you do have a memory if you cleaned out the memory cell or cells that are holding that memory of all foreign matter built up in the cell (debris) but left the cell functioning would you still remember that thing and where are memories stored are we just sophisticated computers helping the actual living things (our cells) with help i will cite the HeLA cell as reference to this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeLa
A HeLa cell is an immortal cell line used in scientific research. The cell line was derived from cervical cancer cells taken from Henrietta Lacks, who died from her cancer on October 4, 1951. are cancer just cells in the body that are tired of helping the body and want to go do there own thing? another item i would like to cite in this claim is Social Amoebas that transform from cingular cell to multi cellular (including an immune system and digestive tract http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124203654.htm anyways are we alive really? or just a computer that our cells will one day turn off?
 
  • #33
Evo said:
There are a lot of compelling cases for reincarnation. Dismissing reincarnation would be no different than dismissing any religious belief, so no, we can't just say it's not true, IMHO.

I choose not to believe in reincarnation because this life is bad enough, I really don't want to do it again. :grumpy: :biggrin:

Yes. If consciousness is merely the product of physical matter in our brains (as most scientists think) then re-incarnation is an unlikely prospect. However, there is still the question of what unifies different conscious states into a continuous spectrum. Obviously, the physical matter in my brain is not the same as it was when I was five, but I still seem to be the same subjective "I".
If on the other hand, some form of dualism is true, and there is an independent something that our brains are projecting onto that is the true essence of "I", then re-incarnation is a possibility, although it is a long way off from even being capable of being formatted into a coherent theory. Untill we discover more about the fundamental nature of consciousness (and I am anticipating those in the Dennet camp who say there is no mystery) such things can neither be verified or falsified, although belief in such at this point does seem to violate ockham's razor.
 
  • #34
You know, I find the ideas behind the development of the mind very interesting. I don't feel any different than I did when I had my first memories. I can say that things make more sense now than they did before, but I don't actually "feel" any differently. My whims and interests change, but I don't feel that my being itself has changed. I think that I am behaving differently because of new experiences, not because my mind is any different.

My first long term memory was with my grandfather. I remember being with him at a car in a snowstorm that was filled with snow. I remember he handed me a small broom and I was sweeping snow off of the seats and off of the floor boards. I remember that I thought it was fun and I was fascinated by the really powdery snow. He was working under the hood while I was doing this and he eventually jump started the car and I remember how bright the lights were. I have other very specific memories that I did not understand until I was older. I remember him attaching a battery warmer to the battery in the car. I obviously did not know what this was or what its significance was. And I remember him attaching the jumper cables. I was really interested by this and watched him really closely.

A few years ago I found a picture of a car the reminded me of this and asked my grandfather about it. He said that it was in fact the same car, although I don't remember whether he said it was full of snow because the windows were down or because it didn't have doors. My memory seems to think it didn't have doors, but I never clarified this. He was really amazed that I remembered this, because I had just learned to walk. I was very young. I can say with fair certainty that this really was my first memory.

I don't feel that my mind was any less capable during this memory than it is know. (Maybe it was like the first boot of a new OS)
 
  • #35
VooDooX said:
anyways are we alive really? or just a computer that our cells will one day turn off?

Yes we're alive and at the mercy of our genetics/environment. A more apt metaphor would be to say that our cells are computers that our genes/environment will one day turn off.
 

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