Saturday, November 05, 2005

Memories are Made of This

The Truth is in Star Trek Voyager.

In last night's episode of Star Trek Voyager called Latent Image, the holographic doctor discovers he performed an operation on a crew member but has no memory of having performed the operation. Someone has deleted that memory from his buffer. He asks a colleague, the half-Borg, Seven of Nine, to check his system or, as they say in Star Trek, "run a self-diagnostic." The next day the doctor can't recall having the conversation with Seven of Nine. Someone has been erasing the doctor's short term memory without his permission. Seven of Nine restores some old memory files in which the doctor sees images of an ensign and an alien he has never seen before. He reports his suspicions to the ship's captain who agrees to investigate the matter.

The doctor eventually discovers the culprit who has been deleting his short term memory is no other than the captain. The doctor demands to know why. The captain assures the doctor that she's doing it for his own good. She even orders the engineers to re-write the doctor's programme. Seven of Nine manages to convince the captain to at least let the doctor know why his memories are being erased. This is why the doctor's memories were erased.

The doctor, Ensign Jetal and Harry Kim are sent on a shuttle mission. They are attacked by an alien. The doctor isn't injured as he's a hologram but his two crew mates are. The doctor tries hard to save their lives. He can't work on both patients at the same time and he's fast running out of time. If he does nothing, they're both going to die. He's asked to make a choice. The doctor chooses to work on Harry Kim first. Ensign Jetal doesn't make it. Soon the doctor starts having inner conflicts. He believes his choice was based on his friendship with Harry Kim and he feels remorse over his decision. The thoughts are going round and round in his head and affecting his work as ship's doctor. The captain makes the decision to delete the troublesome memories.

Now that the doctor has all the information, he chooses to keep the memories. It takes the doctor ages to come to terms about his decision.

Isn't the doctor's experience typical of the human condition? We love to hold on to past memories, especially bad memories. We pride ourselves that bad experiences make us stronger, all part of our evolution. We even convince ourselves that we have planned these experiences to make up for past karmas.

The human condition is like inviting someone to your party. When your friend turns up you refuse to let him in. In other words, we want something to change yet we don't want change. We say we want the end of poverty and sickness yet we like to remember wars and disasters. Someone involved in a disaster writes a bestseller about how good the experience was for him, and how much he has grown. People admire this man for his courage.

People can't relate to you when everything is good. They think you're living in cloud cuckoo land, you're not keeping it real. Keeping it real, in my humble opinion, is focusing on the One who knows nothing of human delusions. The One that is Self doesn't need to go through experiences to learn lessons or to grow, He simply is.

What if there was an opportunity to erase "troublesome" memories like the captain did with the doctor? How many of us would choose that option? Are we ready to be the Love that we are?

Are you hanging on to your memories for dear life? Make up your mind! Do you want a life of terror which will give you the opportunity to "grow spiritually" or do you want a life that is all sweetness and light?

What was my point again? I can't remember.


Related article: Living in the Eternal Now