Where there are memories, there is a person. Where there are no memories, there is no person. Perhaps because most of life is unremembered, memories are described as precious and irreplaceable. We escape burning buildings clutching old photographs, artifactual evidence that we exist. There are numberless black and white images in circulation, floating around in flea markets and other places, even lying on the ground. We look at them, faded and curled, and wonder: Who are those people? According to every cultural convention, a person is a bundle of particulars, a medley of distinguishing characteristics which, if we are among the blessed, will be curated at some later date for an obituary. Now tell me, is this beginning to feel like a rabbit hole? What if we are not persons at all? What if we are nobody in particular?
My name is a small, battered valise. I carry my attachments in it.
The present moment imparts a sense of realness and actuality. Past and future, not so much.
If I am buffeted by fear, it’s not because of some condition or circumstance. It’s because I’m ignorant. I think I’m a chihuahua. The obstacles to self-knowing are past and future. We are timeless, you and I. Unidentified and unattached. Our GPS is the tip of the spear.
Knowledge is artifactual, stored up, mnemonic. Knowing is immediate, unpremeditated and explosive. The most difficult clients to work with are intellectuals.