« Which way to Memory Lane? | Main | More from the Random Thought Generator.... »


six-pack philosophy

by mg at 12:43 PM on May 30, 2002

Iím in the midst of watching Waking Life. This is my third attempt at the movie; I feel asleep the first two times, both within the first 15 minutes. Iím about 45 minutes into it now, but I had to take this break, so this third isnít going, but not great.

Sure, the movie is visually stunning. If this were a 4-minute Radiohead video, Iíd be creaming my shorts. Instead, it is a 2-hour crackpot philosophy lesson. Still, the Ethan Hawke vignette, about reincarnation, recycled souls and collective unconscious got me thinking about something.

If you believe in such a thing as collective unconsciousness exists, that is, a memory shared by all humans and passed on from generation to generation within our very genetic makeup, what role do women play?

Theoretically, women would have no roll in shaping this collective unconsciousness. If this memory is passed via DNA, the memories a women collects during her lifetime are not passed on to her offspring because when a female is born, she already carries all the eggs she will ever produce. Males, on the other hand, constantly produce little swimmers.

Since women already have all their eggs at their birth, what effects them throughout their lives does not change their genetic makeup. Of course, someone will likely say that a maleís genetic makeup doesnít change over their lifespan either, but the simple truth is that spermies I produce at age 30 would unconsciously possess all my life experiences to that point, since they are produced after Iíve lived those experiences.

Therefore, a zygote would contain the collective experiences of the father at the age of the sperm creation, and the collective experiences of the mother at the age of egg creation Ė which happened before she was even born.

Philosophically, this would imply women have no hand in shaping the collective, unconscious knowledge of humanity. Discuss.

comments (12)

You would seem to have found a good argument against genetic memory. However, if collective unconsciousness is a result of our individual participation in a larger, ongoing oversoul, then women and men can and do participate equally.

by Muad'Dib at May 30, 2002 1:01 PM

Is this the same movie as "Before Sunrise" with Julie Delphy? cause the ethan Hawke thing is from that movie... must check IMDB... nope different movie...

by rannie at May 30, 2002 3:33 PM

I saw the movie at a free preview showing, and about half of the audience walked out before the end. I made it through, but every minute felt like torture. Amazingly though, I keep recalling parts of the film that I found interesting. Like many things in life, the memory is better than the actual experience.

As to your theory, I would agree with the "Dune" character's comments. A collective consciousness ('un' or otherwise) would have to be something to which we would all be continually attached. I actually experienced it while performing a salvia ritual. At least, it seemed like I did.

There's the rub, as reality, and therefore any philosophy or attempt to define it, are totally subjective. I'm part of a collective consciousness that includes all matter (and not just people or living things) in my version of "reality". You are evidently part of a boy's club.

by wKen at May 30, 2002 3:55 PM

It helps if you mute the movie and play Pink Floyd.

by MrBlank at May 30, 2002 5:57 PM

Or sneak in with a thigh flask full of whiskey.

by Shar at May 30, 2002 6:04 PM

what about epigenetic effects such as dna imprinting? no reason why that cant be done after egg formation (and in fact, prolly is); although you wouldnt think it would have the same informational capacity as actual memory->dna storage.

by flibble at May 30, 2002 7:00 PM

Reality is not subjective. Perception of it may well be (in fact, it necessarily is sometimes) but reality itself will roll right over us whether we acknowledge its objective, indifferent existence or not.

by Muad'Dib at May 31, 2002 2:26 PM

Gee you make we woman sound so much like "JUST THE HOST" rather than the actual producer. Aye! But Dodd is right, eventhough our eggs are produced at time of birth we can still produce collective memory when they are produced. But then that is only if you believe in the collective theory, which I find hard to believe in though I have studied a bit. I think what they are saying IS collective memeory/unconsiousness is in reality versions of stories told to us at one point in our lives in which we detain and pass on to our offspring. I am just not sold completely on the whole collective memory thing.

Very good thought provoking post, I respect that.

by Pristine at June 4, 2002 12:30 AM

Well, I don't actually buy the collective unconcious thing either, or at least not something passed on genetically. I was just speculating.

As for genetic memory, I think it is less about remebering stories from out past than about how we react to certain things in life. For example, how come a guy knows getting hit in the groin is going to hurt, even if he has never been hit there himself? How do we know fire is hot (and red) and ice is cold (and blue), or that flowers are pretty? How do we know what it feels like to fall in love? When we talk about animals it is easy to explain otherwise strange actions (migration) based on instinct, but talking about complex emotions, like love, instinct isn't a satisfactory explanation.

by mg at June 4, 2002 12:41 AM

great site on salvia: salvia

by salvia at September 4, 2003 1:04 AM

here's a great place to Salvia Effects

by salvia effects at October 22, 2003 2:38 AM

wazzup'bout women who inspire men?

by hehehe at October 24, 2003 12:34 PM

comments are closed