You are an infinitely important vessel of biological memory, which values and, thus, stores all experience.
Obviously, a fundamental characteristic of life is that it is associated with a body (perceiver). All bodies of life operate by sensing the outer environment. Antony Kepinski’s model of Information Metabolism (IM), is based on the notion that ‘life’ is in a constant informational exchange that reciprocates between the inner (within the boundary of the body) and outer environments. Therefore, we can see clearly that the natural state of ‘being embodied’ that all life is subject to, defines the ‘embodied one’ as a perceiver, who, because the fundamental function of a body is to ‘sense the outer environment’, creates a perception of the ‘outer’ by unfolding possibilities through one’s bodily senses.
This process is the construction of ‘perception’ created by the unfolding of information / possibilities from potentiality, which all life creates in the present moment. Basically, the information that is metabolised from the outer through the bodily senses are organised and integrated within the body, as memory, to maintain an inner state of ‘order’, aka homeostasis, based on goals that are controlled by two biological laws / values (Kępiński, A 2001). This is a central function of life; to create a unique perceptual experience of observed reality that is simultaneously captured as memory and thus ‘enfolded’ or ‘imprinted’ within the body of the individual perceiver. We can begin to notice how the creation of memories is deeply valued by life itself, as fundamentally, it is this underlying function of embodied life that allows it to evolve and expand into the future. Once an experience is ‘experienced’ it exists within the mind of the perceiver as a reference to aid future learning in relation to fulfilling the goals set inherently by life’s two biological values.
This functionality of memory, where life essentially uses relevant past memories in the present moment to guide attention towards environmental stimuli that is most valuable in relation upholding the biological values of life, is clearly demonstrated by the research of two insightful neuroscientists Nikolay Kukushkin and Thomas Carew. Through their research, they subsequently view the constant adaptability of memory to be understood by viewing the structure of memory not of consisting specific unique temporal domains but as a holistic, dynamic hierarchical structure of ‘time windows’ (snapshots of experience / memory), which represent discrete moments of time that are able to represent nested temporal meaningful information from past experience simultaneously that span millisecond to years in order to modify ongoing behaviour (Kukushkin & Carew, 2017). This ability to adapt behaviour in the present based on previous experiences that are deemed favourable / non-favourable in relation to fulfilling biological values has been shown to be a basic function of all life, including single celled organisms (Stockton, 2017).
The associated positive / negative experience, in relation to particular interactions with certain stimuli in one’s field of environmental awareness is the construction of emotionally imbued memories that remain ever-present and available to signal and inform the individual of similar desirable / non-desirable situations when they occur in the future based on the biological value to create ideal life experience. This is essentially how our emotional memory aids learning in all creatures. This fundamental representation of learning, through adapting present behaviours based on past memorised experiences, is purely controlled by the range of positive-negative emotions attached to the memories of the past. The implication here is that all life shares the same inward emotional memory structure shaped, of course, by the same life values.
Again, if we observe the most simple forms of life, such as microbes, which represent the creatures that would’ve first appeared as life on our planet 3.9 billion years ago, we have seen that, even though microbe’s lack a nervous system, which was once considered a prerequisite for experiencing emotions, they indeed do sense their outer environment and move with ‘intent’, propelling themselves towards desirable stimuli or repelling away from undesirable stimuli. This is well known scientific knowledge, but I think it is clear that, given the great work done by Kukushkin and Carew, this fundamental ‘life’ behaviour is produced by the ongoing construction of ‘mind’ made of nested memories or ‘time windows’ that life inevitably creates. This ‘mind of life’ we all co-create and build upon is anciently constructed of an emotional inner structure layered by memories of the individual’s own and related collective past. These past memories are organised hierarchically based on the importance certain previous experiences represent in relation to increasing the probability of fulfilling the ‘life values’ with more efficiency in the future.
This underlying process occurring in all forms of life means all ‘life experience’ is a constant process of evolution / learning, as we can see a fundamental function of one’s mind is to rank order experiences / memories based on the emotional value they present, earmarking strong emotional experiences as being of great significance in relation to upholding the value of life. These strong emotional experiences, which range between negative / threatening and positive / insightful, are stored high in the hierarchy of easily accessible significant information and, therefore, makes up the long-term memory of life. If you reflect on the most easily remembered memories of your life, you’ll notice that they’re memories that are dense with positive or negative emotional information, which is because, for deep important reasons you may or may not be fully aware of, these memories act as reminders or lessons that exist to help you build the best future-self possible. The ease of accessibility / recall of this extremely important information is part of how mind / memory biologically functions in all living organisms, in order to increase the likelihood of survival and more idealistic future experiences. Easy accessibility to valuable prior experiences that make-up one's biological long-term memory, provides a clearer perception of successful modes of behaviour based on a deeper emotional knowing of what does and does not work in relation to fulfilling the values of life.
Therefore, it is quite obvious that all memories created by all life is never lost in the collective unconscious mind of the whole structure of life. For example, your own body is clearly an embodied representation of the biological past. Personally, you are not responsible for the majority of your body's amazing ability to functionally maintain an inner state of homeostatic order, essential for allowing your body to operate as a unified whole in order to create ‘experience’. The values of life that are deeply embodied within your unconscious ‘being’ are what you can thank for simply being alive in this present moment and this functionality is completely dependent on held ‘active’ memory accumulated over over vast spans of time via the passing on of DNA from generation to generation.
The amount of unified calculations, decisions, processes, functions that must occur on various scales of cooperation to ‘keep experience going’ for a single living human body is beyond comprehension, which is completely reliant on the biological memory of what worked in the past in order to deal with the continual current fresh chaotic possibilities of the ‘outer environment’ the body interacts with in each present moment. Not only is your physical body an accumulative representation of the biological past but so are your emotions, as emotional signalling, which all organisms are subject to, is primarily controlled by the biological values of life. Life loves itself so much that it ensures no experiences / memories that it creates are ever lost, as the past, current and potential future experiences of life is clearly of infinite value to life itself.
We ‘see’ the true age of our body and the ancient memory it is ‘made of’ when we watch the development of a human embryo inside the womb. Upon fertilization, it becomes a zygote, which is a uniquely encoded single cell and relates to the fact that ‘life itself’ began as a single cell. It then proceeds to divide and multiply. As it does it goes through physiological stages of development that represent clearly how we share ancient genes with animal groups such as fish, reptiles and other mammals based on our particular journey over time as the tree of life grew. These stages of ancient biological development are also present in the developmental structure of our brain.
Our ancient biological structures are not redundant and inactive but are indeed active and integrated functionally throughout the whole system (mind / body) it is apart, which makes it very clear that the genetic history our bodies contain should be conceived as ancient yet ‘functional biological memory’, that is still active and paying attention to the present moment to ensure the body orientates itself towards the biological value of self and collective preservation and evolution. Therefore, the fact that you are essentially a perfectly organised informational juggernaut of biological experience (memory), that continually updates itself as a whole as it absorbs and internally maps the current moment’s ongoing presentation of freshly absorbed ‘time windows’, implies how life itself inherently values the creation and collection of all ‘experience’, which is never forgotten in the collective unconscious 'mind of life'. In turn, making you infinitely important to the whole structure of life.
- Kępiński, A 2001, Melancholia, Krakow: Literary Press
- Stockton, N, 2017, Your Brain Doesn't Contain Memories. It Is Memories, Viewed 25/2/22 <http:www.wired.com/story/your-brain-is-memories/amp>
-Kukushkin, NV & Carew, TJ 2017, ‘Memory Takes Time’, Neuron, July 19; 95(2): 259-279.