Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mechanisms of Impression

You read, and then you forget what you read. You watch, and then you forget what you watched. A few tiny fragments stay with you, but on the whole whatever media you consume will soon be lost. The effect is greater for some than for others, but as a rule it is difficult to carry our impressions with us for very long where we can consciously recover them.

That is, so long as we our relying on our natural memory forming processes.

Memories are strengthened through repeated access. Unless you have use for the memory, the memory is likely to atrophy. However, the things that are useful are rarely the things we wish to live for or wish to carry with us. What we tend to want to fill our minds with are the aesthetic, which is typically quite useless.

One must find a way to make the aesthetic useful, which usually means becoming an artist oneself. In this way we see that fully appreciating the aesthetic also means developing the ability to create. For one remembers more and more of the details and structures of other works when one is actively working with ones own details and structures which can find inspiration and challenge from without.

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