Saturday, January 06, 2007

The rope of memory

"...but then the memory - not yet of the place in which I was, but of the various other places where I had lived and might now very possibly be - would come like a rope let down from heaven to draw me up out of the abyss of not-being from which I would never have escaped by myself..."

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, Vol.I, Vintage Books, New York 1982, pp5/6

"All of DNA is a twisted rope ladder let down from heaven to draw us up from the abyss of not-being. We do not lift a finger without three kinds of information: the information we are getting from our senses at that moment; the information we have gotten from our senses in the past; and the information our ancestors have acquired since life began on Earth - that is the information that is represented by genes themselves."

Jonathan Weiner, Time, Love, Memory: a great biologist and his quest for the origins of behaviour, Faber & Faber, New York 1999, p.132


Blogger Arielle said...

Amazing similarity between Proust's text (Proust,one of my favourite writers) and Jonathan Weiner's comment (he must have read Proust)! ...
But it is undeniable that there is this stong link between spiritual experiences and the world of Physics.
And memory gives you access to the spiritual world (memory of smells, tastes, textiles, photos ...).
Have you seen the film "Perfume"?

2:29 pm  
Blogger Solveigh Goett said...

Yes - Weiner quotes Proust in this context.
Mary Schoeser (author of World Textiles: A Concise History, Thames & Hudson 2003) commented in a lecture on the link between the structure of DNA and of yarn, string, rope, the spiral movement of plying, twisting, spinning, suggesting that we make in imitation of how we think (Harrogate 2005). This raises interesting questions on the nature of embodied, tacit and experiental knowledge in relation to explicit, cognitive, 'academic' knowledge.

3:20 pm  
Blogger Arielle said...

Yes, it does. And I am jumping on my chair with excitement, because the energy in Tai-Chi (I have gone back to my Tai-Chi lessons) works through the body -from the earth- in a spiral. You can really feel it. It is not an abstract concept.

The spiral is at the core of life.

3:45 pm  

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