A slim tree wrapped around a larger one recalls to me the Wedded Rocks, of Japan. Arriving in a drizzle, I'm seated outside a coffeehouse, beneath pastel arches faced with tiles with Matissean motifs.

The last year of my father's life we walked this street, his mind clouded with memories in terms of the relations among multiple items and events. Thus the nature of declarative representation is fundamentally relational, and can be envisioned as a multidimensional network of memories--a memory ‘space’—entailing a highly interconnected Alzheimer's Disease, his hand gripping mine like a child who has lost his way. Those blocked passageways—

physical
in one place
accessing
another.

Every year on the anniversary of Father's death, Mother lit a candle. This year the parahippocampal areas are bidirectionally connected with the neocortical areas that provide the predominant sensory input to the hippocampus and amygdala. Thus, while we too often think of this large cortical area as simply an intermediary between the neocortex and other hippocampal system structures, it must be stressed that the world into which these Oriental theosophers probed is perfectly real. Its reality is more irrefutable and more coherent than that of the empirical world, where reality is perceived by the senses. Upon returning the beholders of this world are perfectly aware of having been 'elsewhere', they are not mere schizophrenics. This world is hidden behind the very act of sense perception and the parahippocampal cortex may be able to support some aspects of declarative memory without the hippocampus (or amygdala) proper, it's an electric bulb.

One can understand the danger of fire to the blind. But a dependable flow of electrons is no substitute for a frail flame, senescence being an aggregate of sacredness.

 

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