Category Archives: Science

The Memories of Walls

When I was growing up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., my family often drove out into the countryside on Sunday afternoons. We’d pass abandoned farmhouses, sitting faded and forlorn amidst tall grass.

I lived in a modern, red-brick house on a street lined with modern, red-brick houses, but I loved those old wooden farmhouses, and I could never understand why their owners had gone away and left them to deteriorate in the sun and the wind and the rain. I would fantasize that the farmhouse walls had memory for all they’d seen and heard, and that somehow the lives that had been lived within those walls lived on in that memory. I would imagine people, conversations, dramatic scenes….

I never shared my fantasies with my parents or my sister because I knew they were just that—fantasies, driven by a mix of curiosity and escapism and somehow too personal and too ridiculous to share. I knew that walls don’t have memories any more than they have ears.

Or do they….

Maybe those farmhouse walls really did hold memories—not Hollywood-movie-like memories, perhaps, but energy memories, memories which nowadays might be termed “vibes,” good or bad or even ghostly. Continue reading

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Dethronement of the Brain

human brainAncient Egyptians didn’t think much of the brain. When they were preparing to mummify a body, they’d go in through the nose, scoop the brain out of the skull and presumably discard it. The heart, not the brain, was considered to be the body’s most important organ, the seat of one’s essence, one’s mind and emotions; when the torso was opened for removal of the other organs, the heart was left in place.

Of these other organs, the lungs, stomach, liver and intestines were preserved in special jars to be placed with the body in the tomb, or they were wrapped with linen and returned to the body cavity. The kidneys were thrown out along with the brain; apparently the Egyptians didn’t think people would need their kidneys in the afterlife any more than they’d need their brain.

OK, so they tossed the kidneys. But the brain?

What must it have been like to be an ancient Egyptian? Did they physically feel they had a little voice in their hearts, like I feel like I have a little voice in my head, a little voice that is pretty much me? Did their heads feel like dead zones? I can’t even imagine this. Despite my best efforts at bringing my body more fully into my awareness of me by practicing qigong, I still feel like my consciousness is based in my head. And my words, most certainly, are in my head.

This is interesting stuff to contemplate, and I am contemplating it because I just watched the movie “The Living Matrix,” which I learned about at a Yi Ren Qigong seminar. Continue reading

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