August 17, 2009

Forgetfulness: Gwyneth Paltrow's Lost Goop Newsletter

From the hidden archives in the Be section of

When I was living in Spain I had a maid that was very forgetful. One day we took a trip to Lisbon, I had told her to make sure that the marble on the parapet was polished. I had specifically told her to use the 1000 grit sand paper (that Zen Master Dennis Genpo Merzel had taught me to use on Italian marble)and even showed her the supply that I kept in the storage yurt.

That evening when we returned from our trip I found the casa a mess and my maid had fallen off the parapet and was too forgetful to call for help. We called an ambulance (or an ambulancia as they call them in Spain) and was rushed to the hospital. She didn't recover.

I was reminded of this incident today when I couldn't find the keys to my smart car and thought that this would make a good introduction to my real question What is memory? Why do we become forgetful? And, how can we have a better memory? Below the sages weigh in...



Fogetfulness is sometimes defined, by webster in the 1828 edition as: "The quality of losing the remembrance or recollection of a thing; or rather, the quality of being apt to let any thing slip from the mind." How do we come about to the state of bein that we would have the quality of losing the rememberance of a thing?

Zen Master Johnathan Schiffmiller replies:
Well Gwyneth, forgetfulness is not always a bad thing. On the path to enlightenment one must forget or let go of the want and pain that material posetions can bring about in us. Your own need for remembering may be the material world around you drawing you off the road to nirvana.

(Don't include this part Gwyn, but are we still on for your meditation session next Friday? It's just that I have a retreat coming up and...well give me a call. One more thing, I wouldn't go with the name, 'Goop' for your blog, it's one letter away from a racial slur.)

Neuro-Scientist Maruice Applebaum says:
Your just getting older Gwyn, that's what happens when you get old, your neurons don't charge up and shoot around as well as they used to when you were younger. Hell, it happened to Einstein, and he was one of the smartest guys out there.

No one else would respond to my question. If you have anything to say, and you are a sage, just leave a comment.

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