The Shadowlit Realms
Momento Mori - Labyrinth of the Mind-
Labyrinth of the Mind

Momento Mori

Posted in Philosophy
There is this TV show called Bones about this woman who is I believe an anthropologist and she specializes in as the name suggests studying bones and so she works of the police to help them solver cases via studying the bones of dead bodies found. And my mom would always tell me how much like Bones (which is her neck name on the show) I am because she is really very socially dysfunctional. She does not really know how to interact with other people or to relate or emphasize with others. She is not good at expressing her own emotions, and finds the emotions of others confusing and because she is so detached from other people, she has this very frank approach. She does not understand why anyone should be offended by the plain and simple truth because she is very fact based and scientific about everything and so most things she views in purely rational and logical terms. 

Basically she views the rest of society through the same lens as one might watch animals in the wild or study a primitive tribe. She puts herself in the position of being this sort of outside observer, she does not really interact with society but watches it from a distance, as if they are subjects of study. 

So though I myself am not given so much to the inclination towards logic. I do not in most cases consider myself to be by nature a rational person and I am not inclined towards the scientific approach of things, I am much more of the mystic, yet, in many ways the more I think about it, the more I realize how much I really am like this character.  

My dad was telling me about this story he read in which it is becoming a trend now, when somebody dies, their friends of family members will turn the facebook page of the deceased into a memorial of sorts and my first initial reaction to this was from a purely observational stand point. You know that old quote the more things change the more they stay the same? 

Well my first thoughts to hearing of this was reflecting on the way in which it seemed so reminiscent of the memento mori's from the 1800's, and how at that time in photography was a rather new technology, and thus people did not have the albums of photographs, and videos, and what not as a way of preserving memories that we have today, back than when a person died a photograph would be taken of the dead body as a remembrance of that person. They also would use the hair of the deceased and weave it into jewelry, or use it to make little portraits and such things of the like as token's of remembrance for the individual. 

And prior to that in some cultures would make death masks, in which a plaster case would be taken of the face of the deceased to capture and preserve their likeness. So this whole thing with the facebook thing really is to me, using new technology for very age old and primitive practices. It really is interesting how at the base roots, people themselves do not truly change, the environment around them changes, and their outlets of expression change, but the subconscious mind still holds these collective memories of our past history, or the baseness of our nature. While we have conveniently been able to put a greater distances between ourselves and death and do not live in such close quarters with its ever looming presence, the way in which we approach it, our relation to the dead, and our perceptions of it, they have not altered much over the 100s of years which have passed. We still unknowingly, and unconsciously fall into these rituals which if we were look to back upon we probably would see as being morbid, macabre, and primitive, yet still we take the mediums available to us today and continue to act these things out unaware of how closely we are following in the foot steps of our predecessors and how little we ourselves have evolved, even if we have evolved the world around us. 

Some people may find this idea disheartening, while others may choose to continue to live in denial about it, but I find there is a sort of comfort in this ever presence of our primitiveness, and that nothing we do can ever completely eradicate it.
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12:18 PM - 2/9/2011

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