Can Knowledge of the Material Mind Spell an End to the Magic of Living?

Last night my family and I had dinner with some good friends at a local restaurant, but by the end of the evening, we had converted the place into a nightclub.  That’s because our kids, all of them 4 or under, decided to spontaneously section off an unused plot of the dining room as their own personal dance floor.  The show lasted half an hour, with my boys pulling off some sick break-dance moves, while my friends’ daughter rocked the joint by using the area for a mosh-pit.

It was the peak of hilarity, and I assure you that there’s not one bit of artistic license at play in the telling of it.  I’m quite sure that the throngs of patrons and waiters who were obviously charmed by the impromptu performance would tell you the very same thing.  The spectacle was so joyously sweet that at one point my friend and I turned to each other and noted that in our entire lives, we’d never forget this moment.

But how are we so blessed with the power of mind, and specifically of memory?  Without it we’d have no context for anything, no ability to inter-compare experiences.  Without memories we’d lack more than an ability to recollect fond moments in restaurants, but also the very sensation of sentience.  If who we are is at least partly defined by the sum or our experiences, then our memories must make up a large part of what many would call our souls.

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