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Why can't we remember being born?

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posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 10:50 AM
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Shouldn't it be the most memorable day of our existence? Leaving the womb and opening our eyes to the first time to experience a strange new world and we remember nothing?

Freud called it infantile amnesia and now it is more commonly referred to as childhood amnesia. There are a number of theories when it comes to why we forget and this article does a great job of exploring them. Why do we forget?

This is Freuds' take from the article...

Freud proposed that people use it as a means of repressing traumatic, and often sexual, urgings during that time. To block those unconscious drives of the id, Freud claimed that humans create screen memories, or revised versions of events, to protect the conscious ego.


Could it be that our sick little minds were too much for us to handle so we blocked is out?

It was thought before that infants brains were not developed enough to encode memories for future access. Recent studies have proven this false.

Studies have largely refuted the long-held thinking that babies cannot encode information that forms the foundation of memories. For instance, in one experiment involving 2- and 3-month-old infants, the babies' legs were attached by a ribbon to a mobile [source: Hayne]. By kicking their legs, the babies learned that the motion caused the mobile to move. Later, placed under the same mobile without the ribbon, the infants remembered to kick their legs. When the same experiment was performed with 6-month-olds, they picked up the kicking relationship much more quickly, indicating that their encoding ability must accelerate gradually with time, instead of in one significant burst around 3 years old.


Or was it because we did not have any language skills yet and therefore no way to describe to ourselves what we were perceiving?


Our earliest memories may remain blocked from our consciousness because we had no language skills at that time. A 2004 study traced the verbal development in 27- and 39-month old boys and girls as a measure of how well they could recall a past event. The researchers found that if the children didn't know the words to describe the event when it happened, they couldn't describe it later after learning the appropriate words [source: Simcock and Hayne].


Whats even more fascinating is that some researchers are suggesting that infants have no sense of self or separateness from their external world until 16-24 months.
So that means all babies are enlightened little Buddhas' with no sense of separateness from the infinity. They are born connected to everything around them and their sense of self isn't formed until their parents start teaching them their name and they begin to recognize their bodies as separate from everything else.

This article raised many questions for me and really got me thinking. I always told my parents I could remember the wall paper and couches in our original house, which we only lived in for the first 9 months of my life. I could describe them perfectly but they always said i was crazy and I was remembering it from pictures but I have not to this day see pictures of that house.

How much of what we learn from our culture determines how we perceive reality?

Was our infant reality so vastly different from what we perceive now that words can not describe it?

Feel free to chime in!



[edit on 15-6-2009 by bringthelight]

[edit on 15-6-2009 by bringthelight]




posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by bringthelight
 


To understand knowledge you have to get your hands dirty.

For some reason I dont think I need to say anymore.




posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:08 AM
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Thanks for posting this
I was sitting in the car with one of my younger family members (8 years old) when he asked me if he was born when he was 4
I asked him what he meant and he told me that he didn't remember anything before he turned 4 years old, so did that mean that he was born when he turned 4. It really got me thinking the rest of the night about why we don't remember our arrival and so on.

At least now I can give him a couple reasons why he might not remember his earlier years. Thanks again, theres nothing like getting stumped by an 8 year old



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:13 AM
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This should go right along with....

why dont we remember every time we use the bathroom?

some memories get forgotten for a reason!



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:14 AM
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Children are probably born knowing everything, but when they grow up to start remembering things, it ends up like erasing a hard drive on the computer. We just need to figure a way to find out what they know.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:17 AM
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Whats even more fascinating is that some researchers are suggesting that infants have no sense of self or separateness from their external world until 16-24 months.
So that means all babies are enlightened little Buddhas' with no sense of separateness from the infinity. They are born connected to everything around them and their sense of self isn't formed until their parents start teaching them their name and they begin to recognize their bodies as separate from everything else.


Incredible.

"As a child, I saw as a child, spoke as a child and thought as a child, as an adult, I put my childish ways aside." (or something to that effect.)

From the minute we learn to interact beyond ourselves, we are taught how to 'enclose' our mind with information. We are told what the world is and how it works. This IMO constructs 'walls' around the mind, preconceptions as to what is and what could be.

now I am not saying this is all bad, the mind needs a frame of reference to work, but to cut it off completely is ridiculous.

Maybe we cannot comprehend anymore (due to our preconceptions) of what being a baby is really like, since we cannot comprehend, we cannot remember.

We need to change the way we teach, the way we develop our young.

Unfortunately, this is gettig done for us, and it isn't for the good, it is for the 'Greater good'.

EMM

to add: I used to think it was maybe because our brains where developing so fast when we are a baby (along with the rest of us) that it wasn't stored, we sort of 'lived in the now' until our brain had developed properly, but the case study you showed kind of shoots this down.

Edit to add:


I think that's exactly the point. Infants "know" nothing. They have no frame of reference or boundaries. They are experiencing the world as it is meant to be experienced. Completely surrendering to what is, not judging or labeling anything. Like the Socrates quote,“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

Maybe we can't remember because we are to busy thinking we "know" everything!


Lol, you said it better than me, shorter than me.


Nicely done.

[edit on 15-6-2009 by ElectroMagnetic Multivers]



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by XXXN3O
 


I think I got ya...as in were supposed to forget our births and past lives so we can gain new knowledge from a new perspective? Tell me if i'm wrong.

reply to post by KaginD
 

I agree about being stumped. I love watching how children interact with the world. Their sense of wonder because their minds are experiencing all sorts of new things and it can't immediately label everything yet. I am just figuring out how to get back to this state of wonderment and awe and its amazing!



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:20 AM
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I once read that when we are small we use visual memory and as we get older we start to think more in words and sounds and that overtime we lose our old visual memories.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
This should go right along with....

why dont we remember every time we use the bathroom?

some memories get forgotten for a reason!


Exactly. All things considered, I for one am GLAD I don't remember being born. No sight, sound, or smell from that moment sounds like fun.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by The Killah29
Children are probably born knowing everything, but when they grow up to start remembering things, it ends up like erasing a hard drive on the computer. We just need to figure a way to find out what they know.


I think that's exactly the point. Infants "know" nothing. They have no frame of reference or boundaries. They are experiencing the world as it is meant to be experienced. Completely surrendering to what is, not judging or labeling anything. Like the Socrates quote,“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

Maybe we can't remember because we are to busy thinking we "know" everything!



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by ElectroMagnetic Multivers
 


Very well said. You made a bunch of good points. I have also thought that the way we educate our children is pretty crazy. I think we can learn a lot more from them that they can learn from us.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:29 AM
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I believe it's because we don't have much emotional reference. Things are pleasant or unpleasant, but I don't think we experience emotion the way we do when we are older. And emotions create more significant memory recall.

As for babies being wee Buddhas, I believe that what is observed that leads to this conclusion is an infant's innate trust and absolute belief that they will be provided for. It is in the infant's interest psychologically not to experience stress or psychological distress from worry over necessities because those take precedence over other experiences which are forming cognitive function. I would consider it a trait for self-preservation.

(Serious question) Could this be called 'enlightenment'?

And Freud... I've considered recently starting a thread of this self-repressed, but insightful old fool. A man terrified of his own feelings. These days I don't believe in a 'subconscious' only a subdued conscious. Most of the feelings we repress as children seem to be repressed not out of some instinct to protect ourselves from our own natural feelings but rather from social order (parents, teachers, etc) that seeks to make us better social beings.

A newborn baby feeling guilt? Nah, I rather believe that birth is a shocking, hostile and extremely uncomfortable event that is subdued in memory for the same reason I believe infants innately trust their universe to provide for them. To minimize psychological stress and give them a better chance at growing up happy and healthy.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by bringthelight
I think that's exactly the point. Infants "know" nothing. They have no frame of reference or boundaries. They are experiencing the world as it is meant to be experienced. Completely surrendering to what is, not judging or labeling anything.


If the world were MEANT to be experienced that way it simply would be! In fact the material world is intended to cause struggle, passion, fighting for survival etc...

Also keep in mind just because we see the birthing moment as a big deal, it doesn't mean they do. Lots of animals are born before they are "all there". Many species are born still blind and virtually deaf. Just because human infants have their eyes open and cry it does not mean they are all "there" either.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


Some very good points. Starred.

Obviously babies still cry when they are discomforted and they want their needs met. I wouldn't call this enlightenment. They still need people to take care of them for their survival. But when their needs are met and they are in that peaceful but curios state, I think that's pretty close to what enlightenment is.

Once we grow up and learn to fend for ourselves and deal with all the stresses of an adult life and still return to that peaceful curious state, again we are getting close.

We are born with the universe of knowledge inside of us (we get a taste), then we are taught that we are separate and we need to survive (necessary), and then when we can admit that we really "know" nothing, we can return. We humans think we are so clever, but the baby has it all figured out.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by bringthelight
reply to post by XXXN3O
 


I think I got ya...as in were supposed to forget our births and past lives so we can gain new knowledge from a new perspective? Tell me if i'm wrong.



I see where you are coming from.

I am speaking more along the lines of being here on a path of knowledge, most would agree with that either from logic (because no two people are the same) or religion (because religions explain it spiritually).

You are born innocent and to experience knowledge you must lose your innocence. After all how would anyone truly know the difference between something bad and something good if they have not experienced anything in life?

Some but not all return to innocence having experienced knowledge others never learn and live a life of repitition wondering why they cannot move on.

Hope that makes more sense.

Just my opinion.



[edit on 15-6-2009 by XXXN3O]



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by Sonya610

Originally posted by bringthelight
I think that's exactly the point. Infants "know" nothing. They have no frame of reference or boundaries. They are experiencing the world as it is meant to be experienced. Completely surrendering to what is, not judging or labeling anything.


If the world were MEANT to be experienced that way it simply would be! In fact the material world is intended to cause struggle, passion, fighting for survival etc...

Also keep in mind just because we see the birthing moment as a big deal, it doesn't mean they do. Lots of animals are born before they are "all there". Many species are born still blind and virtually deaf. Just because human infants have their eyes open and cry it does not mean they are all "there" either.


I guess "meant" was the wrong word. Struggle, survival, passion, etc, are all valuable emotions and lessons to be learned along the way. I wouldn't be where I am today without experiencing all of those things. I learned my lessons and I am still here.

All those things are necessary for spiritual evolution. I guess the way I see it is, we learn to deal with all of those things and once we have, we can return to that innocent child like state where the world isn't so bland.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by XXXN3O
 


Well said sir. Star for you.

In my last reply I was trying to make your point. I guess Enigma had it right with that Return to Innocence song




[edit on 15-6-2009 by bringthelight]



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by bringthelight
reply to post by XXXN3O
 


Well said sir. Star for you.

In my last reply I was trying to make your point. I guess Enya had it right with that Return to Innocence song




Yeah I just quoted word for word the artists meaning behind that song as it appears in wikipedia.


Just kidding of course!!




posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 12:36 PM
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and add to it that all the memories from the previous life comes to kids in the age up to 6 years (with small number of exceptions). it shows that up to this age we are in some kind of transition state.

you can find a lot valuable information on that in the Jim Tucker"s book - "Life before life".

I am sure it has got something to do with that. amnesia is for our selfprotection IMO.
cheers. good thread. S&F



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 12:54 PM
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I'm not a doctor, but the biology of it could be simple. They say one's brain is not fully cooked until one is around 25 years old, so the simple explanation could be that the newborn's brain is not developed enough to retain memory until it is around three years of age.



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