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Why can't we remember being born?

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posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 12:57 PM
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When I was 18 years old I had a cardiac arrest due to a congenital heart defect. Obviously I was revived and after being comatose for three days I woke. My experience with this might be like birth.

Upon waking from the coma I was alert and given a neurological and psych exam which all checked out. But in reality I was not OK at that point. I was in a hospital for over a month (Open heart surgery was mandated for the defect) yet it literally took me about two weeks, or so, of being in the hospital before I even came to a realization that simply being in a hospital wasn't a normal thing. I know this must be hard to grasp as it's difficult for me to even find words to describe. I was awake, interacting, watching TV, joking, seeing friends and family as they visited yet I really didn't have a clue that being in a hospital was abnormal. It was as if I simply assumed a robe with no back and a TV on a swivel pole had always been my daily routine.

The other similiarity is what the doctors call "transient amnesia". I was told that this phenomenon is normal after experiencing trauma or being exceptionally frightened. I cannot remember the several days before my cardiac arrest, nor can I remember anything for about a week following it. The odd part of this is that while I have no memory of that time period I do have some random memories of very specific things that happened during that period. For example I can recall saying things to the paramedics who responded when I was arresting (I had an irregular heart rythym and arrested in front of the paramedics and firemen.) yet I cannot recall any other aspects of the conversation. I can't recall who I was speaking to, or what was going on otherwise. I just remember saying the words. For the week, or so, that the amnesia applies, I have several of these orphan memories. I imagine that there are more that I just never knew or learned to associate with that particular period of time.

Putting this together I would imagine that suddenly being forced into a birth canal by the contraction of the muscles of what you percieve as the entire world probably counts for a trauma. Imagine standing in a small closet and the walls suddenly enveloping you and squeezing you tightly towards a vent or something. Just on a physical level this cannot be anywhere near comfortable. On a psychological level? I'd imagine that, from a mental standpoint, being born must be about as frightening as if one were to jump from an airplane without a parachute. I'd assume that this phenomenon of transient amnesia is probably a huge part of why we cannot recall our births. I would also imagine that brain chemistry, in infants, works in such a way as to preclude production of certain protiens that aid in memory formation or something like that.




posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


That was a very interesting story and I'm glad you made it.


That does seem very similar to a baby experiencing this world for the first time. Throw trauma in the mix and yes its no wonder why we can't remember. The recent studies in the article suggested that the infants had the brain capacity to remember, but as it is with all traumatic events, the human mind tends to repress them. I'm guessing this is for survival?

The perplexing thing is why the brain selects certain memories like the one you had before you were brought in. Why can you remember that bit when you were conscious but all of the other stuff is blacked out?

Just seems strange that it is unheard of to remember your entrance to this world. Although some people repress traumatic memories, others don't for whatever reason. I wonder if you could sample a large number of say 1 and a half year olds with the ability to communicate, if they remember anything about their birth. Bet there might be a few interesting answers.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by czacza1
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


Very true what you said about self protection. Our bodies are a lot smarter than our thinking minds are when it comes to keeping us alive. Maybe it is just too much for us to handle and we would have a melt down with out the proper knowledge to back it up.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 03:08 PM
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I believe that the answer to this question was solved by the British philosopher, Bishop Berkeley. He posited that the world is comprised of patches of color and that our minds have to learn to group the colors into what we come to recognize as objects. A mind which has not yet learned to do this cannot separate one visual experience from another (or more directed to the point, cannot group the objects within any experience), nor can it make auditory associations.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 05:03 PM
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Putting this together I would imagine that suddenly being forced into a birth canal by the contraction of the muscles of what you percieve as the entire world probably counts for a trauma. Imagine standing in a small closet and the walls suddenly enveloping you and squeezing you tightly towards a vent or something. Just on a physical level this cannot be anywhere near comfortable. On a psychological level? I'd imagine that, from a mental standpoint, being born must be about as frightening as if one were to jump from an airplane without a parachute. I'd assume that this phenomenon of transient amnesia is probably a huge part of why we cannot recall our births. I would also imagine that brain chemistry, in infants, works in such a way as to preclude production of certain protiens that aid in memory formation or something like that.


Truly fascinating, thank you for sharing your experience.

I've never really thought of birth like that before, in a way, it must feel like your about to die (Lol, don't go into the light?), the air being squeezed out of you. (also, don't babies survive in a liquid environment in the whom? Surely the 'gaseous' air would hurt for at least a moment as it adapts?)

Maybe this is where Claustrophobia and agoraphobia come from? Some hated the experience of being born, others loved their whom and want to go back!


Although I never close the draw on any case, thats my new go to answer, thank you again.

EMM



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 07:34 PM
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Nice Thread BTL,

Basic science and pyschology neural networking may seem to answer it, however I am sure as alluded to by some there is something deeper going on.

I cant remember what I had for lunch, dinner and tea on the 2nd of this month, well I can but it is not a very very vivid memory and I am unsure of it;s validity
lol.

As someone who cares a lot for someone with Dementia namely alzeimers, and having only slept about 14 hours in 4 days due to this and the problems real lack of short term memory causes, lol it woriies me massively...

So even though I would like to know the ins and outs of your Q, and it is intriguing,

I will just try and keep my short to medium term OK and in top spick span because when that goes the indignity of me walking around in Don Johnson type clothes with no socks in the UK, lol cos I think I am a teeneager again and chasing teenage girls does not even bare thinking about....



Elf



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 08:01 PM
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When I first properley tripped out on salvia I had a few interesting experiences. But what was clearly remembered was a feeling from my youngest years 1 or 2 years old, the sounds, and colours and its hard to describe but its just the feeling of living your youth again but from the perspective of an older mind.

Musing on that feeling, I came to the very question posed here. But what came to me was very strange indeed. I could remember vividly, the moment I was switched on. The moment I became fully aware of my surroundings. Whats more freaky is that I can remember also, the feeling that at that time, I was also as part of an older mind, questioning my surroundings and percieving them like an adult would, before sort of settling down into the role of a normal child, where again my memory becomes hazy.

I think we live our lives over and over again, making slight tweaks guided by a higher self. This might explain why deja vu, literally feels like you are remembering or reinacting a scene. There is said to be a set timewhen the third eye developes in a foetus, perhaps there is a set time for consciousness to be brought into a human.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by MischeviousElf
Nice Thread BTL,

Basic science and pyschology neural networking may seem to answer it, however I am sure as alluded to by some there is something deeper going on.

I cant remember what I had for lunch, dinner and tea on the 2nd of this month, well I can but it is not a very very vivid memory and I am unsure of it;s validity
lol.

As someone who cares a lot for someone with Dementia namely alzeimers, and having only slept about 14 hours in 4 days due to this and the problems real lack of short term memory causes, lol it woriies me massively...

So even though I would like to know the ins and outs of your Q, and it is intriguing,

I will just try and keep my short to medium term OK and in top spick span because when that goes the indignity of me walking around in Don Johnson type clothes with no socks in the UK, lol cos I think I am a teeneager again and chasing teenage girls does not even bare thinking about....



Elf


I just got a visual of what you described and had a giggle.

A couple of people in my family have been diagnosed with alzheimers and I know what you are going through. It can be tough and I commend you for choosing to take care of your loved one instead of shipping them off. It can be a burden at times, especially with all the paranoia and escape attempts. My heart goes out to you.

Memory is a tricky little thing. I guess it takes something truly special happening to stick with you the rest of your life, but if its too extreme, you block it out almost immediately.

I have had a face to face encounter with a large, black, silent craft, hovering in my backyard, but it RARELY enters my mind. I have a friend who is in to all this stuff and lurks on ATS and we have talked about it maybe twice. That was the craziest thing that has ever happened to me and turned my beliefs upside down, yet I rarely think or speak about it. Why? Too much of a shock to my psyche i guess.

The brain buries the stuff that is the most trans formative. Maybe because our thinking minds cant handle it but our subconscious can intelligently integrate it into our lives?

[edit on 17-6-2009 by bringthelight]



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