<42056E> 313

J. N. Darby.

(Notes and Comments Vol. 2.)

Some make the act of knowledge the thing retained; if so, the idea is only a modification of the mind - a man holds it as part of the "I" (ego). What then is immediate perception, or activity continuing? The activity is not an idea. The activity of a faculty need not continue - no activity dependent on will need; nor involuntary either in man, because in man it is the effect of a body acting on the senses, and when it does not act, the effect, but for some other reason, would cease.

That knowledge is retained in a latent state, i.e., when the mind is not occupied with it, is certain. How or what it is, I do not know, nor does anyone else, I think; but that is the whole story. Association is a mere means out of reproduction, i.e., by will, but of the recurring of anything to the mind by a natural chain; only will can use it, i.e., I seek a person's name, etc. - I remember where, with whom, etc., I have seen him, in order to recover the name, but the suggestion is without will.

Imagination and memory are closely connected, i.e., the power of reproduction in the mind's consciousness of scenes, which in memory have been in their own combination present in imagination, the elements in some other. It may be a question, can we remember without association; but I think we can - though it plays so great a part it is difficult to separate it. What is more surprising is, calling up a scene, a passage by will. I say, "I will remember a line of Horace" - "the place I passed my childhood in"; I cannot account for my will being determined here. When I, reasoning on memory, would try to analyse some point, what does determine it? I suspect it is what is best retained fixed in the memory, unless it be determined by the kind of thing which judgment says is most to the point then - what is most familiar to the mind.

But I am not able to analyse memory yet, if ever I do. What the scientists* say is simply nothing. I doubt whether the knowledge which is stored up is rightly called "memory," though the materials of it. When we say "memory," I think we include recalling out of these stores, or the power of doing so, which is the same as saying it is there. It is in this point my analysis is short. Memory is various - I suppose depends on the force of impression. I say "I will make you remember it, i.e., I associate pain with it. "He will remember it but once," this shows it includes recalling it. "It is never out of his mind." I remember vividly people, circumstances, facts, never dates within years without special labour.

{*Sir W. Hamilton, for example.}

314 I suspect memory is much more material than we are aware; hence memoria technica. Like abstraction, our first perceptions are vivid, and of particular circumstances gradually generalised. So Memory. If it be Horace, it is a book, hard Latin, a school, a master, my learning it, gradually referred to what has most struck me in it - having itself formed an undeveloped faculty, a particular kind of taste, etc.