Dark forest of the mind

Sometimes, I feel like our brains work like a dark forest — each idea a path that walks between memories.

Thinking over an over an idea is like walking over and over the same path, until that path is so well threaded and familiar that you follow it without even thinking — familiarity. When you stop walking a certain path, the vegetation grow, and slowly, the path disappears back into the forest — you forgot something.

This is not a new idea; a long time ago I thought about how new cities feel like “bubbles” to me. Bubbles of small known locations, connected by threads of public transportation and well market paths; these bubbles would expand as I explored new side streets and got lost, until bubbles that were unconnected get so large that they merge together. Get outside the big bubbles, and my “mental line of sight” shrank again to the area immediately around me.

Even before then, I used to think of our brain as a muscle, able to be trained to think certain ideas better and faster through repetition. I guess this is the almost the same analogy as the black forest, just put slightly differently.

I’m not sure where I want to go with this, it is just a thing that came to my mind today, as I was looking down at some written notes that I was sure that I would throw away by the end of the day. I guess the message is to make sure to play with the ideas that you want to foster in your head, and don’t dwell on the ideas and thought patterns that you’d rather not have…

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