Mind spaces, prisons, landscapes


Now that I got to know about the memory palaces as a technique, I can relate both things and think about mental contents as spaces to be walked through. So, when I fall in a prison of sadness or obsession, I can get out, visit my memory palace or the long corridor of automatic scenes. Following a wikipedia link I found out that Tomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter has also a memory palace filled with frescoes and sculptures where he can find solace. To exploit more possibilities of the mind and architecture metaphor, two more things: we can leave the closed room where we feel oppressed, and wander in open, indeterminate spaces where perhaps we could build new extensions for our memory palace. Or climb a tower from where things would be seen from a wider perspective. Or, or course, stop thinking and go to the window of present, the window of now and here, with all the interesting details of life scintillating around us, balconies from blocks in the street, faces of people walking in the street, shops, sounds and noises, a breeze, our breath and heart beats … all we are missing when paying too much attention to our problems and obsessions.

We have to avoid what Baudelaire said in some terrible verses in “Le mauvais moine”:

Mon âme est un tombeau que, mauvais cénobite,
Depuis l’éternite je parcours et j’habite;
Rien n’embellit les murs de ce cloître odieux.

My soul is a tomb where, bad cenobite,
I wander and dwell eternally;
Nothing adorns the walls of that loathsome cloister.

Either we change the decoration, or we get out.



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