Friday, August 14, 2015


Writing in his book Nothing Holy About It, Tim Burkett notes that there are three stages to the development of schema, the mental models we use to understand the world around us: experience, perfume, and seed. We first have an experience, which creates an emotional memory (perfume).  That memory coagulates to form a seed that projects into the future. A narrative is thereby created and perpetuated by a waterfall of experience-perfume-seed, experience-perfume-seed, experience-perfume-seed. As long as we cling to this schema, our future is affected by the residue of the past.

Friends are those for whom we carry positive seeds. Our last experience with them left a wonderful perfume that coagulated into a positive seed, so we want to be with them. Enemies are the opposite. This tendency keeps our narrative going and as long as our narrative runs.  We experience the present through the past.

But with practice, we begin to notice when we are watering seeds from the past that will condition and limit our future.

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