Sunday, July 28, 2019

Anamnesis: The Art of Remembering

This weekend, I had the privilege of presenting at the fourth Mountain Ancestors Symposium. My session was a deep dive into the parts of a Rite of Passage and how we as the community can do a better job of interacting with them when our members experience life-changing events, planned and unplanned. Overall, it went very well, and I am so proud of our grove for the work we have done to offer such an event to the community!

While researching my topic, I happened upon this little gem: Plato's concept of "Anamnesis." Though modernity uses this term to refer to remembering the passion of the Christ, the roots of this term lie in Platonic Philosophy and loosely translates to "unforgetting." (Originally coined by Socrates, Plato further developed the concept in his Meno and Phaedo dialogues, if you'd like to review the source material.)

The truths of the universe are constant. The universe IS, and as a thing that IS, there is nothing about itself that is unknown to itself, though there is plenty unknown, or forgotten, by us in the course of our being born and living a human life. We may remember these Universal Truths, the Bones of what the Universe IS. Often, we have an "Aha!" moment of deep knowing that causes a myriad of other knowledge to fall into place around it.

We each have within us a core part of who we are, the "bones" of our being. No matter what happens to us or what changes we undergo, this part of who we are will always be there. The Threshold Moment in a Rite of Passage is a moment in our lives where the bones of who we are are exposed to the bones of the universe. From here, the process of anamnesis overcomes our spirits, and we truly become one with everything--all that was, all that is, and all that will be.

When we return from these journeys, like a Hero returning from an epic adventure, it is our duty to jog the memories of those around us that they, too, can unforget the truths of the universe, one story at a time.