"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."

-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
37 Forgetting of impressions and resolutions39 Forgetting of impressions and resolutionsForgetting of impressions and resolutions"Forgetting of impressions and resolutions" by Sigmund FreudAs in the preceding functional disturbances, I have collected the cases of neglect through forgetting which I have observed in myself, and endeavored to explain them. I have found that they could invariably be traced to some interference of unknown and unadmitted motives—or, as may be said, they were due to a counter-will. In a number of these cases I found myself in a position similar to that of being in some distasteful service: I was under a constraint to which I had not entirely resigned myself, so that I showed my protest in the form of forgetting. This accounts for the fact that I am particularly prone to forget to send congratulations on such occasions as birthdays, jubilees, wedding celebrations, and promotions to higher rank. I continually make new resolutions, but I am more than ever convinced that I shall not succeed. I am now on the point of giving it up altogether, and to admit consciously the striving motives. In a period of transition, I told a friend who asked me to send a congratulatory telegram for him, at a certain time when I was to send one myself, that I would probably forget both. It was not surprising that the prophecy came true. It is undoubtedly due to painful experiences in life that I am unable to manifest sympathy where this manifestation must necessarily appear exaggerated, for the small amount of my feeling does not admit the corresponding expression. Since I have learned that I often mistook the pretended sympathy of others for real, I am in rebellion against the conventions of expressing sympathy, the social expediency of which I naturally acknowledge. Condolences in cases of death are excepted from this double treatment; once I determine to send them I do not neglect them. Where my emotional participation has nothing more to do with social duty, its expression is never inhibited by forgetting. Continue reading…