This blog is the result of a lot of thoughts: my post on typing my date of birth, my experience with Feldenkrais yesterday, my habitual mismemory, my mother worrying whether she hadn't locked the car etc.
I think most times when I forget things are because of some of the automation, or lack of automation of some habits. Most of the automation does not leave a great memory in our minds because their is no cognitive effot put into it (this I learnt in class). My mother did not weigh up her option whether to lock the car or not. She simply did what she always did. As a result, after walking away from the car, she had an eruption of uncertainty: Did I lock the car? For me, I recently CCed what I wanted to BCC, which caused me some annoyance at the time (you use BCC for a reason).
In some forms of meditation, it asks for total awareness, but my experience of learning about learning tells me that you cannot get that through meditation alone. You might be aware of the environment for the moment you are sitting (and hence relaxing all your internal mental processes) but soon as you talk, you will be back to habitual, automatic mental processes. I guess it depends on the purpose of the meditation (whether someone actually gives meditation a purpose).
For example, all speaking and writing requires you to construct your meaning into verbal form. Listening and reading requires many skills including constructing meaning. If I say: "What are you looking at?" the meaning received is built by you in your mind in response to the verbal stimulus by me. It takes effort. Most of this is automatic (although not necessarily done accurately).
That is where Feldenkrais comes in. It calls for total awareness of your bodies actions, breaking down each of those actions you do regularly, simply turning to the right for example, and breaking it down into what your eyes are doing, your shoulders, your waist, your shoulder blades, where is your centre of gravity etc. That is probably as close to awareness you can get for a single action. But that is with the physical body... The mind seems more difficult to break down into steps.
Expressing my thoughts here as I am now works on several levels of automation. I am constructing ideas in English, most of which is not conscious. I am typing without reference to the keys I am pressing. In a way this is similar to speaking your first language, where you don't need to monitor where your tongue is, lips are and so on, you just say. Would you like to lose all automation of these processes and do them "manually?" Just stopping now. I seek the keys I press. But my eyes flick automatically to the right keys. And then I press the shift key without thinking either... Automation saves the burden on our minds. Can you communicate while having pure awareness?
Of course, you can do little experiments with yourself to test:
Can you consciously stop understanding what you are hearing? (impossible)
Can you stop yourself building your own meaning to words when you hear someone say something to you?
(interesting just then my mum said she'd have a shower, but without stopping typing or doing the above experiment I said: Yep! without thinking, automatically constructing it)
Can you consciously co-ordinate your speech without resorting to automation?
Is it possible to type without habit once you have developed habit? (or is it impossible)
In my cognitive psychology class (called Learning and Teaching) we are told that causing students to have automation of accurate/good processes should be what we should aim to do. That is our jobs as Teachers. Maybe once you are mature that is when you should deconstruct your processes to an extent and reconstruct them willfully. Or is that impossible?
Hmmmmmmmmmm... Maybe I should try and meditate again.. (I have been quite unsuccessful at the several times I have tried).