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On Memory And Reminiscense   


himself, i.e. in consequence of movements wholly contained within

himself.

But one must get hold of a starting-point. This explains why it is

that persons are supposed to recollect sometimes by starting from

mnemonic loci. The cause is that they pass swiftly in thought from one

point to another, e.g. from milk to white, from white to mist, and

thence to moist, from which one remembers Autumn (the 'season of

mists'), if this be the season he is trying to recollect.

It seems true in general that the middle point also among all things

is a good mnemonic starting-point from which to reach any of them. For

if one does not recollect before, he will do so when he has come to

this, or, if not, nothing can help him; as, e.g. if one were to have

in mind the numerical series denoted by the symbols A, B, G, D, E,

Z, I, H, O. For, if he does not remember what he wants at E, then at E

he remembers O; because from E movement in either direction is

possible, to D or to Z. But, if it is not for one of these that he

is searching, he will remember (what he is searching for) when he

has come to G if he is searching for H or I. But if (it is) not (for H

or I that he is searching, but for one of the terms that remain), he

will remember by going to A, and so in all cases (in which one

starts from a middle point). The cause of one's sometimes recollecting

and sometimes not, though starting from the same point, is, that

from the same starting-point a movement can be made in several

directions, as, for instance, from G to I or to D. If, then, the

mind has not (when starting from E) moved in an old path (i.e. one

in which it moved first having the objective experience, and that,

therefore, in which un-'ethized' phusis would have it again move),

it tends to move to the more customary; for (the mind having, by

chance or otherwise, missed moving in the 'old' way) Custom now

assumes the role of Nature. Hence the rapidity with which we recollect

what we frequently think about. For as regular sequence of events is

in accordance with nature, so, too, regular sequence is observed in

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