I saw the very first episode of Doctor Who, way back in November 1963, sitting on the sofa in my Nan and Grandad’s lounge at 50 Ryland Road, Erdington, Birmingham. Watching The Day Of The Doctor tonight was awesome, it was brilliantly written, performed and produced and brought many of the intervening years together in a very clever storyline.
The amazing thing is that the program also brought back memories and images from half a century ago. The whole family sitting around a black and white telly, watching William Hartnell, my Doctor, in a brand new series on the only BBC channel, BBC2 didn’t appear till 1967.
Such vivid memories. Only I could see them, but they were as real as were the original experiences. So they exist and they don’t exist all at the same time, and Nichiren Buddhism calls this Ku, short for Kutai. All they need are the right conditions to become manifest, in exactly the same way our own potential does.
The human brain is an amazing thing. On the one hand I can remember people and events from fifty years and more ago. On the other, I can walk from the lounge into the kitchen and forget why I went in the first place, and I know we’ve all been there.
Amazing stuff that grey matter, a hugely complex system of neurons and synapses awash in a cocktail of serotonin, dopamine and countless other magical neurotransmitters, all busy doing their own thing, but all in sync. And all it needs, to switch on some memory buried deep in time, is a handful of images or a series of electronic notes in a particular sequence.