Almost everyone has something they would like to forget. Perhaps a humiliating experience, a painful one, or any number of do-overs that plague us. We all make mistakes and some of them continue to haunt us for many years.
If there were such a thing as a mental eraser, veterans could escape Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and victims of physical, mental, and sexual abuse could go on to lead normal lives after their horrific experiences are behind them.
With all the new technology, it wouldn’t surprise me if scientists are already working on something like this.
Imagine, if you will, all your horrid memories being erased by pressing a button or just by willing them to leave your mind. I think of it as a mental eraser that leaves you feeling at peace because all the monstrous memories have been wiped out.
There would be no destructive patterns of behavior because there would be an absence of the root causes of these unhealthy behaviors.
Electric shock therapy was widely used for mental disorders many decades ago; I don’t know if they are still using it the same way or if they are now treating them with medications. The one thing I do know is that, unlike my concept of a mental eraser wiping out the harrowing memories, the electric shock therapy wiped out large chunks of the good memories as well as the bad memories.
The major drawback in having a mental eraser is that our experiences shape our character as well as our behavior. How does a person develop a code of ethics if he hasn’t experienced the positive and negative consequences of his actions?
It’s not only a matter of nature vs. nurture, it’s also a matter of how we handle our personal experiences. An integrated personality has to be able to deal with all facets of life, not just the good parts.
There may yet come a time when the mind will allow us to take the lessons that we’ve learned from these appalling experiences but afterwards, erase the memories of the actual events so that all we’re left with are the lessons that shaped our character.