Friday, November 21, 2008

Ancestral Memory

Illustration by Frank R. Paul.

A description of the story from Frank R. Paul Gallery, "The great maverick scientist H. A. Macey, M.D., is about to give a demonstration of his discoveries to two fellow scientists who are more favorably inclined toward him than most of his colleagues. * Macey has been working on recovering ancestral memory, which he accomplishes by first putting a subject into hypnosis, then encasing both subject and himself in thought helmets with viewing screens that show memory content. Along with Macey's concept of ancestral memory runs a system of typology, in which persons who look reptilian "take after" ancient reptilian ancestors. * On the present occasion, Macey has as his subject a low-grade local man who looks frog-like. * Macey puts the man through his process, and brings up pictures of a Neanderthal family. He probes farther and farther back, until he reaches a group of giant plantigrade frogs, who must have been our distant ancestors. As the scientists watch, a monstrous creature gobbles up the frog that the subject was empathizing with. When the subject recovers from the shock, Macey hypnotizes away his memory of what has happened, and all is well."

1 comment:

elisabeth workman said...

I love this. It poses the question, "What's on view on Dr. Macey's screen?" His own ancestral memory? It's interesting to think of the implications-- what if diagnosis was an act of self-perception?