Throughout our lives the unitary whole we see as ourselves is subject to a continual learning and re-evaluation process through our engagement with people, events, objects and concepts on a daily basis. This process, which goes on mainly unnoticed, is more apparent when we live through critical events that cause us to consciously think deeply about our views. However our core beliefs are a reassuring anchor in the ongoing process; is it the case that we seek the reassurance of communities and creeds that affirm our beliefs rather than examine contrary evidence and the potential that change can perhaps offer? How we choose the information and ideas which we will internalise or discard is a process we are all continually engaged in. James Flynn describes this filtering process as the work of the “Gatekeeper”.
“You must be the gatekeeper that filters out what is worth remembering and decides what is true or false. Otherwise you are at it’s (the modern world) mercy and drift through a life that you manage only day by day.” James R. Flynn (Professor Emeritus University of Otago, New Zealand).
In the work “Play it Again Sam” I explore the process of building our core beliefs on errors in the narrative we believe. Many people think the leading lady said to pianist Dooley Wilson in the film Casablanca “Play it Again Sam” in fact she said “play it Sam, play it”. But an expression frequently heard in my generation is “Play it Again Sam” to repeat not just a song but many things.
Much what I believe comes from the narrative written by the victors throughout history but I frequently wonder how much it relates to the actual reality and how I see others.