Sunday, May 27, 2007

Grin without a Cat

"When a living being ceases to exist, does all that it has been cease to exist as well? How to integrate the memory, the experience, the presence of the dpearted, amongst those still here, the living? When it comes to cells, the usual idea used to be that when a cell died, nothing remained of it. It was here before; now it isn't, end of story. But the collective doesn't behave in the same fashion when a cell dies as when a cell hasn't died. there is a presence, a memory, of the dead. The collective acts differently because certain members died in its environment. The Cheshire cat is a metaphor for the fact that after the death of a cell something very surprising can persist, not at all what you might expect. Alice is very surprised not by her memory of a smile that has disappeared, but by what remains of a cat that has disappeared, a grin without a cat."

Jean Claude Ameisen

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