Disclaimer: This article does not apply to people with a History of trauma or abuse. For such cases, please see my video “The Good Memory Exercise”.
Recently, I was struggling to remember a house I lived in as a child. I remembered the exterior and in which town it was, as well as the living room. But I drew a blank on the kitchen, the bedrooms, the upstairs, the laundry room or any other part of the House. I couldn’t even remember my own room, even though we lived in the House for a few years. I must have been around 7 years old while living there. The fact that I couldn’t remember, challenged me. To quote from my recent book Levels of Heaven and Hell:
“The first Level of Hell is described as “people in a state of Oblivion and Forgetfulness, wandering around aimlessly, not knowing who they are”. Doesn’t that sound just like our society?” The positive opposite of that is knowing who you are and having purpose.
It is my view that forgetfulness is a form of unawareness. At a higher level of consciousness, one can have Total Recall.
I believe that everything ever experienced is stored somewhere, as energy imprint. But if this were true, then there would have to be some way to recover the memories of that childhood home. So I aimed to find out what those missing memories were, to recover the memories on my own and without the help of hypnosis.
One of the reasons my memory of life events is sketchy is because I lived in many places in childhood, as my parents kept moving from place to place. They never stayed anywhere for more than a few years.
My approach to recovering the memory was to focus attention on the House, every night while falling asleep. Instead of lamenting the things I could not remember, I would focus on what I could remember and gradually assembled my memory from there. I remembered the living room and the TV Set because I watched cartoons there on weekends. Eventually, I did start to remember more. I recalled the bicycle I had gotten for my birthday and the school baseball team that I played for. We were the third best team in the county, but I was only a reserve player. I remembered a friends house.
The reason it was difficult to access certain memories is because they weren’t noteworthy enough. Memories are also linked to Identity. While you are in a certain identity or “state” you remember certain things that you do not remember in other states. A drunkard remembers what really happened the next time he is drunk. In a positive state you tend to remember other times you were in a positive state.
And what if some of my memories were “false memories”? Well, there really is no such thing. Your memories might be embellished, exaggerated, downplayed or reframed, but in 30 years of Coaching, I have never come upon “false memories”, unless they were deliberately created. That means that yes, you can mostly trust your experience, trust what you remember. You can trust your memory even more if you are in a relaxed, unbiased state while remembering.
But I still couldn’t remember my own room. I didn’t know if I shared a room or had my own. Did something traumatic happen that had me block out memories?
It became frustrating to keep hitting on a blank, so I finally looked for the House online. Maybe I could find pictures of it that would boost my memory. And even though we lived there as far back as 1981, I actually found the House. It was still standing, apparently in good shape. The real estate listing was from a few years back and showed all the rooms. As soon as I saw the interior, some of the memories came back. I remembered my room. Then I remembered what it looked like. And then I realized that I hadn’t remembered it because nothing noteworthy had happened there. The most noteworthy thing that happened in those years, was a Tornado. I easily remember that as if it happened yesterday.
Once I fully recovered my memories of the room, it felt empowering. Light now shone on what was previously dark.
You might argue that one should “live in the here and now” and not “worry” about the past. But this practice of memory-recovery is very different from getting lost in past memories or not being present. Instead of daydreaming of the past or worrying about it, or making the past responsible for current issues, the context is an entirely different one: To eradicate spots of darkness or unawareness. Does it feel empowering to have absolutely no clue where you have been or where you are from? Not really.
Personally, I don’t think the past is all that important. I even doubt that linear time as such, exists. But I do think it’s important to be able to access something if you want to access it.
As you can see, I had to invest a little effort to recover a certain memory, but in the end I achieved it and was rewarded with good feelings. The good feelings come from a re-integration of consciousness, when two different states or selves are re-merged after having been compartmentalized or separated.
As explained in my new book, Forgetfulness is a world problem. We have around 7 Billion people who have forgotten their origins, who they were before this life. But it doesn’t stop at that. People are easily tricked by politicians or journalists, because of forgetfulness. Today they can say the exact opposite of what they said two weeks ago, because most people have already forgotten. This kind of mass-amnesia is created by inundating people with too much information, much of it contradictory. At some point, the mind gives up and just says “OK, whatever. Just tell me what to think and I’ll think it. I’m too tired to look into it”. People with excellent recall are impossible to trick or scam. Good recall also helps one to detect patterns and discern truth.
Good recall does not mean drifting away from the present moment, it means being able to bring whatever feeling you choose, into the present. If this article got you thinking about what you do and don’t remember and why, then it has achieved its purpose.