Thursday, December 23, 2010

Memory problems part 1

Ok, I will admit it---I have a few memory problems. And no, I do not believe that it is early onset Alzheimer's disease either (that comment is directed at a friend who d*** well knows who he is). I first became aware of these problems a few years ago, though I view them less as a problem than other people do.

For instance, I remember very little of my life before certain dates. It is either brain damage from an head injury or simple suppression of unpleasant memories. I am betting on the suppression part, though I have taken more blows to the head than I like to think about.

Other people have memories of high school and the people they went to school with; I have few memories of that time period. Oh, if I really think about it, I could draw you a map of the school. But don't ask me to name my teachers, for I can only name two of them. And forgot me recognizing someone from high school without heavy prompting...the exception being a handful of people.

Why the difficulty here? Well, outside of classes, I really did not interact with more than a handful of people. Most of the time, I was too busy dealing with another drama. So it is not so much a memory problem as the simple fact that there are no memories to actually access in the first place.

Now, we have a myth that everything that we experience is stored in the brain. This is not true. There are several stages where memories can get lost between the experience and actual recall of the memory. For instance, if you don't get a good night sleep, you can lose a lot of potential memories as they are transferred to short term memory to long term memory.

Of course, my short-short term memory is like swiss cheese when it comes to certain things. I have a devil's of a time with phone numbers. It is not that I can't remember phone numbers; it is that I can't remember them in the manner most people do. For me, someone firing off a seven digit phone number leads to a blank look on my face. My very own phone number is not remembered as a seven digit number, rather it is remembered as three numbers. For instance, I remember the last four digits of it as 66 and 84; there is one more step there, but you get the idea.

A few years ago, a friend caught how I rememebered a phone number that I dialed every day. She noticed that I could not remember the number unless my hand moved as if I was actually dialing the number. The memory of the number was actually stored in my muscle memory, and not in the normal usual place.

And that is something I always wonder about magical workers in general. Where are we storing our memories in the first place? For instance, according to occult theory, everyone has an astral body, and everyone astral travels (ok, I do know a theory that argues different, but it is a testing theory). Yet few people remember astral traveling on a regular basis before they get trained to astral project. And that includes people who have been witnessed by other people.

If you cannot remember astral traveling, then as far as you are concerned, you have not astral traveled. Much of learning to astral project is not figuring out how to leave your body as much as it is learning to be able to recall that you did so in the first place.

Look sometime at the number of energetic bodies that occult theory says that we have. Each one of these bodies potentially has its own set of memories. What is in our head is more than the circuits of the meat suit that we are wearing, or at least it should be if we are a magician. Which means that the memory problems that I am aware of are merely the tip of the iceberg. And that makes alzheimer's look like a welcome change from my normal experiences.

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