Friday, March 25, 2016

Is memory unlimited?

Human memory is limited. First of all everything we learned must be screened by what we already know - our perceptual system. We learn best in areas where we have already learned something.

Our short term memory is limited to about 7 bits of information at a time. If these bits are to be remembered (put into long term storage) we need to focus on them for about a minute. As a result we are limited in terms of how much we can get into our long-term storage.

Secondly we store different kinds of information in different learning centers. Factual information in one place. Emotional in another and spiritual in a third.

Facts go into our cognitive or intellectual brain but personally meaningful events - those associated with passion, feeling, rewards and punishments - these are stored in our emotional brain.

The emotional brain makes decisions, establishes our motivation and lights our passions on fire. The memory here is more of little videos of life, little drama bits with important lessons (core beliefs) that are associated with feeling. The emotional brain is going to collect memories that fit in with the core beliefs and feelings that we have already collected. We are biased in the experiences we collect and how we interpret them.

If our culture allows us, we will also experience and record information received through our psychic, spiritual or intuitive sensing. Call this the intuitive brain, source of our 'gut reactions' or our human spirit. The memory here is not of facts but of the love we have or have not received, the joy we have or have not felt, the beauty of the sunset, the great athlete, great music and the presence of Source or God. Let us call these our transcendent experiences. By the way if our human family invests love in us, then this center will grow and grow until we can experience empathy with another.

By the way factual memories are stored longer if the test - that is are made to remember them. Our emotional memories can change when they are remembered. They become open to editing,
suggestion, reinterpretation when remembered. There is a period of hours after recall of an emotional memory when it is vulnerable to such influences. It is helpful for therapists to understand how that process works.

The content of our spirit or intuitive brain can be influenced by what we meditate upon. Feed in spiritually nurturing experiences and we become more filled with light and goodness. 'Memory' here is like colouring in water. It is the state of our soul. We can shape who we are at this level.
In conclusion not only is memory limited but we are in constant flux. We are an ongoing process of learning and forgetting, wounding and healing, becoming more filled with light or running out of joy. The 'who we are' is a lot more important than what we remember.

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