Common steps and sub-activities
There are a number of techniques on this website geared towards removing things from memory that get in the way. Thus cure as opposed to prevention. But there may still be memories left that haunt you, not hurt from others, not hurt you have done, not destructive learnt function – just bad memories.
Things that frightened you, perhaps as a child, things that you saw or were involved in – car accidents, someone being robbed or beaten, something that happened at school that humiliated you. An illness perhaps that caused you pain. Something nasty or vicious on TV or in a film.
When I was a [very sensitive] child I was taken to Oklahoma – a musical which is classified these days as a U film. But they had to take me out, because when it got to the scene of the haystack burning I became hysterical with fear. And I haven’t forgotten it – nor the wardrobe in my bedroom, made of wood with faces of demons in the wood grain that stared down at me every night.
So what we are trying to ‘forget’ here are all the memories – incidents and facts [within our Database of facts] that can suddenly erupt into our conscious mind just when we least expect it and least want it – when we are trying to seek spiritual experience.
This technique is quite prominently discussed in the Cloud of Unknowing, as one would expect, but it is a very key part of many psychotherapy procedures too.
The Greeks were well aware of its importance and the concept was allegorically portrayed as Lethe – the river where you washed to forget.
This was the Spiritual path he took whilst still alive and it affirms the possibility of forgetting by removing indexes to Perception in life. Thus, when he had reached the top and entered his personal garden of Eden, all the bad memories he had were erased for him, so that he journeyed further only with 'good thoughts'.
Dante also extended the concept by making his allegorical self enter another river, which only made accessible the better Perceptions.
In effect, as Lethe ‘de-indexed’ the Perceptions of 'evil deeds' committed or experienced, so Eunoe revived Perceptions of all the good the soul had performed on earth, or alternatively all the good it had experienced.
From Dante's perspective, given that his was the allegorical journey of the mystic, the soul – freed from its memory of 'sins' and buoyed up by memories of good – was renewed and ready to face the next hurdle.
“The will is now corrected to love only the good, and the soul's appetite is now only for what is good”.
So Lethe and Eunoe do allegorically what the psychotherapist and hypnotherapist try to do.
You can go to a psychotherapist or hypnotherapist, but here is an extremely simple do-it-yourself method. Get a sheet or paper laid out in the following way
Now follow these steps
- Recording - Over a period of several weeks or even months write down IN PENCIL every memory that gives you trouble. You will find that these are distinguished from normal memories by being associated with high levels of emotion from fear to pain, to any form of other distress. Describe in this journal all the distressing aspects of the memory.
- Link with perceptions - Against that memory put any photos or accurate visual information that reminds you of this event. This is a symbolic link with that memory and represents your perception of the event. There is no need to delve into your perceptions to obtain some kind of accurate perception recall, that is not the objective here.
- Assessing and learning - Next, see if there is anything positive and helpful you can learn from this memory. Write this down too, and do this IN INK but make sure it is not a generalisation based on only one incident. For example, it makes no sense to write down ‘I will no longer have anything to do with men’ if your memories are of one particular troubling person. Or ‘I will never eat oysters again’ if you had food poisoning from one bad one. The lesson to learn in both cases is how to spot the bad ones.
- Erasing – now with a rubber [for Americans, a rubber is I believe called an eraser in your country – here we call it a rubber] you rub out the pencil memory in a symbolic act. Make it into a ritual act with a set and setting appropriate to the level of removal you are attempting. Flags, music, candles, chocolate bars [the reward for having achieved it] , small glasses of sweet sherry, a bucket of figs [no sorry I’m getting carried away] altars for the sacrifice of a memory – all are good.
If it reappears, you repeat the process but make it a little more ritualised the next time – a few more flags, fanfares, a brass band accompaniment, you in a pink ballgown with a ritual rubber. That sort of thing. Step up the ceremony until your Conscious and Subconscious have both accepted it is gone.
- Remove the index - If it works what we are now left with are our original Perceptions – the ones on which the Memory was based. Perceptions cannot be deleted. We can ‘forget’ erase and delete Memory. But Perceptions stay forever cross referenced with memory.
So how do we ‘forget’ a perception we no longer want to know about?………… we ritually remove the index. Take the sheet on which you wrote the memory – now erased - and ritually cut away the perception from the now erased box and throw it away. The index is then removed – the cross reference between the memory entry and its corresponding Perception is deleted. What is more you have told your Subconscious that the perception is of no more use to you. You have learnt your lesson and the perception can disappear. The humiliation caused by water skiing naked in front of 500 people after 2 bottles of third rate chianti is no more.
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.
- Appreciation of MDMA as Therapeutic MDMA by Legion Bob
- Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz - The Third Day
- Dante - Purgatorio - Canto 31
- Delville, Jean - Dante drinking from the Waters of Lethe
- Epictetus - The Enchiridion - 05
- James - James 5 verses 1 to 20
- Janet, Pierre - Healing Achille
- Khan, Hazrat Inayat – The Art of Being and Becoming - The eradication of suffering
- Louis Jacolliot - The Bible in India - The Thoughts and maxims of Krishna
- Nietzsche - On the Genealogy of Morals - There could be no happiness without forgetfulness
- Steiner, Rudolf - How to Know Higher Worlds - The potion of oblivion
- Tarot - 03 Minor Arcana - 07s Redemption [Rebirth]
- Tirrukural, the - Book 1 from Forbearance
- Tirrukural, the - Book 1 Gratitude