Memory and perceptions
Although our Memory and Perceptions are two distinct 'files' or databases as it were – one, Perceptions - the log - and the other, Memory - the structured database - the two are not completely separate.
There are very clearly links kept between words in Memory and sections of the Perceptions log to act as an index.
If I use the example of watching a football match, the log may be being built up all the time like a cine film or video tape [see below] and indexes may be being created between the things I have in Memory – the concept of the goal or the football or the player, for example, with events in the log. For any one word or concept such as player or goal, there may be many events in the Perceptions log which are indexed by it. Conversely an event in the Perceptions log may be indexed by a number of concepts.
Whether we subconsciously create an index or not is dependent on what our goals in life are, our Objectives, our needs, our Obligations and our interests and it is part of the Learning process to create these indexes.
This is why when we try to recall past events, one word may bring to the fore any number of different Perceptions from the log. Furthermore by using a combination of indexes we can then home in on the perception we seek.
'Do you remember that holiday we had in Santorini in June?
'Indeed I do, what about it?'
'Can you remember the restaurant we went into in Oia with the pretty awning and the wonderful fish platter?'
'Indeed I do, what about it?
'I would love one like that right now, I'm hungry!!!'
For example. I am watching a football match. All the actions of the game are being logged from my sense of sight as well as my sense of hearing. My understanding of the rules of football are rather weak, so as the game unfolds, you may find little in my log about my understanding of the subtleties of play, but let me now assume that someone scores a goal. I perceive it via my eyes and hear the roar of the crowd – this is all logged. The Learning process kicks in and using the log does a quick check from Memory and recognises it as a goal, at which point the log of Perceptions will also register that I have recognised it as a goal.
This section of the log of Perceptions may also get indexed as an example of a goal, particularly if it was a good goal. But it may equally well not be indexed – which is why many Perceptions simply are never found again.
We have to consciously want to index them to be able to remember them.
It is the interplay between the two – the ability to access our perceptions via the indexes and our ability to understand via our memory that makes us into a 'balanced person'.
And if we are able to access perceptions that we haven't indexed, but which suddenly become of great importance to us, we are in an even better position – a person who can review his or her log in a sort of random access way, may find gems of past experience that help them do something new or understand something they had not been able to understand before.
This I believe is the function of dreams and other sorts of spiritual experience. Through the Composer we are able to access Perceptions that have been buried and which need to be found, sorted and indexed; used for a new purpose and reviewed to help us sort out problems or achieve new things.
Indexing and emotions
By and large, although we may use our Perceptions on an almost constant basis to Learn, the observations appear to show that indexes are also created when the Emotions associated with them are particularly strong. Thus indexing and Emotion go together. The Emotions can be both positive and negative. Although psychologists are more likely to see the negative emotions because they are there to help those with problems, there are numerous examples I found of vivid Perceptions of very happy events being accessible in great detail – weddings, births of babies, love affairs, beautiful scenery and happy holidays.
The very negative Perceptions indexed through fear, trauma, hurt, terror, pain and so on often become ‘buried’ Perceptions, but have a continual bearing on our models of the world. Thus their effect can be disproportionately large on our 'mental models’, whilst we are largely unconscious of why the model has become so distorted.
As we have seen, a set of Perceptions – the sequence of actions that represent a ‘scene’ - may have multiple indexes. What we can now see, however, is that a number of both keywords and Emotions may take us to the same spot. For example, if we take the cylinder on the left to be the Perceptions split into scenes. Suppose a person has an irrational fear of cows. This may stem from one event - a perception - with a cow which caused fear but which has been long since forgotten. This scene might be accessible by the indexes of ‘cow’, ‘fear’, and ‘country’ and so on.
The end result is a very complex indexing system, as for any one Perception, there could be many entry points via the indexes, and for any one entry point – index subject, we could find any number of ‘clips’ of perception that matched it.
From the psychiatrists point of view it is these emotional keywords that are key to helping patients, but from our point of view, we usually do not consciously try to access perceptions via these negative keywords
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- Al-Ghazzali - The Alchemy of Happiness - 05 On what prevents spiritual experience
- Aristotle - De Anima - Perceptions and the soul
- Arthur, James D - 11 No memory no language
- Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana - Spiritual interactions
- Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana - The problems of the 5 senses
- Bergson, Henri - Matter and Memory - Memory and Perception
- Bergson, Henri - Matter and Memory - On impulse and dreaming
- Bergson, Henri - Matter and Memory - Relearning from perceptions
- Bergson, Henri - Matter and Memory - The Dangers of Memory
- Bergson, Henri - Time and Free Will - Souls and objects
- Captain Humphries - National Review – The dead bulldog apparently returns
- Chesterton, G K - Orthodoxy - Reason is itself a matter of faith
- Crowley, Aleister - Book of Lies - The Battle of the Ants
- Damasio, Professor Antonio - Perceptions
- Damasio, Professor Antonio - Remembering
- Damasio, Professor Antonio - The lying memory
- Eusevgny Faygdysh - The Mystic Cosmos - Psychological trauma and illness
- Foer, Joshua - National Geographic - Remember this
- Grof, Dr Stanislav - Accessing perceptions - the index
- Grof, Dr Stanislav - Emotion as the principle index to perceptions
- Grof, Dr Stanislav - Peter relives being locked in the cellar
- Grof, Dr Stanislav - Rebuilding memory from perceptions
- Grof, Dr Stanislav - The Dangers of 'False memory'
- Janet, Pierre - Névroses et les idées fixes (On neuroses and fixed ideas), - Subliminal memory
- Jili, Abd al-Karim - Al-Kahf wa al-raqim - 060 Section 5
- Kant, Immanuel - Quotes - Where is the soul?
- Krishnamurti - The Network of Thought - You, the ego… the me is just memory
- Leibniz - The Monadology - 03
- Leibniz - The Monadology - 04
- Mach, Ernst - The limitations of memory and the 5 senses
- Masters and Houston - False memories true perceptions
- Mutwa, Vusamazulu Credo - The ena and the moya
- Plato - Theaetetus - Birds in an aviary, the metaphor of mind
- Ramachandran, Dr V S - The distortion of perceptions to fit belief systems
- Reichel-Dolmatoff – Amazonian Cosmos - Wisdom vs knowledge
- Research paper - Visual Awareness and the Detection of Fearful Faces
- Sacks, Oliver - On Inner speech
- Shereshevsky, Soloman - Using images and symbols to help in recall
- Slow oscillations orchestrating fast oscillations and memory consolidation
- Steiner, Rudolf - Nature spirits - Thoughts
- Tennyson, Alfred Lord - In Memoriam A H H - The baby new to earth and sky
- Tennyson, Alfred Lord - In Memoriam A H H - Who loves not Knowledge?
- Vaughan, Henry - The Pursuit
- Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass - Hurrah for positive science
- Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book IV - 08. Karma and Past Lives
- Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book IV - 09. and 10. Higher spirit, perceptions and memory