neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield, was probing the temporal lobes of
patients plagued by epileptic seizures when he discovered that touching
certain parts of the brain caused the patient to remember vividly
In Penfieldss words the memories
he discovered as he probed the patients brain were, "They
were electrical activation's of the sequential record of consciousness,
a record that had been laid down during the patients earlier
experience. The patient "re-lived" all that he had been
aware of in that earlier period of time as in a moving-picture flashback."
Because I am blessed with an eidetic memory, this is exactly what
I experience when I choose to remember something perfectly. I simply
allow myself to return to the original experience and it comes back
completely refreshed. Penfield also concluded with his experiments
that the brain stores everything its owner has ever experienced
in its original form. Sigmund Freud also believed that, "in
mental life nothing which has once been formed can perish."
Everything you've ever experienced is there in the subconscious.
The question isn't can you retain memory, the question is can you
Karl Pribram hunted for years for the particular
engrams or physical spaces in the brain where memories are housed.
What he discovered is that memory is non-local. Working with Karl
Lashley they discovered working with rats that no matter how much
of the rats brain was removed the animal could still perform
a variety of tasks. Therefore, long term memory was not stored in
specific locations in the brain after all. Another scientist who
is documenting his own research in this area is Dr. Paul Pietsch.
Again, science is beginning to agree with the ancient wisdom teachings
that consciousness is not a function of the brain, but something
that is processed through the brain, yet exists in a domain beyond
the material world.
Pribram, along with Rupert Sheldrake tapped into
the understanding that though the brain is the hardware necessary
for processing consciousness that manifests as mind, this elusive
mind can exist in a non-local presence around the human body. Memory
can be electrochemical, but it can also be that etheric substance
that science is just gleaning as a very subtle frequency that surrounds
the human body and brain. From all his research Pribram came up
with his theory of the holographic brain. The best book available
that explains all the research in this area in laymens terms
is Michael Talbots The Holographic Universe.
As long as I can remember, I have had a flawless
eidetic memory (is that a redundant statement?). I was blessed at
birth with whatever faculties are necessary in the brain to process
incoming information and to retain long term whatever I choose to
retain. In contemplating this gift I have done a great deal of research
into memory retention, as contemporary science understands it, as
well as look into the mechanisms of conscious thought as understood
by the ancient wisdom teachings. My conclusion at this point in
time is that memory is certainly stored electrochemically in the
brain, but as well as in the energy field that surrounds the body.
The vehicle for creating and retrieving certain memories is a function
of intent and interest.
There are numerous memory courses out there that
promise to improve memory by giving certain association tricks and
tips. These may work for some kinds of memory retention. I have
come to observe that what causes me to have such a perfect memory
is that all that I remember is obtained in a moment of interested
intent and I am in the present moment with whatever I am experiencing.
All eidetic memory consists of is the ability to return to the moment
of experience in the mind and everything that was experienced will
flood into the present immediately. You dont have to contrive
certain associate events, you just have to return in mind to the
experience and all that was involved comes back in total. It is
a visual experience because I see everything as it was.
If you contemplate that concept you realize that
if you can learn to be consciously present in each moment, you will
be able to recall anything you chose by simply returning to that
moment in thought. Perhaps it is the retrieval process we need to
focus on not how to retain certain memories. If you consider how
much information is impinging your brain at any one moment it is
staggering. We must select from the continual onslaught of information
and impression bombardment what we chose to integrate with our conscious
thought. This is why I feel that focused intent is the key to memory
retention and retrieval. Though a good sound and healthy brain is
necessary for this to function properly.
What this has to do with creativity is that a truly
creative person is never handicapped by losing the wisdom of prior
experience. What the truly creative mind does is access that certain
idea which has already been offered to consciousness. Then become
relaxed, open and free to allow anything new that memory has yet
to resolve. All problems are solvable if you are patient and know
that the solution lies in your intent to find it and your willingness
to be open to it.
Carl Jung introduced the idea of the collective
consciousness. The 100th monkey idea has taken this notion
one step further by acknowledging scientifically that all experience
by any human on the planet is housed in an etheric state of consciousness
that all humans have access to. This collective consciousness impinges
upon the whole of humanity as it enlarges and all minds are enlightened
as a result. The solution to any problem already lies in this collective
consciousness (which could be and is presumed to lie in the subconscious
portion of the mind). All one needs do is to relax, reach a state
of confident calm, and allow the answer to the problem or creative
endeavor to impinge upon the mind. That moment of impingement is
also know as insight.
I recently came upon a book by Dr. Dharma Singh
Khalsa called "Brain Longevity." In it he describes his
study and methods of working with many patients who show the problems
of aging and memory retention and restoring the memory loss of Alzheimer's
patients. The book is excellent because it outlines the different
approaches to improving over-all functioning of the brain. The point
he makes I found most interesting though was that stress is a large
inhibitor to memory retention and overall brain functioning. What
he discovered is that cortisol, which is produced by the adrenals
under stress, has a very damaging effect on the neurons of the brain
and the ability of neurotransmitters to do their job. Just by reducing
stress one can create a healthier brain, learn to think with greater
clarity, and retain more of what you experience.
What I also found very good was that beyond diet,
certain pharmacological substances and meditation to relieve stress,
was his use of kundalini yoga as a method of strengthening the brain.
Kundalini yoga has been shown in the East to send not only particular
substances directly to the brain but to create an overall electrical
stimulation of the brain that has a lasting effect on brain functioning.
To enhance your own abilities to retain what you experience and
want to learn you can go to his web site at Brain
In summary, three very important things are necessary
to enhancing creative thought utilizing previous experience as stored
memory. One is that you need a healthy energized brain; two is that
you need to be present with interest for anything you chose to remember
later, or use for future creative experience and three, a relaxed
state of mind is the greatest vehicle for creative thought. A relaxed
mind is simultaneous with a light heart. Both conditions will foster
spontaneous creativity and make life a joy in the process.