Working with the Harry Lorayne memory stuff, I think I’ve figured out his core premise: there is something he calls “real” memory, which is the direct, analogue, experiential memory our ancestors relied upon to survive in the world. And it is far, far stronger than the “digital” or “constructed” memory we use in the modern world, where names do not relate directly to function, and words do not necessarily have a direct obvious connection to their meaning, and numbers higher than 10 fingers swamp our consciousness.
He has you translate names and words into visual images, and links those images to the thing or person you want to remember. Translate numbers into (for instance) images and consonant sounds from 1-10 or 0-99, so that a number such as 2384759569 becomes Gnome+Fire+Kill+Ball+Shop (generating images from the consonant sounds representing the numbers) then making a little story about a Gnome burning to death while hitting a ball through a shop window. Some absurd, sexy, funny, violent or otherwise memorable and unique image that links it all together to make the number 2384759569. It works. And the odd thing is that once you’ve done it a while, you get the images automatically, and you translate them back and forth to the numbers automatically–in other words, it is as if the mneumonic techniques allow you to “access” “true memory” by transforming digital to analogue, using unique images (rather than things you’ve thought a thousand times before, which are by nature un-memorable) and stepping back into the kind of thinking that we actually evolved to use.
Or so I’m suspecting at this point.
My favorite goal-setting method is the Tad James “Time Line© ” method, which translates a series of complex, digital, abstract notions into things you can feel and see. A similar process? Perhaps.
Goals, values, beliefs, and emotional charges are key elements.
- Goals. Most people don’t have clear goals. They may have negative images (“I don’t want X anymore”) or vague desires (“I want more money”) but not something specific (“I increase my net worth by 10k a year”). If you can visualize the end point (viewing a balance sheet on December 31) and the intermediate steps to the accomplishment (what do you have to do TODAY to move toward this larger goal?) do you tap into some kind of “true” action path? It’s an interesting question.
- Values. If you want a relationship, but “freedom” conflicts with “intimacy” you have to untangle that, or you will bounce out of any opportunity for love. If you can create a visual, kinesthetic or auditory metaphor for this, you can “see” if (for instance) a “line of green light” winds around your goals gently, supporting them, or if that line is knotted or broken. It might take a bit of work to create such a metaphor, it is extremely powerful.
- Beliefs. If you believe that the pursuit of your goal will create more pain than pleasure, you will “drive with your brakes on.” Again, creating some kind of metaphor so your unconscious can communicate to you when all is well–or conversely if you’ve got a ball of snakes between your ears–is useful.
- Emotional charges. If you don’t remember that you were bitten by a dog in infancy, you could have a buried survival blip that keeps you from enjoying the puppy experience. The ability to “see” or “feel” that there is something “off” can motivate you to dive more deeply, and find an unconscious issue.
The removal of the blocks, knots, brakes or conflicts allows your life energy to operate smoothly. When this happens, you begin to generate the things you want in life, and once you realize the connection between your efforts and your results (“I can create anything I’m willing to pay the price for? Really?”) you start asking what is really worth the investment of ten thousand hours of your life. You clarify your values. Fear retreats to its proper place in your life.
And both Maslow and the yogic Chakras suggest that, once those basic, selfish, survival needs are met (a measure of “adulthood”) , we automatically begin to evolve toward the higher aspects, asking “who am I?” and “what is true?” which are the questions that lead to awareness. The stage beyond that: non-dualistic thinking, is mostly of interest to philosophers and the spiritually inclined. And the stage beyond that cannot really be described in words, and is mostly of interest to crazy people like me.
But these earlier stages? Success and love and health and happiness? That’s of interest to EVERYONE. And you might want to investigate the difference between your “true” mind and the “constructed” minds we create to navigate the modern world. There just may be a difference.