Friday, October 06, 2006

Shifting Memories

Are Keys to Reality Selection

"We observe memory sequences when we observe time. Hence there is no
time; there are only memory sequences. Or in other words, what we
call time is actually a memory sequence. These sequences are
recordable in arbitrary ways, and they can be replayed. Thus what we
call the past is only a matter of record. There is no such thing as
the past; there are only memory sequences that are somewhat related
to each other."-- Fred Alan Wolf, Matter into Feeling

This month I got my ears pierced for the first time. As I was
cleaning the earrings the very first day I wore them, I had the
distinct memory that I had done this all before. The earrings felt
familiar, the cleaning felt familiar, and I even could recall having
worn a variety of beautiful dangly earrings over the years. At this
moment, I don't own a variety of beautiful dangly earrings. When I
told a friend that I'd just gotten my ears pierced, she replied with
surprise, "But aren't your ears already pierced? I always love seeing
what earrings you're wearing, and I could have sworn your ears were

Memories are much more than factual recollections of the past.
According to the parallel universes model of reality, parallel
versions of you are at this very moment actively exploring all
possibilities, although you typically only recall having chosen one.
While you may be traveling through numerous parallel realities, you
are typically conscious of only experiencing one reality at any given
time. Your memories can therefore be the keys by which you can
retrace your path through time.

While memories show us the path by which we have experienced the
world, they are extremely flexible. This flexibility allows our
memories to be altered in ways that demonstrate how we may, in fact,
have experienced parallel universes. For example, let's take a look
at scientific evidence that suggests how easily our memories can be
modified in ways that profoundly affect our future behavior.
Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus and her colleagues have recently
published findings that report how people whose memories have been
modified to recall negative experiences in childhood with specific
foods can develop new aversions to those foods, leading them to avoid
those foods after their childhood memories have been altered to
include new "false memories" of food-related trauma. I would suggest
that rather than remembering previous trauma, it may be more
beneficial to recall having been fully and completely loved. Such
positive memories have the power to bring a sense of confidence and
resilience to people who might otherwise feel sad, lonely, and afraid.
CSL MeditationMeditate and improve your brain!

Turning our attention to how our beliefs affect the future, we can
investigate how our self-fulfilling prophecies have the power to
create in the external world exactly what we predict or "remember-in-
advance" to be true. Our beliefs affect others as well, most
noticeably when we forecast difficulties, and share those negative
views of the future, according to a recently published study on self-
fulfilling prophecies published in Psychological Science. What "false
memories" have in common with self-fulfilling prophecy is that both
our memories about the past and our beliefs can be modified, and both
can affect our future reality and the realities of others.

Recent brain studies have shown that people who are highly
suggestible can be hypnotized in ways that demonstrate their brains
have been altered by mere suggestion, giving hypnosis increased
credibility in the field of neuroscience. Hypnosis isn't the only
thing that's been demonstrated to modify the brain; neuroscientists
have recently discovered that frequent meditators experience
measurable, positive changes in brain development, in terms of
increased cortical thickness. Study team member and Yale psychology
professor Jeremy Gray notes, "... meditation practice can change
anyone's gray matter... you don't have to be a monk."

See for yourself what difference you notice in your life when you
take time to remember positive memories about the past, as well as
positive feelings about what you "remember-in-advance." It might help
to know that this exercise in itself is a form of meditation, so just
spending some quality time with these energizing thoughts and
feelings will do you a world of good.

lots of love,
Cynthia Sue Larson

No comments: