Blog-Buddy DAVID B. was inspired to write this article by some back-and-forth comments about free will here. He is sharing this guest post.
A lengthier version appears at his wonderful blog, as he explores various ways that the very sense of self changes with higher states of consciousness after crossing the threshold into Enlightenment.
At this blog, our focus is more about human life, success and personal development. I content myself with helping members of this blog community to move forward on a personal path to Enlightenment, sometimes helping people to cross that threshold.
So when your comments are invited below, they could be about how Enlightenment has altered your relationship to the past. Or you might be more interested in how the impact of your memories has changed. Might removal of STUFF have something to do with that?
One way or another, are unpleasant memories as sticky now? Do they drive you as much?
Okay, now it’s David’s turn to get you thinking and making connections. Maybe even some Aha!s that you will remember for years to come. 😉
Our relationship with memories changes as we grow.
Just consider NOW something that you remember from when you were about eight years old.
While the idea of the event remains, you are remembering it from how you are now, not how you were then.
Your changed perspective changes both the context of the memory and some of it’s qualities, like importance.
Also, in the remembering and the telling, our self-story about memories tends to change over time. We reinforce what has become important to us and forget those details that are less so.
This changes what we remember over time.
Our brains are very fluid, constantly being changed by new experiences. If memories are not reinforced, the connections for easy access will tend to be edited out.
This does not erase the memory itself, just easy access to it. But certain circumstances may trigger it again.
Why aren’t memories simple?
There are close to 100 billion neurons in the typical adult brain, so a great many back roads. I
t’s also worth noting that memory impressions are first processed biologically with an associated emotional charge. If the event had no charge, it is soon forgotten.
- What did you have for lunch two days ago?
- What about that fight you had with a friend last year?
Each person’s brain is an associative machine. So it will not only associate related memories, it will associate related emotions.
For example, what if you have a fear response to two different men? For unrelated reasons, you’ll tend to get that fear response with anything that reminds us of either one of these men.
The fear may even generalize to be about all men or all of a certain type of man.
This association process happens before the sensory input even becomes conscious.
This also means that emotions are already intertwined with what we see and hear as we become aware of them.
Spiritual awakening can change memories even more
With growth in consciousness, there is another kind of change with memory.
With the initial shift of Self-Realization, we shift from being a “me” or individual person to recognizing ourselves as pure consciousness itself (or related terms).
As a result, the perspective we have of our memories changes too. They were the memories of a me.
Over time, as those memories come up again, they are seen in the new context.
The old charges fall away, along with a lot of the stories. Many of those old associations fall way as well.
This considerably simplifies the mind and emotions, and we get a lot less noise with our daily experiences.
If we’re actively engaged in inner healing prior to awakening, some of this is already taking place. It simply accelerates a great deal after the shift because of the change in perspective.
Of course, as there is a growing background of profound peace, then happiness, much of the drama looses its purpose and weight. too. Another aspect of this change is the winding down of attachments and identification.