“Since time immemorial, humans have tried to understand what memory is, how it works and why it goes wrong. It is an important part of what makes us truly human, and yet it is one of the most elusive and misunderstood of human attributes.
It seems that our memory is located not in one particular place in the brain, but is instead a brain-wide process in which several different areas of the brain act in conjunction with one another (sometimes referred to as distributed processing). For example, the simple act of riding a bike is actively and seamlessly reconstructed by the brain from many different areas: the memory of how to operate the bike comes from one area, the memory of how to get from here to the end of the block comes from another, the memory of biking safety rules from another, and that nervous feeling when a car veers dangerously close comes from still another. Each element of a memory (sights, sounds, words, emotions) is encoded in the same part of the brain that originally created that fragment (visual cortex, motor cortex, language area, etc), and recall of a memory effectively reactivates the neural patterns generated during the original encoding. Thus, a better image might be that of a complex web, in which the threads symbolize the various elements of a memory, that join at nodes or intersection points to form a whole rounded memory of a person, object or event. This kind of distributed memory ensures that even if part of the brain is damaged, some parts of an experience may still remain. Neurologists are only beginning to understand how the parts are reassembled into a coherent whole.
Neither is memory a single unitary process but there are different types of memory. Our short term and long-term memories are encoded and stored in different ways and in different parts of the brain, for reasons that we are only beginning to guess at. Years of case studies of patients suffering from accidents and brain-related diseases and other disorders (especially in elderly persons) have begun to indicate some of the complexities of the memory processes, and great strides have been made in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, but many of the exact mechanisms involved remain elusive.”
Excerpted from Human-memory.net
Elsewhere in this blog I have hypothesised some kind of partial memory recall from previous incarnations. Such a thing is impossible if all memory function is brain only, because on death and subsequently the brain ceases to function and be. Using the esoteric psychology of the personality, comprised of physical vehicle, vital-etheric, astral and mental vehicles, these too fade in time. So, for memory to be stored and carried over it must be stored or imprinted in the causal vehicle or in other words the dreamer. It cannot be material and made of matter. It probably cannot be stored like in a neural brain web. There must be some other mechanism.
It was suggested to me that when I encountered the Toltec Teachings this time around, I had had some prior, previous life training, because I picked them up quickly. My memory was in a way restored and grounded into the physical vehicle. Those teachings once again became mind resident. I could hypothesise that a similar thing happened with Buddhism. It is unlikely that the detail is stored but the propensity might be. I suspect that tulkus who undergo training at the monastery are having their memory restored and I guess that the training is warp speed and relentless.
I have done a lot of working, dreaming practise and the master in the heart med., to encourage a linkage with my causal vehicle or dreamer and to hand over control of the steering wheel, so to speak, to it.
I have read a lot of esoteric stuff and it seemed to stick quickly. In reading some of the published material on say kabala, I know that it is both wrongly presented and inaccurately explained, there is a lot of wishful thinking and flowery extrapolation. As a test I once went through one of Crowley’s extensive tabulations of correspondences, intuitively I could see that much made sense and corresponded but that there were glaring errors.
I am a trained researcher of some intellect. My pattern recognition is good.
I’ll speculate that in order for “memory” to be stored in anyway in the causal vehicle the personality vehicle must be on the way to or already partially Soul infused. The more the Soul infusion has taken place the more likely there is a capacity to encode “memory” into the causal vehicle. If someone has worked at Soul infusion then it is more likely that in a subsequent incarnation, they will seek out the same teachings so as to finish the job, to pick up from where they left off.
In Buddhism there is the phenomenon of stream-entry, sotāpanna.
“The word sotāpanna literally means “one who entered (āpanna) the stream (sota), stream-enterer”, after a metaphor which calls the noble eightfold path a stream which leads to vast ocean, nibbāna. Entering the stream (sotāpatti) is the first of the four stages of enlightenment.”
Such a being would on each incarnation be becoming more and more Soul infused and then gain the so-called special knowledge of pubbe-nivāsanussati.
“Remember one’s former abodes” (pubbe-nivāsanussati), causal memory, that is, recalling one’s own past lives;”
One could say that there is textual and traditional precedent for such a thing to occur.
It is impossible to prove that I have memories from former abodes, because nobody alive in the same body today was alive when these “occurred”. With a Tibetan tulku, given that they reincarnate swiftly after death, it is possible that a being could experience someone, some Soul, in two different bodies.
I am wondering this morning if because humanity is so enamoured with its fancy machines and statistics that it is looking in the wrong place to understand memory. Looking elsewhere we might shed some light on dementia.
“and great strides have been made in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, but many of the exact mechanisms involved remain elusive.”