Memory is an interesting bird that is quite different from other forms of thought. In What is True? I outline ways that thoughts arise. But memories are different, they are pre-structured. They arise whole, like an idea. They pop into your head.
What is memory? Mind is a field of energy. Memory is a pattern in mind. We can go a little deeper though. Rupert Sheldrake said “memory is inherent in nature”. This implies a broader idea of mind than ‘in the head’. In Mental States, I spoke of the values of mind as it expresses from open, through intuitive, process, intellect, and on into lower values through judgment into unconscious. We might call these values energy states.
That same mind also functions through various resolutions. We can experience individual mind, group mind, area mind, earth mind, and on to universal mind and one mind and deepest mind. Memories can arise in each of these. Some we describe as the group unconscious. We also see them arise in effects like the so called “100th monkey” and see them in fads sweeping a nation or concurrent discoveries.
As I observed in Memories, many people live in the past which is living in individual memory, living in habits of local mind. Others live in group mind. Some live in higher minds.
Deepest mind shows just how deep memory can go. Like love and intention, memory is one of those common experiences that can go much deeper than something like conflict or fear. Indeed, there are values of memory beyond duality. To understand this we need to look at the deepest values, long before anything like ‘universe’ or ‘individual’, before even existence.
Within the silence there is 2 basic principles. A principle of alertness and a principle of liveliness. Awareness is stirred by the liveliness and becomes aware of itself. Recognition causes existence. Mind begins. The liveliness stirs awareness as vibration or sound. What might also be called intelligence. And thus arises the flow or Intention, the movement of awareness within itself. The flow is sequential and thus structures Veda or knowledge.
In mind, the liveliness we experience as thoughts. But whatever level of mind, it follows the same principles. As above, so below.
The observation of each value causes its next level of expression. That in a nutshell is the process of becoming. The foundation of all experience and being. But what causes liveliness to become lively? Memory. In Sanskrit, Smriti.
But how is it that memory, a subtle structure of mind, can cause that which is before mind to arise? Firstly, one must understand this is beyond constructs like Time. There is no before or after, no chicken and egg. Also, as long as it is being experienced, it includes the process of experience, awareness aware of itself. As soon as we experience it, we have enlivened it. As a teacher recently so aptly put it, you have awareness aware of awareness aware of itself. (laughs) This awareness bubble in itself causes mind. Each time we are able to step back and experience a wider view, we step into a still higher value of mind.
Another way to understand this is the ways people describe silence. There is emptiness or Nirguna Nirakar Brahm. And there is fullness, Sagun Sakar Brahm. Unqualified and qualified. 2 aspects of that which is undivided, one without a second. What is it that qualifies the silence? Memory. Memory because the silence has always been both with and without qualities. We could say this deep memory is the foundational intelligence, the underlying structure. It is unexpressed, in potential. It is the principle of liveliness itself.
Does this mean all experience is born of memory? There is nothing new under the sun? It means that everything is experienced and expressed through the underlying structure of memory. The filters of what has been, and deeper the filters of what is.
All is in context of everything else. There is no other. Remember who you are. 😉