The Science of Effortless Memory


One of the most sophisticated systems in human body is the brain, and even more sophisticated is the way in which it stores and retrieves information. Every moment, the brain receives a number of internal and external inputs in the form of signals, and it stores them in a particular pattern. How one interprets and assimilates this information becomes a key factor in deciding the quality of one’s life. By changing the quality of one’s memory one can change the very quality of their life.

One of the leading scientists of the inner world, sage Patanjali, beautifully says, “Anabhuta vishaya asaam pramosha smruthi”. It means, “The recall of the mental impressions of past events from the subconscious mind is memory.” Sometimes people remember that which is not required; sometimes they don’t remember that which is required. Memory is responsible for all the joys one experiences in the outer world. Not using memory is responsible for many of the sufferings one goes through in the outer world. Memory is also responsible for all the inner disturbances. It becomes important to see the paradox here: in the outer world using memory brings comforts, luxury and needed things, but not using memory brings suffering, absent-mindedness and disturbance. In the inner world , using memory brings all kinds of psychological problems, while relaxing from memory brings tremendous joy and peace.

Whenever a thought arises, without supporting that thought, without rejecting that thought, without acting in favor or against that thought, simply relaxing from a thought is called ‘unclutching’. Unclutching from memory in the inner world brings tremendous bliss.

For convenience, memory can be broadly classified into three different types. The first kind of memory is “Table Memory”. It is called “Table Memory” because it is similar to everyday items which we keep on our desk. This kind of memory involves casual tasks like recognizing one’s relatives and friends, recognizing the place where they live etc. These files are directly connected to the day-to-day activities and can be recalled without any effort. The second kind of memory is the “Cupboard Memory”. They are like the objects kept in the cupboard. One can retrieve them as per their requirements. For example, the information regarding an old vacation, an old journey, the name of an old friend are stored as cupboard memories. The third kind of memory is “Archived Memory”. One needs to have a special key to access these memories. For example, past birth memories can be remembered by working with special meditation techniques. If the table is too overloaded with memories there is an automatic mechanism which moves the files from the table to the cupboard or the archives.

When the above concept is applied effectively, it can liberate people from their psychological problems. Psychological problems are actually a luxury. One needs to constantly brood over them to have psychiatric troubles. Patanjali, an enlightened master who is the author of the Yoga Sutras, says, the recall of mental impressions of the past events from the subconscious mind is memory.

So how can memory be used effectively without creating any congestion of thoughts or other psychological troubles? The best way to use memory is to use it more and more when it comes to the outer world. Unclutch from it more and more, when it comes to the inner world. This is the sutra, this is the thumb rule. When one unclutches from the memories, relaxes from them in the inner world, tremendous spontaneity and ability to remain in the present moment will happen. The more it is used in the outer world to store and retrieve information, more and more leadership will happen in a person. Leader is a person who can handle large amounts of memory with very sharp quality of presence. When one unclutches from the memory in the inner world, tremendous feeling of security starts happening in them. Only a person who can unclutch from his memory, can feel completely secure.

When one learns the technique of unclutching, the quantity of memory available and the quality of retrieval both increase exponentially. For example, the information which is in many high resolution images can be saved in a single word document, the size of which is lesser than the size of a single image. Similarly if one can store memory files without emotional attachment, the ability to store and the ability to retrieve both are tremendously increased. By constantly unclutching from memories, everything is converted into a Word document. By constantly remembering the past mistakes guilt is created. But by unclutching from the past memories, one can assimilate the essence and experience of the mistakes.

Learning from the past experiences means assimilating. Experience does not mean the number of incidents one goes through in life; it simply means the number of lessons learned from those incidents. There is no need to remember past incidents, we just need to update and upgrade ourselves from the past lessons. One can catch this truth by simply unclutching from memories for about ten days.

Memory when it is used in the outer world can bring more and more joys and comforts. If one can unclutch from the memory in the inner world, it can bring more and more peace and bliss. By learning to unclutch one can have, what Buddha calls, “Right Remembrance.” Having the right remembrance is Jeevan Mukti – Living Enlightenment.