Why Your Memories Exist In Your Head — And Not In Everyone Else's

26 Oct 2020

Why Your Memories Exist In Your Head — And Not In Everyone Else’s


Memories are peculiar phenomena

In this podcast with Aaron Mooar on Raglan Radio, we discuss how memories are linked with truth, reality and time. Quite a significant, and lively discussion for a 20-minute interview!

What we call memory is our representation of reality — not reality itself

We might share an experience with others, yet all have a different memory of it. For instance, when you get together with siblings or extended family, you might reminisce about an exciting time that they were also a part of. Yet your siblings tell you they were frightened by that same event.

Profound memories often involve all our senses; what we saw, heard and felt as well as tastes or smells. Frequently there is also internal dialogue as we make sense of our experience.

However, memories only exist in your mind; you can’t point to a memory that other people would be able to see. This means that memories can be changed.

Why would you want to change a memory?

Not all of our memories are happy. Sometimes, unfortunate occurrences have left us with memories that we relive — over and over. Each time we tell someone about our experience, we strengthen the memory, reinforcing the initial associated bad feelings.

However, suppose you can examine the occurrence in a dissociated way (as if you’re watching yourself having the experience), you can often gain new insights. This learning will soothe the memory or give you a new understanding or interpretation of what happened. 

Many NLP processes, such as the phobia cure and fast allergy relief process, use dissociation as a central theme. The person doesn’t forget what happened after an NLP process, but will often remember the event in a different way, devoid of the traumatising feelings previously associated with it.

Your memory is not the TRUTH. 

Memories are malleable and change depending on how many times you’ve re-membered something. 

Memories are also inaccurate.

Each act of re-membering something causes subtle changes. So it’s more likely that someone recalling a past event three times will have a better, and less distorted memory of it than someone who’s harked back to it a hundred times. So don’t argue with people who remember an event in a way that’s different to how you remember it.

Our record of reality is often sketchy 

Your brain filters out most of the information that’s available externally. We’re besieged with information, and if our brain didn’t do this filtering, we’d probably go crazy. So our brain searches for things that we like, enjoy or are interested in, and focuses our attention on those things. The part of the brain responsible for this is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS).

Our memories are locked in time. 

And time doesn’t really exist! We can only experience the present moment. Everything else is either a memory from the past, or future projection.

Given that any memory is only in our head and is time-bound, it means we can change them right now — in the present moment! (This statement caused Aaron’s eyes to go round around and around as he tried to process what I’d said!)

I describe how a course participant cleared an allergy — that he’d had for 35 years — in 20 minutes.

There’s more! Just remember to click the play button below and have a listen!