Memory, a Proposed New Model

We will be using a chart based on a simplified model of Laser Holography to look at the nature of consciousness and memory. This model will be very simplified, but necessitate a brief layman's introduction to the principles of physics involved in holography. It is no accident that mystics and wise men of all ages have often spoken about certain aspects of mental and spiritual activity, as well as knowledge in terms relating to light. Please keep in mind that this is a model only, and will fall far short of expressing the true complexity of the subject.

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The characteristic of a laser that makes it so useful is that it is the source of "pure" or coherent light. "Normal" light is composed of many frequencies which are all jumbled together and out of phase. Try to picture the set of ripples generated in a still pool of water when just one pebble is dropped in. All of the wave crests are equidistant and in phase and highly regular, aren't they? This is analogous to laser light. Now picture the same pool, only toss in a random handful of pebbles, the results are quite different aren't they? This is analogous to "normal" light.

The laser generates coherent light which enters a prism that splits the beam in two: (1) the Reference Beam, and (2) the Working Beam. The working beam is, in turn, reflected from a mirror and redirected back to the object being illuminated. When the wave fronts of the two beams collide on the surface, they create an "interference pattern" which is reflected to the screen or photographic plate. This interference pattern, when properly viewed, recreates the 3 dimensional image of the original object.

At first look, one might well say: "O.K., this works well for an explanation of a laser light show, but what bearing does it have on the operation and function of the human mind?" I see the symbolism in this model as follows:

  1. The coherent light is the "light" or conscious(ness) energy of the Aether, sort of the "Universal Mind" if you will.
  2. The Prism symbolizes two of the directional functions of the "Higher Self; that of illuminating both the object form its own standpoint, and of providing "light" (consciousness) for the Mirror.
  3. The Mirror represents a function of the sub conscious mind in the creation of "attention" or focusing of consciousness on the world.
  4. The Screen (photographic plate) is the storage mechanism/process for what we call memory.

Therefore the Prism, Mirror, and Screen may all be used to symbolize certain portions of the mind or mental processes in a human being.

Because the Prism, Mirror, and screen are a part of the individual and unique to that individual, the actual "records" or memories (and consciousness) of the same event or object will vary a great deal form one individual to another. None of these functions exists in isolation from the others, so there is a process of "feedback" going on at all times between them. The nature of the recorded "images" will "color" and modify both the prism and the mirror, thereby modifying the quality of all future images, memories, or recordings. This is one of the reasons that memories of past events can color or distort our present perceptions of reality so thoroughly.

One of our tasks (many would call it a "Great Work") in our lifetime is to try to "purify" or refine the quality of the Prism function, so that the "light" that forms the "working beam" is as close to identical in quality to the "reference beam" as possible. Some call this process the attaining of consciousness of the Higher Self. Another task is to "polish" and learn control over the mirror function so that the reference beam may be directed more precisely and with little or (ideally) no distortion upon the objects/events of our attention. Yet a third task is to do our best to perfect the recording mechanism of the screen, in order that the memory-image be as faithful as possible to what was presented to it.

Another point worth keeping in mind at this point is that all memories, no matter how distorted and/or "colored" are real to the individual possessing those memories. This fact may well explain the apparent anomaly of people suffering from provable no-existent abuse at an early age. If a traumatic and non-understood (or misunderstood) event occurs to an individual at an early age, the only recording will be one of trauma and an individual can be easily "talked into" (by self or others) putting that trauma into a frame of reference that can be presently understood. The fact That a memory is misunderstood, distorted, etc., does not make the any less "real" in their effect on the individual, and it must be dealt with as such.

Another interesting point is that these "holograms" or memory images can come together in a synergy where the sum of the parts becomes greater than the whole in a process of "constellation" (in Jungian terms) and form whole "complexes" which take on a life of their own. If these complexes are encouraged to grow and flourish, they can also be perceived by (some) others as some sort of "other worldly beings" and can be further fed and strengthened by others until they become Archetypal in nature. This process could well be the cause of many of the "Angels" and "Demons" of the Christian and other Pantheons.

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