This Fulcrum is a reply to a question from Rob from The Netherlands:
What is the function of memory, as it seems to work rather in advantage of your development, but also against it…? So you want to remember that you are a person with ‘good’ intentions, but a minute later life reminds you about things that were not conducted according to the ways of that good person you thought you intended to become. Can we influence what we remember, and how we want to remember?
To approach this important question, we need to first bear in mind that the human is not an isolated being, living in an isolated cocoon. Consider the ecology in which you reside. Your home is likely a part of a village or town. This means living in a radiation band of general habitual living, and 21st century lifestyle is rife with dispersion. Listen to the range of sounds in the air, observe human behaviour, read the headlines, go for a walk. Is the world around you designed to engender inner stillness and purpose clarity? The 21st century is in a state of constant frenzy; a runaway train to… where? It cannot stand still, it cannot take a break from itself, driving people senseless with the need to keep up with things such as ‘competitive advantage’ and ‘delivering results’ to keep itself going.
And inside of this state of chaos there are those that seek to develop and grow as human beings.
As you know, the first importance is to know what one wants. And then, to find ways to live by it. The higher one aims, the greater the challenge. Personal development is a process that needs to happen in a dedicated ecology – both an inner ecology and if possible, a surrounding ecology. And it must happen in the absence of pressure, in its own speed and rhythm. For most of us ‘surrounding ecology’ is our home and how we design the home ecology to support a refining process.
So the world around us, the constant collective radiation of the 21st century, makes it easy to forget our good intentions. One forms up an intention – such as deepening your affair with a quality such as intactness, or impartiality – and walks out the door, to after two minutes forget all about it because nothing around the person supports their intention. On the contrary, one may be encountering experiences that summon the unrefined aspects of self such as judgement, reactivity, anger, frustration…
How to train oneself to remember to remember? There are many approaches that combine to help in developing focus and not straying away, of which one is pointed to here.
Choose a physical link, such as a bracelet, a coin in the shoe, a stone in the pocket, an object on your desk – something that will remind you of your intention. Persist for as long as it takes, until your system gets the point and way of it. Repetition is the engine of growth, and a physical link works like a spark plug to help in keeping it going.
Dispersion lives at the low end of human process. Special qualities live at the higher end of the gradient of human process and possibility. Focus on a quality – work out its meaning and value, struggle with it, think about it, feel it, talk about it with a friend, develop an affair with it. The human is a processing machine. Process the higher end to attract fine energies and qualities and experience the stillness and peace that it hosts. The higher we go, the easier it is to remember to remember. Note that perfection is not part of the deal – struggle will always be there. Which is a blessing – who wants to give up the right to struggle to win that which awaits to be won by an endeavouring human?
It is said that in a personal development context, when one changes one little thing, one changes everything. One tiny change, if well chosen and persisted with, echoes throughout and in some cases, beyond ones’ being. The 21st century is not interested in developing humans. It needs people for its continuance, which is heavily accented to money and power. When one chooses to embark on a path of self-discovery, like the salmon’s journey, one must travel upstream. It is a thrilling, enlightening, inspiring, highly energising, healing, connective journey. But one where we need to remember to remember, new every day, as we advance into the unexplored realms of the human possibility.
To sum up, the human is a processing machine, and as such, the task of a developing human is to be on a journey of refining process through self-tasking. This happens in little steps, pushing every day against the resistance from within and without where modern living makes it easy to forget and stray away at many levels. So we apply technologies such as links and writing, and engage in dedicated processes such as meditations, contemplations, working things out, and all manner of practices… to escape the low, coarser end, to be based at the high, finer end. Know what comes to hijack you away from what you want, think about that which liberates the future you, never the other way around…
Hopefully, this helps a little.
With best wishes,
World Copyright 2021© David Gommé
2 thoughts on “How to Remember to Remember”
Thanks for the pertinent question Rob.
And thanks for the insightful and well explained answer David.
There are useful reminders for my developing life here.
Mooie omschrijving van de weg naar verfijning in de context van de 21ste eeuw.