Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.

Published on www.acadun.com

The Netherlands

23th February 2014



What does memory mean?


Memory is the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information. This can only mean that information is not available outside memory or if memory is not available. It is obvious that in the present now man does not know anything. If man wants to know he has to recall the information from his memory. It is memory which makes up the world. Without memory, man would not experience anything. But how real could memory be or anything that man believes he knows or is happening in life?


Man needs to understand what memory is and how it came to exist. Memory is made up of words. Words in turn are made up of letters. Therefore, letters must exist first before a word or memory can exist in the mind. In the animal kingdom light transformed as sounds. The intellect present in a particular wave-length of sound in the animal evolved the sound as the mind. And in the animal kingdom, the function to know and recognise (meaning knowing again) sound evolved in the mind. Knowing again or recognition evolved as memory. Memory of sound evolved as a delay in the mind for the animal. Therefore, sound is a delay in light and memory is a delay in the mind. Thus intelligence present in light transforms as intellect in every sound, and the intellect present in a particular sound transforms as the mind. In the primitive man the light received by the brain transformed as sound, just as it does in the animal kingdom, which experiences sound. In man this phenomenon evolved and sophisticated further.


In life, as light transforms into sound, the sound is known in the mind and recognised as sound in memory. The intelligence of life, which is light, transformed a particular sound into a letter, and this letter got known in the mind as a sound and recognised (meaning known again) as a letter in memory. As letters, words and language evolved, they all passed through the mind as sound only and were stored in the mind, as memory, as letters, words and language, and were stored in the memory. For man, therefore, the mind is a delay in life and memory is a delay in the mind. This is the reason why man cannot know anything without his memory, because every letter, word and language is within the memory (meaning known again), as words in the memory. And it is a paradox that only from the past that the present is known. It is a paradox too that the past, present and future get spoken only in the present, which is the past too. This is because, as life was evolving the mind, images were transformed first as sound, and later as letters, words and memory. During those times the mind just had memory, and still has only memory. When the concept of doer strengthened within the mind and the concept of time evolved, the concept of present evolved within memory.


The next concept of time that evolved was past, and as life sophisticated future too evolved. Therefore, the mind just contains memory and the past, present and future are concepts in memory that mean the present is immediate memory, yesterday and days gone by are the recent and distant memory, and the future is expected memory. The ever-present, timeless and thoughtless ‘now’, however, is the present, wherein a sound is heard which stimulates the present, past and future as a reality, albeit illusory.


The real present, therefore, is the moment ‘now’, which is timeless and thoughtless, because time and thought are in the memory, which is the past. Man is alive in the timeless and thoughtless ‘now’. He experiences because of memory, which is the past. It is again a paradox that, though man lives in life, he does not live life in the ‘now’, but thinks in the past, which is memory.


Life meticulously and mysteriously translated every part of the body, including the senses, all of which are light, into sound, letters and words with meanings and stored them in memory. Life has also mysteriously translated every system of the body into words and parts of its every function and parts of its every action, but not in their entirety. There is no word stored in memory for the entirety of the body’s system-function or every action of the body, and there cannot be either. Therefore, what man knows from memory are only parts but not the entire flow of life. This is the reason why man does not do anything to see, hear, smell, taste, touch or control any system in his body. Neither does he do any act, speak or think. They all happen to him, including his memory, albeit illusory. Man merely claims because of memory and the claim too happens.

So what does memory mean? Memory means that life happens the way it is meant to happen, and memory does not make it happen the way it is meant to happen.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2014


Editor’s Note:
I was walking on the beach yesterday morning enjoying the richness of what the senses were conveying – the touch of warmth from the sun, the smell of salt in the air, the sound of the water crashing against the rocks, the sight of the endless horizon of sea framed by the cliffs – amazing gifts for man, not to mention for the dogs who were chasing balls thrown by children.
On the sand there was lying in the water a bluey-white Ming artefact! Memory, it seemed then, can be so close to imagination. The light and shiney appearance triggered recognition of a Ming treasure! Not really, of course – it was a stone polished by years of rolling in the sand and sea. Was this a mistake in recognition or simple imagination?
Illusory is the nature, in any case, of what is recognised, be it a real Ming artefact or an imagined treasure. High ratings are awarded to those people whose memory provides accurate recall for examinations and in television quizzes. Monetary prizes enrich those with superior memories. Even in the day-to-day social context a ‘good’ memory is an asset; a ‘bad’ memory almost a disgrace.
Can you really train memory or practise using memory, a belief commonly held? Managing life to serve his own ends is of the highest importance to man; understanding his own nature to serve mankind is of the highest importance to the enlightened. Understanding that life is the only manager is the gift of the wise. A remarkable and penetrative article.

Julian Capper,U.K


Dutch translator’s note:

Sometimes you wake up in the morning without memory. The surroundings loom up and there are no words to name each object. Everything is new and silently present, without a past. There are no thoughts about the future. Suddenly the question arises “Where am I?”. A strong urge appears to get hold of the situation and a diligent seeking in the memory. One by one the memories come floating on the surface and make up a story. Strangely enough this is reassuring, because everything seems to be as it was before. After reading this article it becomes obvious that only in the mind it is as it was before, that is the past superimposed over the present. A past we can only store fragmentary, with words, in our memory. Stubbornly we try to control life with these memories, like a two dimensional cartoon character erasing himself and drawing himself again, not realising it is the cartoonist who is making him do so.

Paula Smit, The Netherlands




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