As those of us from the “Baby boomer” generation continue to get older, there’s an increasing discussion about memory; the loss of it from age or disease as well as ways to increase and restore memory.
As a psychologist I have always been aware of hypnotherapy, regression therapy, the power of suggestion and a variety of short term memory induced medications which have the ability to expand the far reaches of our mind.
The hippie movement and psychedelic drug use of hallucinogenic medications such as LSD along with the research of Dr. Timothy Leary as well as Angel Dust and others brought new meaning to the terms of “getting high” and “mind expansion”. Ironically, these illegal medications were in wide use by the military in an attempt to seek out how much the human mind could be expanded for use in memory and neurological research.
Reportedly, the results were quite incredible.
Many test subjects claimed they could remember all the way back to their birth and some claimed they were even able to recall some of the womb experience.
The interesting reports were from the test subjects claiming to remember past life and even “other worldly” life experiences.
I have often utilized the power of suggestion as a therapy tool to help patients cope with grief or a traumatic experience; even to the point of helping them to forget. I also worked with a Psychiatrist friend who was also a certified hypnotherapist and he would often utilize this tool in taking some of my patients back to a point in their life they needed to remember in order to forget.
All of this said, I thought very little of mind expansion drugs or medication; I considered it all “bunk” and nonsense, that is until I was fully and officially diagnosed as an epileptic.
Although I am a genetic epileptic, I wasn’t officially diagnosed until 2005 when after a full blown Grand Mal seizure (in which I was pronounced dead) I was put on anti-seizure medication. Until 2005, I could not remember nearly anything from my childhood before age nine or ten and even much of that through age fifteen was often strained at best.
Once I began taking the anti-seizure meds, I almost immediately had clarity of memory going back to when I was six years old. It’s actually quite amazing; I now remember things I had totally forgotten.
Even more amazing, is that after my most recent two grand mal seizure this past December my neurologist added a second daily dosage of an additional new anti-seizure med and now I can remember many things all the way back to when I was two years old.
Talk about precious memories, I was recently holding my nearly one year old grandson and watching him smile as I let him hold the TV remote control. Suddenly, my mind flashed backed to when I was about a year older sitting in my granddaddy’s lap and he gave me an old style striped peanut butter candy. He used to save them after the barber gave them out at the barbershop. Anyway, my granddaddy saw me trying to eat thru the cellophane wrapper so he tore it open and let me lick it. It was great.
After he saw how much I liked it and nearly licking the candy to death, he took his pocket knife out of his pocket (every man and boy use to carry one back in the day) and he began to scrape the candy into his hand and then fed it to me. This is such a wonderful memory.
Memories are indeed wonderful and should be cherished.
The Apostle Paul said “Let the mind of Christ Jesus be also in you” (Philippians 2:5); in other words think like Jesus and live like Jesus and the result will be good living and good memories… just like Jesus.
Paul went on to say, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Paul is basically telling us that good and Godly thinking produces good and Godly memories. Good in and good out.
I am always amazed at people which have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that have lost most of their memories yet still have vast memories of church, scripture, old hymns, Sunday School and Baptism. It’s as though the Godly memories rise to the surface of their life.
Let’s exercise our memories and think on the things of God.
God bless us all as we think on HIM.
© 2019 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD