Unwanted Condition and Memory

Memoryjogging

October 3, 2013: This essay has been superseded by:

PROCESS: Unwanted conditions

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It is easy to handle an unwanted condition when the following conditions are met:

  1. Spot the point when that unwanted condition began, or when it was first noticed.

  2. Spot the shift in one’s outlook, or identity, which took place at or just before that point in time.

Having correctly associated the two events above, one can then proceed as outlined in the document:

Addressing Unwanted Condition

The problem occurs when one cannot spot either of the two events above. If the “beginning” spotted is not correct due to lack of clear memory then it would be hard to associate the unwanted condition with the correct shift.

The most important step is to find the shift in one’s outlook, or identity, which is associated with the unwanted condition.

Recently, as I was reading the book, “Moonwalking with Einstein” By Josh Foer, I was struck by the following idea.

If a memory can’t be found it isn’t because it has vanished, but only because we’ve misplaced it.

The solution to finding the “misplaced” memory is to somehow jog it. The document referenced above does provide the following ways to jog the memory of the beginning of an unwanted condition:

A. Locate a traumatic incident, or major confusion, associated with that unwanted condition.

B. Look at various items (persons, places, events, moments, circumstances, etc.) associated with the unwanted condition.

This document provides additional ways to jog the memory of the beginning of an unwanted condition. As an example, lets’ suppose that the unwanted condition is “nervousness” and we want to discover its beginning. Here are some additional ways to help spot the beginning.

  1. Deliberately take the viewpoint of a person having that unwanted condition (for example, a nervous person). Observe the thoughts and tendencies, which now seem to appear. This may jog the memory to locate the actual shift.

  2. If this unwanted condition comes and goes, then look at the triggers which precipitate this condition. Observe if there is some pattern to these triggers. This may jog the memory to locate the initial shift.

  3. Look at the benefits that could be associated with this unwanted condition. For example, has the nervous condition been useful under certain circumstance? Has it been needed it to handle some situation?

  4. Look at the obsession that could be associated with this unwanted condition. For example, one may be so consumed with handling the nervous condition that one cannot deal with it systematically. In that case, “obsession” becomes the unwanted condition instead of the nervousness.

  5. Look at what might happen if one simply let’s go of that unwanted condition. Will some benefit be lost? This is a variation of 3. above. One may invent, dream up, imagine situations where this unwanted condition may prove useful.

Hopefully, one of these approaches may help establish the clarity about when the unwanted condition really began, and the  shift that took place in one’s outlook, or identity, just before that point in time.

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