Memory is like a purse, if it be over-full that it cannot shut, all will drop out of it. Take heed of a gluttonous curiosity to feed on many things, lest the greediness of the appetite of thy memory spoil the digestion thereof.
Memory depends very much on the perspicuity, regularity, and order of our thoughts. Many complain of the want of memory, when the defect is in the judgment; and others, by grasping at all, retain nothing.
People may correctly remember the events of twenty years ago (a remarkable feat), but who remembers his fears, his disgusts, his tone of voice? It is like trying to bring back the weather of that time.
Human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument. The memories which lie within us are not carved in stone; not only do they tend to become erased as the years go by, but often they change, or even increase by incorporating extraneous features.
What a wonderful faculty is memory! -- the most mysterious and inexplicable in the great riddle of life; that plastic tablet on which the Almighty registers with unerring fidelity the records of being, making it the depository of all our words, thoughts and deeds -- this faithful witness against us for good or evil.
When one of these flashbacks was reported to me by a conscious patient, I was incredulous. For example, when a mother told me she was suddenly aware, as my electrode touched the cortex, of being in the kitchen listening to the voice of her little boy who was playing outside in the yard.
Paradoxically one of the greatest advantages of mind maps is that they are seldom needed again. The very act of constructing a map is itself so effective in fixing ideas in memory that very often a whole map can recalled without going back to it at all. A mind map is so strongly visual and uses so many of the natural functions of memory that frequently it can be simply read off in the mind's eye.
In endowing us with memory, nature has revealed to us a truth utterly unimaginable to the unreflective creation, the truth of immortality. The most ideal human passion is love, which is also the most absolute and animal and one of the most ephemeral.
The act of smelling something, anything, is remarkably like the act of thinking. Immediately at the moment of perception, you can feel the mind going to work, sending the odor around from place to place, setting off complex repertories through the brain, polling one center after another for signs of re recognition, for old memories and old connection.