Photo via http://cherstinieveen.wordpress.com
I was thinking about memories while laying in bed (where I do most of my thinking) when it hit me, that very powerful memories are created through the right mix of situational elements. But from my experience, creating a very powerful memory isn’t as simple as being somewhere and having something happen. Creating a powerful memory is the result of a kind of “magic”, that I can only explain through an analogy to Harry Potter.
The central element of the Harry Potter stories, revolves around Lord Voldemort’s ability to live. This is made possible through a type of dark magic, called a horcrux, that can be created by splitting your soul after you have killed someone and then hiding that piece of your soul in an object.
I’ve begun to believe that very powerful memories are formed the exact same way, and are often stored in “horcruxes” of our own choosing. But rather than using murder as a method of splitting our soul to store memories, I think that other conditions have to be “just right” for very powerful memories to be formed. Here are the three central elements I think go into creating very powerful memories.
- Significant Emotional Investment
- A Created Change in Psyche (Beliefs, Morals, Interests or World View)
- An Unique Object to Carry the Memory Forward (physical, musical, visual, etc.)
I don’t think that the recipe for creating very powerful memories calls for a lot of ingredients, but I do believe that the ingredients used must be potent and properly measured.
I have a few examples of this, and I’m sure you do too. You just have to think about things that mean the most to you. For example, I have the American Flag that was draped on my father’s casket at his funeral. I can remember sitting at his funeral (my very powerful memory), watching the casket roll down the aisle with the flag covering it. And I can bet you that the first two elements were very abundant within me at that time. The only thing I needed was a rare or unique object to carry the memory forward, and when I was presented with the flag, I had it.
What I think happens in that moment, when we have such a high emotional investment and something from our Psyche changes, is that a little piece of our own soul is torn off and placed in the object we choose. It could also happen that our soul splits off when we aren’t ready or paying attention, and we might not have an object handy to catch that piece of our soul and the memory tied to it… in which case it withers and dies.
I’m sure there are times when I’ve had the first two elements for creating a powerful memory, but without recognizing a unique object to carry the memory in, it was lost. I wonder what those memories were? And as I think about the objects that carry the most powerful memories for me, I think about songs. Songs like “What a Wonderful World”, which played as I gave a way a piece of my soul one night.