On the one hand, it sounds obvious.
When you can remember more, boosts in mood completely make sense.
But what about feelings that are even more intense.
Such as experiencing an “awakening”?
Or even reaching a state of enlightenment?
Not only do I believe it’s possible.
I’ve read many accounts of such experiences in the memory improvement literature.
I’ve even had mystical experiences myself.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to talk with John Graham about it when he asked me about strange occurrences I’ve written and talked about a lot over the past few years.
The only question is…
What do we believe about our experiences?
Who Is John Graham?
John is an incredibly accomplished mnemonist. In addition to being a memory athlete and memory expert, he’s extremely knowledgeable about focus and concentration – especially for business professionals who struggle with anxiety.
Why Talk About Enlightenment?
The simple answer is…
I don’t know.
Free will – and its absence – is one of the key ideas that come up around topics of awakening and enlightenment.
In fact, abandoning the sense of self is a hallmark of how many people talk about these experiences.
We’ve seen it in the memory tradition from people like Ramon Llull and Giordano Bruno. Indeed, in On the Shadows of the Ideas, Bruno says he has light bursting out of his eyes thanks to his experiences with using memory techniques.
You also find similar themes in St. Augustine’s work on memory. It’s a thread in Yates’ infamous Art of Memory. And in a very subtle way, the concept shows its face in Moonwalking with Einstein when Joshua Foer meets Tony Buzan and learns about becoming a “Warrior of the Mind.”
I’m grateful to John for holding the conversation. Thinking critically through experiences like these is important.
What do you think about memory training leading to states of enlightenment?
Have you had similar experiences?