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Learn to Remember to Change Your Thinking and Life von Rao, Venkateswara (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 27.11.2014
  • Verlag: BookBaby
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Learn to Remember to Change Your Thinking and Life

In this book you will learn simple, easy techniques and shortcuts to help enhance the power of your memory. From memorizing a speech or a simple shopping list to remembering peoples names and faces You Can Train Your Brain to Remember is an invaluable guide to help you train your brain for peak performance.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 230
    Erscheinungsdatum: 27.11.2014
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781502223388
    Verlag: BookBaby
    Größe: 369 kBytes
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Learn to Remember to Change Your Thinking and Life

a brief history of memory

from ancient times to the modern age

W e may regard memory as one of humankind's oldest arts. To our ancient ancestors, it was not just a useful aid to survival, but an integral part of daily life. In the absence of the printing press, memory was the slate on which history was recorded. This was how we sorted information to help us make sense of the world. Reference devices were more primitive as well as thinner on the ground, so if facts and figures were to be at the fingertips of the ancients, they had to be remembered - a job for intellect and imagination. Throughout this early period of history, a good memory was a prerequisite for success: epic poets, notably Homer, memorized their works long before they were ever written down; and politicians, theologians and philosophers persuaded their audiences by delivering effective and convincing speeches, the memory cues for which were visualized colourfully in their heads. In this chapter we look at how memory has been used and understood through the ages.
oral traditions

A s children, and even as adults, some of the most wonderful stories we hear are those of our own ancestry - tales that have travelled along the branches of our family tree like an army of determined ants. With each retelling, slight changes may be introduced - per haps an embellishment or exaggeration to hold the wandering attention of a restless young listener, or an invention or two to bridge an awkward gap in the known facts. This is how memories are polished to make them smoother and easier to pass on to others. Yet the basic body of information usually remains broadly intact. By listening to dozens of stories, we accumulate a knowledge of our past. We may look at old family photographs, but without the context that memories - whether first- or second-hand - supply, such physical records are merely visual ciphers.

If we go way back in time, before the invention of the personal organizer, before we had diaries or even writing, we revisit an age when oral tradition was the only method of passing memories from one generation to the next. Anything not recounted for the benefit of others would disappear from the collective consciousness, forgotten for ever. Hence, enormous importance was placed upon memory among the ancients - it was recognized that without memory and reminiscence the cultural heritage would be lost. There were a few libraries in ancient Athens, and there was also a limited book trade, but these were no substitute for a wise man with a good memory.

We all have a vague image of the great epic poet Homer, whose feats of oral storytelling were no less heroic than the Greek and Trojan warriors whose stories he told. Homer relied on certain well-worn poetic formulae, improvised around a body of familiar material, and may even have used writing as an ancillary aid, at least for the Iliad, which consisted of 16,000 verses and would have taken four or five long evenings to recite. Yet there is no doubt that a spectacular memory lay at the heart of his skills as a performer.

Homer's great epics would have been somewhat fluid until in due course they were committed to writing. By contrast, in the Vedic tradition of ancient India it was believed that any inaccuracies in the chanting of any of the sacred hymns of the Rigveda would cause an imbalance in the cosmos, with dire consequences for humankind. In order to avoid such a catastrophe, Vedic priests carefully honed their memories so as never to make a mistake, and this has resulted in a highly unusual phenomenon: a scripture, born out of oral tradition, that is believed to be very close to its original, spoken form.

Storytelling is a natural way to spend long winter nights in a village, which is one explanation, as we pass into the Middle Ages, for the myths of northern Europe - extended tales of gods, giants, dragons and strange t

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