The ‘clockwork orange’ effect

I discovered this term from a really dark and intriguing movie ‘clockwork orange’. When I started to bring myself more into the present moment all kinds of doubts popped into my mind. These doubts were quite intriguing by themselves and prompted me to explore and gain a better understanding of certain fundamental entities such as memory.

I learned very recently that the idea that the idea of memory which most people have is a misconception.

Common idea:
‘we do not have any control over our memory, it is a continuous etching process that goes on as time passes by and everything gets recorded like a film tape. This tape can then be accessed at any time and this influences our current behavior and our projections. The tape is unchangeable and permanent in its content and we cannot choose to remember or not remember.’

The research in this field seems to open up new paradigms in relation to what we think memory is.

The latest discoveries:
The memory is less like a movie, a permanent emulsion of chemicals on celluloid, and more like a play—subtly different each time it’s performed. In the brain, a network of cells is constantly being re-consolidated, rewritten, remade each time a memory is recalled and this is also dependent on your current state.

My daily experience also ties in much better to the new theories about memory. For example, every time I hear a song, though its with exactly the same headphones, the song creates a different experience in me. Sometimes the song gives me an ASMR euphoria, ordinary at other times and also outright unpleasant when I am feeling low/sick overall.

Having a drug like ecstasy can put a person in an extremely pleasant state. In this state, the original intensity of all recalled unpleasant memories can be drastically reduced.

Adopting this new view on how memory works can have a lot of profound implications on the way we lead our life.

Here are some suggestions to greatly improve your life experience involving memories:

1. Strengthen all associations of your happy memorable events when you are in a good mood. For example: You are in a very pleasant social setting, you have just had a great conversation with someone, while on an alcohol or cannabis high.

2. When you are feeling sick, miserable, in a very unpleasant state, or feeling very low psychologically, try to simply relax yourself and wait until this state passes away. Even if you do recall very happy times in this state (say your having fever or extremely low psychologically), it will seem bad and can scare you into believing that the memory is permanently lost.

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