Oct 15

The Role of Memory in Consciousness
by Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D.

“We were talking about the significance of memory,
from Plato to Saint Augustine and also to Krishna. Scientists and others
don’t really have a good understanding about the importance or
meaning of memory and how it affects us. Memory has a fundamental
influence in what we call consciousness. Generally when people speak
about consciousness they don’t know how it is related to memory.
Memory involves thought in a special way, as objectively existing in us.
Without memory we would not have the sense of continuity of ‘self’
that consciousness requires. It is memory that allows us to understand
things, without which we would just have stimuli, perceptions, blind
sensations without their unifying concepts. Some people may only
want different stimulations – they don’t want to think or put the pieces
together. They want to have one experience after another, mere sense
gratification, and that is sufficient, for them,” Sripad Puri Maharaja
continued. “But that is more like animal life. For the human form of
life, however, the cultivation of memory is very important for
understanding God as the source, unity or totality of everything.”

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