Improving Memory from the
Edgar Cayce Readings
Extracts from the Circulating File Thought,
Concentration, and Memory
The readings have a great deal to say about ways to improve our memory. First of all, however, it should be noted that the readings say that memory is never really lost: "The memory is not lost. There isn't such a thing as loss of memory—there is only the need for making the individual aware…" (Reading 1711-2) Interestingly, this is a position that has gained substantial support from open brain surgery during which it has been found that long-forgotten memories can be awakened by stimulating the outer cortex of the brain.
According to the readings, we lose the ability to retrieve memory when there is a lack of coordination between the cerebrospinal nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. To improve this condition, Cayce often recommended massage or spinal adjustments: "The massage will keep the centers and ganglia along the spinal system in better coordination; and we will find the vision corrected, the taste and hearing and odors quite different, and the memory much bettered." (Edgar Cayce Reading 3098-1).
In addition to such physical advice, Cayce also recommended several practical exercises for storing and retrieving memory. Two practices which have been confirmed in their effectiveness by research are: sleeping between learning sessions and distributing our efforts over several short periods rather than cramming it into a single, lengthy session: "Do not study or ponder—what may be termed—"hard," or too long. Rather study, ponder same, and let the physical body immediately rest." (Edgar CayceReading 416-10)
Meditation is also recommended by the readings as an effective aid to improving memory consolidation.
That which ye would attain in the studies as to that which is a text, a thesis or a theory—mull same as it were in thy mind, in thy consciousness. Then lay it aside, and meditate rather upon its application in every way and manner. Do this especially just before ye would rest in physical consciousness, or from physical consciousness—or in sleep. And ye will find thy memory, thy ability to analyze, thy ability to maintain and retain greater principles will be thy experience. (Edgar Cayce Reading 1581-2)
While these two comments represent very different positions toward poor memory; they were given to different people under different circumstances. Finally, the Edgar Cayce readings encourage us to apply as soon as possible whatever we are trying to remember. Following is the answer to the question posed by a 40 year-old attorney: "How can I improve my mental powers—especially those of analysis, concentration, etc.?"
And in thy reading or study of same do not attempt to force self to memorize words or tenets by others, but as ye read—then lay aside and make these, as ye sleep, as ye meditate, become as practical applications. For knowledge or understanding or wisdom or what not, if it be not applicable in thy daily experience with thy fellow man is as naught. (Edgar Cayce Reading 1285-1)