The Memory Palace
In The Way of the White Clouds, Lama Anagarika Govinda writes, "Consciousness is based on two functions: awareness and the storing up (or preservation) of the fruits of experience, which we call memory. Consciousness as a storehouse of experience by far outweighs consciousness as awareness. While the latter is momentary and more or less limited to one object, the former is universal and not affected by time, persisting even when we are not aware of it. It is for this reason that the Vijñānavādins defined the deepest consciousness as the ālaya-vajñāna or ‘store consciousness’, in which not only the experiences of our present life but those of all our ‘ancestors’, reaching back into the infinity of time and space, are preserved, and which therefore is ultimately a consciousness of universal character, connecting the individual with all that exists or ever has been in existence or may come into existence again…The highest consciousness is the product of the widest range of experience: the amplitude between the poles of universality and individuality."
The energies of all my former selves, come together not in reincarnation as most understand it but through a process of integrations, heredity not by birth but by inheritance, to bring forward the memories preserved in the past into the future. Each of these former selves has been a continuation of the lineage I carry.
It is why I sing in languages I have never heard and have no cultural connection to. It is how I can move instinctively in circumstances for which I have no intellectual or spiritual training. It is why I'm called to places and people around the globe, know that a rock needs her name back, and how I recognize Beings who appear in my world when I have had no intellectual awareness of their existence. None of these memories, restored through me, are mine. These are not memories available and retrievable like those used at your favorite trivia night. They are specific to peoples, physical spaces, communities, and contexts beyond those. They live not merely in my mind but in my marrow and, when circumstances call for it, act as muscle memory.
It is through these memories that I have developed the relationships with what others identify as inanimate objects, the visible natural world, and Beings that are not visible. Those relationships are my guides through this. However, they are not meant for me to hold onto, they are meant to be returned home. Home to the hearts and eyes and ears of those that have been calling for them.
It has happened many times that my role in this 'taking home' is merely to be the vessel that an energy moves through once we arrive at the place he, she or it, needs to be. That sometimes occurs when I bleed into the ground or sit quietly and create the space for that energy to leave.
When I work with people, these memories and voices often come through me. I tell people they will know the difference between me speaking and someone else--there is an audible and identifiable difference. When this happens, I am often not channeling 'someone else', I'm merely speaking an internal voice that is not me. When I do channel, I know the difference and can tell the person I am with who it is speaking through me if it is not immediately clear to them.