Memory

Preview

• The Mind Map as a multi-dimensional memory device t The mnemonic Mind Map as a mirror of creativity

• Applications of mnemonic Mind Maps t Benefits of mnemonic Mind Maps t Onword

FOREWORD

This chapter begins with a colourful Greek myth which has much to tell us about the relationship between memory, energy and creativity. We then explore Mind Maps as mnemonic and creative thinking devices, before summarising the benefits of mnemonic Mind Maps.

A GREEK MYTH

Zeus, the king of the gods, was well-known as a philanderer. He spent most of his time seducing - either directly or by means of deception - all the most beautiful women in the heavens and on earth.

Contrary to popular belief, his affections were not spread equally - there was one goddess with whom he spent far more time than any other. Her name was Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. On one occasion he spent nine days and nights making passionate love to her, a coupling which resulted in the birth of the nine muses.

The muses represent creativity. Each is the goddess of a particular art:

Zeus symbolises energy and power. So, according to the myth, applying energy or power to memory produces a fertilisation which results in creativity. This relationship has major implications for Mind Mapping theory.

THE MIND MAP AS A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL MEMORY DEVICE

Mnemonic techniques involve the use of imagination and association in order to produce a new and memorable image. As well as imagination and association, the Mind Map combines all the cortical skills to create a highly advanced multidimensional memory device.

Multi-dimensional, in this context, means that rather than the one-dimensional (line) or two-dimensional (flat page) perspectives, the Mind Map allows you to create an internal, radiant, three-dimensional image that uses cross-association, colour and time.

A creative thought similarly combines two elements to produce a third for the purpose of projecting the present into the future. The creative device helps you project the present into the future for the purposes of changing or creating that future. The mnemonic device helps you recreate the past in the present.

The mnemonic Mind Map is therefore identical in mechanics and design to the multi-dimensional, creative Mind Map. In the same way that the mnemonic Mind Map multiplies dramatically your powers of memory, similarly the creative Mind Map multiplies the simple creative thinking model infinitely in all directions.

THE MNEMONIC MIND MAP AS A MIRROR OF CREATIVITY

Like memory, creative thinking is based on imagination and association. The aim is to link item A with item B, thus producing the new, innovative, far-from-the-norm idea we label 'creative'. The mnemonic and creative thinking processes are therefore identical in structure - the only difference is in intent.

Amnemonic device associates two items in order to enable the brain to recall (re-create) a third image in the future.

A creative device likewise combines two elements to project a third into the future, but the creative aim is to change or affect the future in some way, whereas the mnemonic aim is simply to remember.

Thus by making mnemonic Mind Maps, you are simultaneously training your creative thinking faculties. These in turn enhance memory capacity, and a mutually reinforcing upward spiral is created.

The illustration overleaf exemplifies the Mind Map as both mnemonic and creative thinking device. It was drawn by a leading American video producer called Denny Harris, and was originally made to remind him of what he wished to cover in a video on the subject of memory. His Mind Map summarises the content of the programme, including a preview, an in-depth explanation of the number/shape mnemonic system, the applications of a simple mnemonic system, and general discussion of the practice and theory presented in the programme. In this case, developing a mnemonic Mind Map became a genuinely creative process, itself producing new ideas for the structure and content of the programme - memory feeding on creativity feeding on memory.

APPLICATIONS OF MNEMONIC MIND MAPS

Most of the specific applications are covered in Division 5, under the 'Personal', 'Family', 'Educational' and 'Business' section headings. However there are many other general memorising applications for Mind Maps, such as recalling radio and television programmes of particular interest, dreams, enjoyable family events, or general lists of 'things to do'.

One particularly useful application is searching for a 'lost' memory - perhaps a person's name or the whereabouts of an object.

In such cases, focusing on the missing item is usually counter-productive because 'it' has gone, and in focusing on 'it' you are focusing on an absence or nothingness.

Bearing in mind the associative power of your mind, leave the centre of your Mind Map blank, and surround it with words and images associated with the absent centre.

For example, if the 'missing' centre is the name of a person, the major surrounding branches would include sex, age, appearance, family, voice, hobbies, profession, and where first and last met. In this way you dramatically increase the probability of your brain recognising the centre from its memory banks. (For more on this, see Tony Buzan, Use Your Memory, Chapters 23-24.)

If you find it inconvenient to create a physical Mind Map to retrieve a

Radiant Thinking

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Mind Map by the well known film and video producer Denny Harris, summarising an entire programme on Memory (see page 149)

'missing' memory, you can simply visualise an internal screen on which you create the same sort of Mind Map.

BENEFITS OF MNEMONIC MIND MAPS

JL They utilise all the cortical skills, thereby enormously enhancing the probability of recall.

They activate the brain on all levels, making it more alert and skilful at remembering.

^ Their attractiveness makes the brain want to return to them, and again encourages the probability of spontaneous recall.

They are intrinsically designed to aid memory.

Radiant Thinking

Natural Architecture Plate 17 151

3 The use of the memory Mind Maps activates the brain to become mnemonically alert and thus with each usage increases the base memory skill level.

O They reflect the creative thinking process, thereby simultaneously enhancing creative thinking skills.

/ They maintain a high level of recall throughout a learning or listening period (contrary to the standard forgetting curves described in Tony Buzan, Use Your Memory, Chapter 5).

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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