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Friday, June 9, 2017

Memory Culture: The Science of Observing, Remembering and Recalling by William Walker Atkinson

Memory Culture: The Science of Observing Remembering and Recalling by William Walker Atkinson is the book which I read after reading his other book titled Memory: How to Develop, Train and Use It.

In the compilation by, this book on Memory Culture is listed before the book Memory: How to Develop. I read the book Memory: How to Develop first and then read Memory Culture. If you just try to ponder and reflect upon the title, you may be amused and think that both the titles convey the same thing. Well, there is a little bit of difference. If you focus on the meaning of each title, you may yourself identify that there is a little bit of fine difference in the meaning and motive of the titles. You should develop the ability of Memory to remember, recall and recognise. Yes, this can be achieved. I do not know that what the qualified Psychologists and Neurologists have to say about that. They have developed drugs and processes which can make any person to reveal out his or her thought and memory under their observation. But, as a common man, when you are not under the observation of a psychologist or neurologist, you have to deal with your memory on your own. It is there, that you need it, that you must have the ability to remember, recall and recognise your knowledge. Now, How can you do that? What type of activities should be performed by the mind? What type of culture should one adopt to use his or her memory? These questions give you these two titles.

Now, I will not call that one book is an adjunct to other. It is not that it supplement each other. They exist as a separate identity. They are not two eyes of the same man. They are heart and brain of the same man. That is it. They are rather two heads of the same body. They synchronised their activity and the body achieves its full potential. You can not have a memory culture without developing memory. You can not do much by developing memory without having a memory culture. That is the relation.

When you read this author, somewhere you feel that he ends a chapter abruptly and carves out a fresh chapter to continue his narration. You desire that he should have said the thing in the same chapter, there and then. You adjust to his writing by giving a view that it is his style. However, it is not simple as that.

I just wonder that he was a contemporary of Mark Twain. The USA feels proud of Mark Twain and considers him its icon. However, Atkinson may have been popular for his writings. One can judge that from the fact that it is stated at a number of places on the internet that his titles are still in publication. I have come across them because of that. I am not a person from a literary background. I read and read a lot. But that does not make me qualified for being a literary person. But, for me, he has done a good job. My criticism and sarcasm of his writing is my way to deal with the information which I gather. I have an admiration for his work.

Now, Let us see the contents of the title.

He deals with this topic by alluding to the importance of subconsciousness in the first chapter. In the case of Memory development title, he has emphasised the importance of having a good memory.

After that chapter, he again takes up the topics on sense organs based information, abstraction, perception, developing ideas and using logic. He repeats the chapters on the ear and the eye use. All these aspects have been mentioned as separate chapters in the Memory Development. However, here, he has tried to tell that there is a culture which one should develop while dealing with memory.

I am interested in emphasising the contents of the last chapter which is titled Artificial Systems. In this chapter, he has tried to give the history of the development of the artificial systems. He has covered a number of methods of artificial systems to develop the memory. You may come across books and paid courses which try to help you to learn such artificial methods of developing the memory. However, in between, Atkinson has remarked that many people get frustrated with such type of methods. They feel cheated when they fail to maintain the practices taught in such courses and books. He is not against these methods. He has suggested that if you get to benefit from them, then incorporate them into your practice of developing memory. It is there, he has also raised a question. He has tried to emphasise that the feature of memory is a natural thing. One should make efforts to develop and harness that natural ability first. It is just like developing your muscles. You go to gym for that. You can do it at your home. But it is you who have to do it. He has a point.

I do not want to say that he has given the ultimate truth on the development of memory. I do not undervalue the achievements of scientific psychology. It is a result of scientific psychology that we know today that generally, we try to remember things in a set of three facts. You remember a long number by remembering them in a set of three figures. The neurologist has come with many such drugs which can make a person a captive of a neurologist. The intelligence agencies use the work of their outcome. The drug addicts can be treated only by the expert. In their cases, the works of Atkinson will not be a help. But, it is for the common man, that he is more relevant.

A Suggestion:

One should read the following combination of his titles in order to fully get the benefit on the subject which he has taken up. The subject is the use and development of Memory.

Set One:
The Subconsciousness and Superconsciousness Planes of Mind
Suggestion and Auto Suggestion (I have to add to the contents of the review of these titles. However it will be a good plan if someone follows my suggestion and read these books. After that, he read my reviews.)
Thought Culture, Or, Practical Mind Training.

Set Two:
Memory: How to Develop, Train and Use it
Memory Culture: The Science of Observing, Remembering and Recalling
The Art of Logical Thinking; Or, The Laws of Reasoning

It is my suggestion that they may be read in that order.

I would like to add. You can download the Kindle Software which is a freeware. It can be downloaded on a tablet, mobile phone and PC. You can buy the compilation from the Kindle store. It cost you ₹48. 23/-. If you are in India, I do not think, this combination can be any issue. I have used e.artnow compilation. There are many more compilations and individual titles by the same author available on the internet on Google Books also. The free copies can also be downloaded from Internet Archive or Guttenberg project. However, I find the compilation by the e-artnow as the cheapest possible option. There are some flaws in this compilation but if you have visualised and accepted the game plan, then it is the right set that can be adopted.

Ending Message:
I have started the reading of The Art of Expression.

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