We have limited time. We need to make room for what is essential. So it is best to learn the things you should forget to make room for the things you should remember.
“It’s just as important to learn what to forget as it is what to remember. Some things are better left behind, while others should keep fresh in our minds. Learning the difference between the two is a vital life lesson.” ― Guru Tua
Some people measure their progress or success by the number of things they gather. More and more, we are learning it’s the quality, not the quantity, that matters. This principle holds for all areas of life, practical and spiritual.
Forgetting What Isn’t Important
Forgetting the things that get in the way provides time and space to do the five things we should always remember.
We’ll talk more about those five things in a moment. The point here is we must learn to forget the mistake but remember the lesson. Forget the former things, which are mind traps, the negative things that distort thinking and values. It’s healthy for the mind because it saves valuable space and bandwidth. (1)
Here’s the first real takeaway, we tend to dwell on those memories which have a significant negative impact much more than we should. Pain and anger are two negative emotions that can etch themselves into our consciousness. Because they surface often, they distort our thinking and values.
On the other hand, we tend to forget the things we should be dwelling on, like our families our friends. All the things that can disappear without warning.
We need to remove the negative influences of the cultural narrative, religion, and the Ego. Forgetting the things that imprison our thinking is healthy. It often involves forgetting what isn’t important.
The second takeaway is that we battle to control our thoughts and values. We come into the world innocent and without any bias and prejudice. Then, when we are old enough, we are subject to varying levels of programming, which can taint our fundamental values.
If you watch young children play, you’ll see they make friends with anyone who wants to join. There is no racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice. Some children are shy, and some are more outgoing. Some children are selfish and share without reserve. Yet they manage to play together. They are not dealing with the trappings of cultural values that help us see the humanity of others.
So, the first challenge is to identify the harmful programming and replace it. If you were raised in a hyper-religious environment, then chances are you accumulated a lot of excess negative programming. It is not your fault. However, now that you are an adult, it is your responsibility to correct this programming, so it doesn’t infect future generations.
Many people find this a significant life hack. If you learn to apply it to your life, you will benefit in many ways. You will save time and effort. You will be more productive and enjoy life more. Learning the things that we should eliminate from our lives and fresh opportunities have room to show up.
How to Forget the Former Things that Imprison
The goal is to reduce the emotional attachments with negative memories. At the same time, we want to strengthen the emotional volume of positive memories. We use a process called exploring memories to do this. You can find out more details by following the link. It takes time and courage. It’s a good idea to take this adventure with the help of a partner or counselor.
We recommend starting with positive memory associations. Identify and turn up the emotional volume on positive memories. It helps you to get comfortable with the method. Working with the positive gives you a foundation that you can use to overlay the negative memories.
The process involves documenting your feelings as you go using a journal. Some people use photographs to help “jog” their memories. You write down as many positive memories as possible, then categorize them from the most to least favorable.
As you document and categorize, it’s common to “remember” more details about the situation. These become anchors that help you recall these positive snapshots when you need them. You’ll then explore the connections between your positive memories. It could be during a specific period of time, location, or people. These connections are also meaningful. They become part of a positive memory chain with anchors attached to great memories.
After completing your positive memory chain, you use the same process to find the negative memories. What we want to do with these is the opposite of the positive chain. Here we turn down the volume of the emotions using specific techniques. We still want to identify the connections because this is the chain we’ll tend to follow when experiencing negative emotions. These are the chains that cause us to degenerate to lower unhealthy levels of thinking, resulting in depression.
What you’ll find on this inner journey are cycles and connections that reveal two levels of programming. To forget the former things that cause us harm, we need to repair the thought scripts on these planes of awareness. Forgetting the things that imprison the mind doesn’t remove the memory; it allows us to bypass it.
Levels of Programming
The programming of our mind is like an onion with layers upon layers.
First, the first layer is cultural narrative. It’s where we find programming that contains all the bias, prejudice, and justification for the misuse of people and the planet. If you don’t recognize this operating in the culture, you will benefit from taking time to enhance your observational skills. Because if you can’t see it, you can’t remove and reprogram it.
The second level of programming comes from the unhealthy scripts of Ego. The Ego controls us when we are not “present” via our personality and instincts. Not all the programming of the Ego is unhealthy. Even if we have a mental illness, not everything is terrible or distorted. However, our friend, the cultural narrative further distorts any issues you may have and often makes them worse. We need to identify it, eliminate the harmful, and then forget it.
The cat is out of the bag. Religion is often the cause of the aberrations of the cultural narrative and the harmful programming of the Ego. If you are involved with one of the three main Abrahamic religious traditions, you contribute to the problem.
You may not realize it, but their doctrines are recycled mythology and superstition. Every aspect of their religions is a copy of the mystery religions of the Medditrainian. The Abrahamic faiths are not original. They are rebranding the Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Persian religions. So, you can waste a lot of time following and memorizing useless data.
Religion is a waste of time and energy. Getting rid of religion is a decluttering exercise that involves the mind and the environment. Junk can be physical or mental. Most of the time, it is both. Getting rid of the mind’s clutter includes an attachment to material things. Some of these unhealthy things are the relationships with those living under the spell of religious superstition and mythology. We should get forget this kind of harmful dogma.
Yes, there is much more to forget than there is to learn. Our institutions teach us mythology and history as facts. So, we should forget and unlearn these things. They sell us things and ideologies that clutter our lives. We must reject them. It’s necessary to learn the things we need to discard. Otherwise, they will obscure our perception of reality.
1) The Programing of the Cultural Narrative
The cultural narrative is the driving force in our lives. Although this narrative differs on the surface, it shares some common tactics. One of these tactics is to keep you busy and distract your attention. So they engage you in the memorization of useless information. Then, use this to distort your memories and thinking. In this way, you engage your mind in things that keep you from observing what is going on. Heaven forbid if you start thinking for yourself, you need to question the cultural narrative.
So, the key to becoming a freethinker is to learn what to learn. Learn which things we should remember. Remember those who are essential to your heart. Discard the things that are just distractions—forgetting the things that consume your time and distract you from what is happening.
2) Unhealthy Programing of Ego
The Ego isn’t evil. It is a necessary tool for connecting our consciousness to our bodies. It provides a default set of thinking patterns, behavioral modes, and values that we need to acclimate to this life.
The problem is that none of us grow up in ideal situations. The more trauma we face, the more our programming gets twisted. The more harmful cultural programming we receive, the easier it is for these institutions to control us.
The Five Things We Should Always Remember
If you think about it, we are our memories. If we lose our memories, we become a blank slate. However, studies show our memories change over time. We can color them in unique ways. So, one thing we want to hold on to is our memories. We can learn to adjust them to remember important life lessons.
We recommend the use of an exercise for exploring memories. We include an exercise in the first phase of our blended learning process. It will show you what you value and what you fear. It expands your awareness of dreams and memory.
So, the best way to forget the former things that are harmful is to turn down the volume of their emotional impact. We can’t erase them altogether, though we would like to. Instead, we remember the lesson, if there is one. And, more importantly, turn up the volume of our positive memories.
1) Important People
Don’t overlook the positive, healthy people in your life. Honoring your ancestors is a way of acknowledging the sacrifices of those who make our life possible. It’s a common practice in many ancient cultures that we should not forget. Our lineage is part of our DNA.
Honor those who support you in your quest to seek the truth, to be a better person. Show your appreciation to those who are also seeking the truth. Please don’t wait for them to become ancestors before acknowledging their presence. We should remember to tell those who have contributed to our growth.
Relationships are the source of many of our major life lessons. Don’t forget these because they are part of who you are. The most significant relationships aren’t always the ones that last the longest. Often, it’s the people with whom we have brief contact that shapes our lives, either for better or worse.
2) Healthy Positive Memories
Positive memories are tools we can use to improve our attitude. We’ve discussed the process for magnifying positive memories and minimizing the negative. Memories are powerful anchors. These mental anchors can help us weather the storms of life. Or they can drag us under the waves of the past.
Memories are part of our worldview filter to color the value of life and relationships. They can be tools for positive change, or they can hold us back. If we recognize their power, we can use them to improve our lives.
The trick is learning how to amplify the positive memories while turning down the volume on the negative.
“Memories can either bind us to the past or link us to the wisdom for living a more enlightened present.” ― Guru Tua
3) Life Lessons of Wisdom
Many believe the value of life comes from understanding its lessons, and this takes wisdom. Wisdom comes in many forms. It doesn’t have so much to do with your intelligence as your level of awareness. It takes presence and awareness to grasp the lesson.
Perhaps you find yourself in a loop, repeating the same experiences, the same lessons. If that’s the case, you need the observational skills to spot the pattern and wisdom to stop and investigate the reasons. Sometimes the most beneficial life lessons are the ones we like the least. Wisdom gained by experience is one of the ways to recognize the things we should always remember.
4) Decluttering the Mind and Our Environment
Commercialism starts its programming earlier in our lives. The TV is the babysitter for busy parents. So, companies and institutions sell children things by learning to trigger our basic instincts. They have devised many creative tactics to influence our thinking.
Unraveling your real needs from those programmed by advertising is a highly complex process. It’s an issue that comes up during the exploring memories exercise. Our identity, beliefs, and feelings are tied together with the Ego’s programming and our dominant cultural narrative. So, there is no one size fits all approach. However, some excellent resources can help you through this process. Peter Walsh is an author we recommend (2).
5) Practice Spirituality
Don’t confuse spirituality with religion. Religion is a counterfeit for authentic spirituality. The practice of religion is very different from the practice of spirituality. Religion is all about substituting myths and superstition for evidence and facts.
Spirituality is about exploring the inner world of consciousness and developing your potential. You investigate consciousness using tools, methods, or techniques. Here are some links to processes that enable you to take this spiritual quest (3).
Forgetting the Things that Hold us Back
The five things we should always remember is a shortlist of importance. If you practice these five things, it will change the trajectory of your life. Creating more bandwidth to do these things means repairing your negative programming. An exercise like exploring memories is an ideal method for this task. Learn to amplify the positive while minimizing the negative.
(1) More Is Less: Increased Processing of Unwanted Memories Facilitates Forgetting www.jneurosci.org/content/39/18/3551
(2) Peter Walsh, Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life
(3) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia