So here in this chapter He begins to take us into exploring memory and what it is and can do and how it can trick us. So first let’s look at what memory is . Current neuroscientific theory tells us that our brains are organized to reflect everything we know in our environment. All the information we have been exposed to throughout our lives in the form of knowledge and experiences is stored in the brain as synaptic connections.
So therefore all our relationships with people we’ve known , the different things we own and are familiar with , the places we have visited and the different experiences we have had in our lives are all configured and stored in the brains synaptic connections and stored as memory.
But Here in this chapter Fred Allen Wolf takes us into a much deeper perspective of memory and introduces the concept of the trickster and how he can distort our factual recall but at the same time remind us that we might be deceiving ourselves. He introduces the concept of parallel universes as the key to understanding how memory works reminding us that we exist in not just another parallel universe but multiple parallel universes at the same time.
He uses the beautiful example of a layered cake to understand the parallel universes. Each layer includes patterns, in any one layer he describes it as those clouds that are left from a jet engine. When those layers are superimposed on each other as the layer of the cake an overall pattern appears . And this he says the universal hologram.
Now what is really interesting for me was when he begins to speak of time, that it appears in a single layer as thought. He says each time we have an experiences we enter one of these layers and probably do it unconsciously not aware that we are actually moving from one parallel universe to another. When you look at time encompassing all the layers going back to the cake analogy , time appears as what he calls as the soul’s mind. Time is not a true observable thing like an object in space. So we can’t freeze time . Instead what he says we do is observe memory sequences when we observe time.
So this is really important because what he is saying here is that there is No Time, there are only memory sequences. These sequences are recorded and can be replayed randomly. So what he is saying is there is no such thing as “the past”. There are only memory sequences that are in some way related to each other. So you have the overall pattern that he calls the ” soul memory” or the entire cake in my view and then the individual patterns in each of the layers of the cake. And these are complimentary to each other.
So all of this is making us aware that how we remember things is much more complex than we had previously thought which for me is an exciting concept because I think it opens the door to look at how we use our memories to either suffer or be happy.