"Oh dear," said my friend, "I just can't remember the woman's name. It's so annoying to be losing one's memory." She's not the only one who is troubled by such lapses in memory. Many people feel concerned by the commonly accepted view that the ability to recall information diminishes as one ages, that it can be lost entirely through disease, or that some people are just born with poor memories.
Since we are made in God's likeness and He never forgets, it follows that we also have the capacity to retain whatever memory or knowledge we need.
If a person believes that the ability to recall names or details can be threatened by any or all of these scenarios, then the fear of losing one's memory may seem understandable. But this isn't actually something anyone has to accept. No one has to lose their thinking capacity—or any other capacity, for that matter. By gaining a spiritual understanding of memory, it's possible to overcome the fear of not having instant recall and even to improve one's mental capacities.
From a physiological standpoint, memory is usually thought of as residing in the brain. But when you begin to think of yourself in spiritual terms, then age and decline are no longer threats to your memory or your health. You stop thinking of yourself as being mortal and material. You find that you are actually spiritual, ageless, and always intact. You realize that you are totally exempt from medical theories that predict the inevitable decline of the body and subsequent loss of mental capacity. You discover that each of us is actually the much-loved image of the all-knowing, divine Mind, God.
Since we are made in His likeness and He never forgets, it follows that we also have the capacity to retain whatever memory or knowledge we need. Also, because God is infinite, we can never be outside of His care. God knows us and never forgets who we are.
Since "forgetting" isn't something infinite Mind can or would do, it follows that aligning ourselves with God enables us to retain our capacity for instant recall, intuition, and wisdom. To think of ourselves and our memories in these terms is to realize that our faculties are permanent. Memory is not here today and gone tomorrow. That's because divine Mind is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Thus as God's sons and daughters our ability to remember is constant and enduring.
Affirming these spiritual facts in prayer dispels the fear that thinking is tied to matter—to a fleshly brain that may or may not be healthy. Matter is not the source or manager of intelligence. It doesn't think; it can't remember.
In answering the question, "Does brain think, and do nerves feel, and is there intelligence in matter?" Mary Baker Eddy said this in Science and Health: "How can intelligence dwell in matter when matter is non-intelligent and brain-lobes cannot think? Matter cannot perform the functions of Mind" (p. 478).
It's true. The mental faculty to reason and remember is not associated with a material brain. The Bible declares that God is Spirit and that we live, move, and have our being—our ability to think—in Spirit. Thus memory, that is, the ability to recall information and to have spiritual understanding, is spiritual and cannot be lost.
You can put these spiritual facts about memory to the test. I did. Several years ago I was engaged to speak in various public venues including radio and television. I needed to remember a lot of material for these presentations. I became anxious that I would forget what I needed to say.
I found this statement of Jesus' very helpful: "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you" (Matt. 10:19, 20).
This reassured me that I couldn't, wouldn't forget. God was with me. The ideas, along with the ability to think and have instant recall, were constantly present. I was able to speak freely and to recall ideas and information readily.
There is no need to fear that not recalling where you put the car keys may indicate the presence of disease. God, made me—and you—in His intelligent likeness. Thus as God is wise, so you and I are also wise. As God has immortal recall, so you and I have the same.
However, if you're worried that you're experiencing short-term or long-term memory loss, you can follow this guidance from Mary Baker Eddy: "If delusion says, 'I have lost my memory,' contradict it. No faculty of Mind is lost. In Science, all being is eternal, spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action. Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thoughts lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind, Life not death, into your consciousness" (Science and Health, p. 407).
Right now we can stop being afraid. God loves us. He has not only created each of us to be intelligent, to reason, think, and remember, but He makes sure that we are forever complete, with every ability intact. When you and I affirm this, accept it, believe it, rejoice in it, and expect to always have excellent memory, we bring this truth into our experience right here and now. Why not try it? It works.
This article first appeared on www.spirituality.com.
Contributing editor Beverly Goldsmith is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
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