Tuesday, July 6, 2010


From the perspective where I am coming from the Creator has granted us "memory" as a kindness. Its a tremendous blessing to have. I am one of those people who see memory in a positive light.

Yet, to some memory also seems to be associated with prolonging profound pain. For example, throughout world history it seems all too common for individuals and nations to bear long historical grudges over painful deeds committed years, if not centuries, beforehand. As the person or nation is reminded, the pain is being replayed and relived.

An example that most people can relate to is the memory of a loved one who had passed away. Reminiscing about the loved one can be more than simply a walk down memory lane. It can be an encounter with profound pain. So perhaps memory is not such a blessing after all?

Its an Interesting question. However, it seems to me that reliving pain through memory is not a result of having too much memory. Surprisingly, it's actually a result of having too little memory.

Let me explain. Memory comes in two forms: horizontal and vertical. (These are my own made up terms.) Horizontal memories are a collection of memories from our earthly experience, here in physical form. It's what we refer to as history - whether its personal history, national history or world history.

Besides horizontal memory, there is also vertical memory. Vertical memories are memories of experiences in the higher realms from which the soul descended before entering the body. These could be memories of past lives, memories of between lives, memories of the heavenly court, memories of early stages of existence, memories of who we'll morph into in the future, etc. In short, memory of spiritual history.

The reason why horizontal memory can cause such pain is because we don't have sufficient vertical memory to match it up with. The vertical and horizontal versions of memory are a couple. They're supposed to get married, becoming one flesh, one memory.

Without being paired, the horizontal memory remains like a lifeless body craving the supportive animation of vertical memory. However, even without  vertical memory every detail of life on the earth plane is really directed from Above. So behind every horizontal event there is a vertical event. It just needs to be remembered, in order to complete the story of what happened. But, if we don't remember the higher parallel event then we know far less than half the story. Sometimes knowing a half story can be less helpful than knowing no story, at all.

We need to somehow grow in vertical memory in order to sweeten our horizontal memory. From a Jewish perspective this is what will happen for everyone in the days of the Messiah. However, even today there are great saintly individuals who are already privy to vertical memory, to one degree or another. That's the Creator's gift to them in order to help them guide others.

When the Messiah's era arrives vertical memory opens up on a grand scale, not just for individuals, but for everyone. There are many things we can do to bring forward that day. Among them bringing peace and friendships between peoples, praying and helping people get along, acts of kindness, more involvement in the spiritual side of life, etc. 

With our momentary lack of vertical memory, horizontal memory can be meanwhile sweetened somewhat by finding common ground and interests in broad areas. For example, group projects that appeal to what is universally human, to shared spiritual beliefs and values, etc. This can be accomplished through art, Internet friendships , study groups, prayer circles, educational ventures, etc.

There's an old Jewish story that humorously demonstrates the pitfall of humans having insufficient vertical memory.

Long ago, in a Jewish Eastern European town, there lived a very old, but healthy man. People in the town wondered about his "secret". One day a group of people gathered the courage to ask him.

"So what's your secret?", Chimed their ring leader.

"What secret?", Questioned the old man.

"You know ... how you managed to live so long and remain in such great shape", clarified the ringer leader, as if the old man should have known why he became an object of attention.

"Oh", Laughed the old man. "That's an easy question to answer. I never in my whole life complained. So they never felt compelled to take to where the answers are."

Up until contemporary times vertical memory usually only becomes available to a person after his or her earthbound existence. Let us hope to a brighter tomorrow when the missing memory will also become available to human beings, in bodies of flesh, here on earth. That's part of the sweetness the Jewish people, and many others, look forward to in the Messianic era.


  1. I think you said it all, and I like the way you word horizontal memory and vertical memory. I agree with you. If we could all remember what happened in the higher realms, the pain of our earthly memory would not exist. We'd realize all things are done for our ultimate good and understand the reasons why.

    Let's take marriage. Since my vertical memory was not at all developed in my late teens or at age 20, I married from an earthly standpoint. I did not follow my heart, knew it, and paid the consequences.

    Ever since I was very, very young--a toddler--I've strove to remember who I was. I was so confused and frustrated at my amnesia. As I grew older, my memory grew greater and greater. I searched and found out who "I Am." I now follow my heart at all costs.

    We should regret nothing. The stones, seemingly failures, and stumbles have marked our upward path. They were necessary to build our character and who we are, but we should not dwell on them. We can't weigh our souls down with the years past, and if we foolishly choose to bear those burdens, we mock God and what our hearts know.

    In our spiritual life we sometimes try to bear these burdens when physically we never would weigh ourselves down with worn-out shoes and clothing of past years.

    We have to put the spiritual first; then, the material/physical will follow.

    Talking about the Messianic era/Kingdom of God era, God offered Israel a permanent covenant, one not of this old world. So I'm quite sure this era will not exist on this old earth. I think the ones who enter this era will be filled with those who have vertical memory. It's necessary. Others would not be able to enter because they're not ready. The ones who keep the commandments of God--the orthodox Jews--and overcoming saints of the Tanakh come to mind. People from every nation, religion, culture, etc. who overcomes will be part of this age. This is not the same as the new heaven and earth God will create where the lamb will lie down with a lamb, etc.

    I believe those who experience the Messianic era are the ones married to God--the ones God considers His Wife.

  2. Sorry that I did not notice your comment till now. I was very ill around that time and it could be with difficulty concentrating that I glossed over my e-mails during this time. Thanks to the Creator I am now feeling better.

    In Judaism, we do believe that there will be an age of a "new heaven and earth". However, it's possible that it will happen a while after the Messiah arrives and humanity lives out some generations of peace and spirituality in their current biological form.

    Vertical memory should be possible in our current biological form. Moses and our great prophets had it. Even our later mystics had it to some extant. They all had bodies functioning by the standard mechanisms of biology. If they occasssionally transcended these mechanisms it was onlt because people, as we know them, are capable of doing that by becoming more spiritually developed.

    However, in general I agree based on the words of Tenakh that there will one day be a new heaven and earth and it won't look like the one we're in now. Otherwise, what would be its purpose?