Memory and Meaning: Examples: Allegory, Architecture, Music

Introduction, wondering…

I wonder if there is a connection between things that feel meaningful, and things which act very strongly on memory. Now I don’t just mean like, *Got attacked on the street, will never look at street the same way* kind of meaningful, I mean just like *wake up early and the sun hits the window in a certain day and you feel so at piece you’ll never forget that moment* kind of meaningful. See I think meaning, is not dependent on emotional intensity, but on memory strength. Yes, emotional intensity increases strength of memories, but that is not the only way.


When you walk into someone else’s home and you realize you are in someone else’s head space and it is so intimate, that it meaningful, and without causing heart palpitations. See what I realized is that it is the sum of two things. The fact that it is an intimate and therefore social experience, and also the fact that architecture is so linked to memory that there are mnemonic techniques based on visualizing palaces and placing an object to be remembered, in each room. The reason basic idea is that architecture visualization and spacial recognition and path tracing through architecture (and possible outdoor locations too) require the use o spacial memory(or something) and this is a very strong form of memory because it requires so much processing power.

Anyways, to make a long story short, architecture is memorable and therefore meaningful? or is it more about the intimacy, or a mix of both. Either way, I can remember what a persons house looks like, the general lay out, after only seeing it once, and that being a few years ago.


Allegory  think for the same reason, really speaks to the soul. You read a fantastic piece of literature, and think wow that was amazing. Then later you realize all the allegory, all the hidden meanings. After that, that story and many of the meanings will be deeply entrenched in you memory and the story will be, well, more meaningful.


Another example for the link between memory and meaning would be the way music and the memories tied to it persist in people with Alzheimer’s beyond things like even remembering who their family members are.

Far Fetched Serotonin Increase?:

So when I think people are searching for meaning, well at least for me, I might really be searching for experiences and concepts that have such a powerful effect on my memory that I can’t forget them. On top of that, I’ll throw out there that one common symptom of depression is memory problems which seem to be linked to low serotonin. So it may be that experiencing or learning unforgettable things, increases serotonin. If this is true, I wonder how long lasting the effect is. Also it says that being smarter = being happier, just by having more memories, more worth remembering. Think about it, when you are asked what makes life worth living, you will most likely think back on memories, as well as things you have yet to achieve. Of course, you have to remember your goals for the future, and therefore those goals must be meaningful in order for them to be memories.


So these are some thoughts I’ve had. Some of them require some supposing so they may not pan out. For instance, I know that increasing serotonin increases memory if serotonin is low. Best thing in the way of optimal serotonin I can think of is vitamin D, at least in the winter when there is less light. My memory shot up after starting on it. However, I do no know if improving memory will somehow boost serotonin, only that the meaningful experiences that build strong memories, feel really good!

What I might look into is increases memory power through advanced use of allegory and architecture visualization.



I found this link on using allegory to teach and learn math:




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