The Alhambra

Granada, Spain


The construction of these receiving apparatuses is the same, recalling the clean wax discs from which phonograph records are made.  On these rolls and reels all the impressions received are noted down, from the first day of life and even before.  Besides this, the mechanism has one more automatically acting adjustment, thanks to which all newly received impressions are connected with those previously recorded.


              In addition to these a chronological record is kept.  Thus every impression which has been experienced is written down in several places on several rolls.  On these rolls it is preserved unchanged.  What we call memory is a very imperfect adaptation by means of which we can keep on record only a small part of our store of impressions; but impressions once experienced never disappear; they are preserved on rolls where they are written down.  Many experiences in hypnosis have been made and it has been stated with irrefutable examples that man remembers everything he has ever experienced won to the minutest detail.  He remembers all the details of his surroundings, even the faces and voices of the people round him during his infancy, when he seemed to be an entirely unconscious being.


              It is possible by hypnosis to make all the rolls turn, even to the deepest depths of the mechanism.  But it may happen that these rolls begin to unroll by themselves as a result of some visible or hidden shock, and scenes, pictures or faces, apparently long forgotten, suddenly come to the surface.  All the internal psychic life of man is nothing but an unfolding, before the mental vision, of these rolls with their records of impressions.  All the peculiarities of a man’s world conception and the characteristic features of his individuality depend on the order in which these records come and upon the quality of the rolls existing in him.



—From G. I. Gurdjieff, Views From the Real WorldNew York, February 1924