ORGANIZING A RECAPITULATION LIST
Tips one reader feels are worth passing along.
There is no better way to learn about recapitulating than by recapitulating.
It produces all of the promised benefits, and those benefits in turn teach
one how to recapitulate even better.
When I first started, I worried that my list wasn't complete enough. It
had approximately 1,500 entries, but I was sure I had missed a lot. After
recapitulating for 1 - 2 years (I've lost track of it), I now believe that
missing events on the initial list is inevitable. It's important to remember
everything you can, but there is no possibility of getting everything. As
I recapitulated, I remembered enough new events and people to double the
size of my list.
Don Juan once said that the first recapitulation was basically just a review
of events that stand out in the most obvious manner. I don't feel that should
be taken as a license to be careless. It's important to start out with everything
you can remember. The recapitulation uses Intent.
I discovered, through recapitulating, that the additional events recalled
during recapitulation are of a different nature than those remembered while
making the list. Often, I would just let myself go on a particular topic
and not refer back to the list of items under that heading. I would recapitulate
that topic for hours, discovering so many events not on my initial list,
that I assumed I had covered everything. Yet, when I was done and could
not recall anything else, I would refer back to my original list and find
additional events I had not remembered during recapitulation. I now believe
that memory outside recapitulation is like a bird's eye view. It allows
you to peg general locations from which you can investigate. Memory inside
is narrow and lets you follow an event to those touching it. A complete
list is necessary to cover the field, but one need not worry excessively
about forgotten events.
If I were to start over again I would be more careful organizing the list
in the first place. There's no reason to rush to start something that's
likely going to take a couple of years. Nothing is going to happen overnight.
I learned the most about organizing the list after my recollecting took
on a new depth: after about 8 months. I knew there was a difference because
the additional events I remembered tickled & surprised me. Most of what
I learned was about places; I'm still lacking with people. Here is a summary
of what I learned:
1. The list tends to be so large that some topics are accidentally put
into the wrong location. For instance, there might be a restaraunt next
to a store and by accident the restaraunt is put later in the list.
It's important to keep relative places or events together. That's because
it's disturbing to switch locations or events too often during recapitulation.
Staying with one place or feeling fosters deeper recapitulation and
triggers more memories.
In fact, after finishing a location with many memories, it's possible
to enter a vague state of dreaming where one can scan the landscape
for unexplored feelings and "follow" them to a new memory. All you have
to do to accomplish this is visualize some area from that topic and
"walk" around in your thoughts. It doesn't matter if you have a full
fledged dream view of the scenery or you are merely thinking about it.
Just look for any type of feeling which you don't know the source of
and follow it to a memory. These memories, deeply hidden, are thrilling
to uncover. Discovering these tended to make me burst from the recapitulation
crate with a happy, tingly feeling and my dreaming always changed following
a lot of these discoveries.
Using this technique, I uncovered the memory of some reoccurring dreams
from my childhood. I believe it's a good idea to recapitulate these
too. Another time, I saw an orange pink band of light sticking out of
a wall in a shopping center I was recapitulating. The band of light,
as bright as if I were looking at a real flame in the dark, gave me
a feeling of guilt, worry, and physical pressure.I couldn't trace the
band of light to it's source; the wall was blocking it. After waiting
for a couple of minutes, I decided to breathe in the band and exhale
anything that came out. The result was a vision of beams of light criss-crossing
2. There are cases where one can put an event or place in either of
two categories. For instance, my mother took me to a particular shoe
store often. I discovered, through recapitulating, that my mother was
quite a flirt and enjoyed the salesman in that store. Thus the store
could have gone under the Mom heading or under the heading of that shopping
center. In such cases, consider which category would trigger more associated
memories. In this case, I already had the shopping center to trigger
finding more in that area. I put the shoe store in the Mom heading so
that I could examine her flirting, and this caused me to remember a
drug store on the other end of town.
3. If you have two complicated or perplexing events to recapitulate,
don't put them back to back on the list. Give yourself some type of
a break in between. It makes recapitulating more pleasant. I don't mean
to suggest indulging to protect yourself. Just break it up a little
so there is light at the end of the tunnel. It reminds me of the time
I discovered that my dog was happier if I didn't keep filling her food
bowl as she ate. She liked the feeling of finishing all of the food.
It depressed her that I kept filling the bowl and there was no possibility
of finishing it all. She ate less as a result.
4. Think category. Example: you will likely have lots of tiny memories
from childhood such as a fort, favorite toys, hiding places, games.
Don't write them down helter skelter going backwards in time. Put the
toys together, the games together, the hiding places together. Doing
this will surely help you discover ones you've forgotten. And you won't
have to refer to your list every 10 minutes.
In the final analysis, the main thing is to recapitulate faithfully.
Then you'll uncover your own secrets.
Nagualist Newsletter and Open Forum /
2 Aug. /Sept. 1994