"Palace of Memory": a description of the method for memorizing

Most people notice that they quickly forget the information received. This situation is not hopeless, you can develop your memory, but you need to work hard. One of the developing methods - “Palace of Memory” - appeared about 2,500 years ago. It is popular today.

Palace of Memory

How did the “palace of memory” method come about?

Today, this mnemonic technique has many supporters, it is believed that Ancient Greece became its birthplace. Some sources attribute the authorship of the technique to Cicero, but there is a more exotic story in which Solomon Shereshevsky subconsciously used this method. He was a poet and recited poems at the festival, and after he left, the vault of the building collapsed, leaving many victims. Even relatives could not identify them.

At this time, in the mind of Solomon, the full picture of the holiday began to be restored to everything that happened, he remembered everything to the smallest detail and was able to point the relatives at the dead relatives.When Solomon analyzed how the whole picture appeared in his memory, he was able to describe the first mnemonic technique. In fact, it may have been successfully used by other people even earlier, but no information was left on this.

What is the technique in practice

In ancient times, oratory was incredibly valued. The ability to speak convincingly and smoothly gave speakers a number of advantages. The Romans and Greeks spoke at meetings and in courts, they had to competently appeal with facts to achieve the desired result, and for this you must be fluent in various speech constructs. It was the speakers who developed the practices of memory improvement, they called this method “lokas”, now it is called the “memory palace”.

Palace of Memory appliances

In practice, it was necessary to present a well-known place and, walking around it in your imagination, invent associations with the phrases of future speech or parts of the chosen place. When a person spoke, he mentally walked through a familiar place and collected all the theses in a strictly defined order. The “Palace of Memory” method is to mentally place the things you need to remember in a comfortable and familiar environment for a person.

How does the memorization technique work?

All the work to build a "palace" is happening inside the mind, at this time you can not go anywhere, but be in one place with closed eyes and achieve a good result. How to build a "memory palace" in your imagination and how does it work?

Palace of Memory technique

With the help of this technique, a person is able to build strong ties tied to associations. This makes it possible to memorize large amounts of information. The main task is to build all the elements of information in the correct order, and then, if necessary, quickly retrieve it from the depths of memory. “Palace of Memory” is a rather powerful technique. To create a need to submit a building in which a lot of rooms, transitions and galleries. Let this image be firmly imprinted in the mind. Over time, this palace will be filled with furniture, paintings, mirrors, statues, and other things that will be associated with the information necessary for memorization.

The palace itself with time, too, can change, grow and become a big part of the fictional world in which, as in the archive, your information is stored. When it is necessary to extract it, the owner of the palace will simply need to go on a virtual walk through his possessions.

matteo ricci palace of memory

Optionally, the “palace of memory” is a fictional place - it can be a real, well-known building with real things and objects, respectively, associations can be associated with them.

How to start working in the mnemonic method

Both the construction of a real palace and a virtual one takes some time. The first attempts to build associative links can be unsuccessful, but each time the process will be easier and faster until it reaches automatism. The Palace of Memory is a technique that allows you to develop your memory endlessly and even over the years to easily extract the necessary information from the subconscious.

In this case, practice is important, and you can start with the most simple and banal things, such as the purchase of products.

Palace of Memory Book

Take for example the following list: butter, tomatoes, detergent, wheat groats, xerox paper, milk, cat food and tea.

For each of these points, you need to come up with an associative hook, for which the memory will catch. The most correct option is to put all the words in one story, that is, all the rooms should be in the same palace.The story may turn out to be absurd, and even if such a plot is impossible in life, it does not play any role, because everything is possible in imagination.

History made with the list

So, back to our list and build your own memory palace, your own history. An example of an associative series:

“Mr. X was a very strange appearance, which is why people tried to avoid him, he himself was in no hurry to get close to people, did not like to answer questions, sometimes he was stupidly silent in conversation, as if he had taken water in his mouth. His skin was white, like milk, and therefore freckles were clearly visible on it, it seemed that someone had scattered wheat cereal on a white sheet of paper. The nose stood out bright on the face, red as a tomato. Tea-colored hair seemed oily and slick, so I wanted to pour washing and lather on it thoroughly, but it is not known if there would be a result. The only living thing that loved him is a cat. She knew that he would always bring her something delicious at the end of the day. ”

All words were in the same logical bundle. It is even difficult to imagine that any of the goods will be forgotten. Numbers and names can also be memorized using a similar scheme.In this case, you need to use your memory to extract images that will be associated with numbers or names, and link them in your imagination.

History examples

There are personalities in history who successfully practiced mnemonics and precisely because of this achieved high results in their activities. Such a bright personality was Matteo Ricci. The “Palace of Memory” made famous a Jesuit priest who lived in the XIV century.

how to build a memory palace

For 10 years Ricci was able to learn Chinese and was well versed in various dialects. He had a reputation as a scientist and a wise man. In addition, he had a brilliant education, well mastered the principles of mnemonics. He taught Chinese. He built the “Palace of Memory” depending on the amount of material that he needed to learn and remember. When the information was particularly complex, he lined up the building, which could consist of other rooms of different heights and sizes, but they were interconnected by logical connections.

If we consider that all these buildings were erected in the imagination, and used in real life, we can only guess about its level of excellence and skill in mnemonics.In his practice, Ricci allowed the use of not only palaces, but also gazebos, public buildings and even temples, if the associations with them were bright.

Thanks to his abilities, Matteo Ricci has passed the exam and obtained a high state position in China - before that, not a single European could do this. The exam included works of Chinese poetry and classics. Only 1% of people passed such an exam.

He taught to place images and concepts in palaces, and the Chinese successfully used this technique.

Labor J. Spence

Jonathan Spence, a Yale historian, has issued several works and monographs, among which is the Palace of Memory of Matteo Ricci. The book describes the complex mnemonic schemes used by Matteo. And those with the help of which he built his “palace of memory”. This book is only in the original and not translated into Russian. It describes the basic principle of operation.

It is necessary to imagine that you are entering a large house and you see a room in which there are bookshelves and tables. On each surface in the room you need to leave your memories until all the places are filled. Now you can move to another room, bring up actual memories, go back in the same way again and activate left ideas.

How realistic is it to master the “memory palace” technique?

In a primitive form, people use mnemonic techniques in real life, without even realizing it. When they go for something in the room, but when they come, they do not remember what they wanted, then they come back and restore the picture, remembering what they needed. It works, but the “palace of memory” technique is not for everyone. A person with creative potential and a developed imagination can successfully master these mechanisms.

 palace memory method

If you have problems with fantasy, you can use simple mnemonic systems that help develop memory. They are enough to successfully and systematically work on themselves.

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