The final test is a solo dive your own memories. After a year of theory, six months of simulations, and six months of tandem dives, most are ready for the challenge. It’s not dangerous; not physically dangerous. Nothing can prepare you for what you will find. Diving into your memories is not like remembering or reconstructing a memory. Recalled memory is fluid, unreliable, and easily changed. Memory diving bypasses the mind and shows the diver exactly what the brain has stored.
Memories aren’t organized by date or alphabetically. One leads to another to another to another. Branching pathways that can circle back into repeating loops. Finding your way requires laser-like attention. Waver for a second and you’ll find yourself lost among the debris of your life.
Follow the chain of memories. A conversation leads to a college lecture leads to a movie leads to a birthday party leads to an office party leads to Friends leads to a field trip. Almost there. Wait, didn’t you already see this birthday party?
Office party. Friends. Field Trip. Lecture. Movie. Birthday party. Office party. Friends. Field Trip. Lecture. Movie. Birthday party. Office party. Friends. Field Trip. Lecture …
It’s a feedback loop. Circular memory path. Feedback loops can trap even experienced divers; for a first timer, they’re usually dead ends. Try running the path a few times to see if you can find an out. There’s no shame in surfacing. Even professionals do it.
Field Trip. Lecture. Movie. Birthday party. Office party. Friends.
Field Trip … Lecture … Movie … Birthday party … … Club.
That’s the ticket. Now just straight on till morning. That was good memory awareness back there. When you dive into a stranger’s mind you won’t have that advantage but you won’t get sidetracked as easy.
Stop here. Watch carefully. Not like how you remember it, is it? Hurts to see yourself like this, doesn’t? That’s because you’ve been lying to yourself. Everyone lies to themselves. They lie about what they said, about how they acted, about how they felt. We can’t help it. In the dive, these lies are stripped away. You see yourself.
Follow the memory chain out. Good. Everyone cries their first time through their own memories. Take your time. When you’re ready, surface and head into the next room.