For centuries, the memory palace technique has been used to organize and memorize incredible amounts of information. Today, we’re going to look at different ways to use this technique to help you memorize extended portions of the Bible.
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If you’ve never used a memory palace before, you’re in for a treat!
This technique is considered one of the most effective ways to both organize and retrieve packets of information that you store in your memory.
And what’s great is that anybody can use it! You could be 8 years old or 80 years old, your God-given brain is wired to work well with this technique.
We’re going to divide this up into three different sections:
- Quick History of the Memory Palace Method
- How to Create a Memory Palace
- Ways to Use a Memory Palace to Memorize the Bible
By the end, you should be able to create and use your own memory palace to use for whatever purposes you like. However, after you’ve read this, if you’d still like a bit more help, I’ve provided a tutorial for memorizing Psalm 46 with this method.
Quick History of the Memory Palace Method
Believe it or not, the memory palace has been a technique used for many centuries, as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans.
They referred to it as the Method of Loci (pronounced “low-chee” in Latin).
This is a method that takes advantage of our brain’s incredible spacial awareness. This awareness is what lets us walk through the house we grew up in or our elementary school, even if we haven’t been there in decades.
Using this Method of Loci, ancient philosophers – and now even world memory champions – are able to establish order to their memory and make it easier to retrieve the information. And despite how it might sound, it’s thankfully not that hard for the average person to use this technique as well.
As somebody who memorizes the Bible, especially if you’re memorizing longer passages instead of isolated verses, a mind palace helps you organize your memory in a way that makes it easier to recall.
How to Create a Memory Palace
So what does it take for you to create a memory palace?
It’s not difficult, but it’s also something that you have to do on your own. In other words, I can’t give you my memory palace because it wouldn’t work for you. The only true way to take advantage of this technique is to create your own palace(s).
There are three steps to doing this. First…
Step 1: Choose Your Palace
The first step is to locate your own memory palace. And don’t get tripped up by the word “palace”. It simply needs to be a location that you know so well that you could walk through it with your eyes closed.
This location could be anywhere such as:
- Your current or childhood home
- Your school or university campus
- Your office or place of work
- The building where you attend church
For your first memory palace, it’s usually best to choose a place that you can still visit. Walk around and take note of all the features of the location.
Step 2: Create Locations within the Palace
Once you’ve chosen the palace location, you now need to divide that place up into smaller points of interest.
For example, you can walk in the door of your house and the first thing you see is a coat rack. Next to that is a shelving unit and then you come to the stairs. Each of those points is an individual location within the palace.
To use another example on a smaller scale, imagine that the desk where I’m writing this is a small memory palace. I’ve found seven distinct places that I can use to divide this small palace.
There’s a couple things you should note here:
- These locations are linear. I don’t jump around chaotically to different parts of my memory palace. It goes in order from one side to the other.
- The locations are consistent: I don’t choose a book on my desk that may move from time to time. My speakers never move. My monitor never moves. My keyboard and mouse are always in that location.
- The locations match my needs: In the above example, I only needed 7 points in the palace. If I’m memorizing a chapter that needs 24 points, that’s how many I need to locate in my palace. And if the points you need are more than you can find in your current palace, you’ll need to create a bigger memory palace.
Step 3: Encode Information to Each Palace Location
Now that you’ve divided your memory palace into the number of points you need, you can now attach the information you want to memorize onto those points.
Let’s say, for example, that I want to use my small desk memory palace to memorize the seven churches that John writes to in the book of the Revelation.
And it takes more than just putting a word next to a number. You need to encode the information.
This means that if you want to remember Ephesus, located on the microphone on the left of my desk, I could remember Effie Trinket, the crazy character from The Hunger Games, yelling into the microphone.
This may not work for you if you don’t know The Hunger Games movie/books, so you would need to find something else. But for me, this striking visual with the microphone is enough to remember that “Effie” is at my microphone and stands for “Ephesus”.
You see how that works?
What’s important when you’re encoding information is that you use as many of your senses as possible. Try to ask yourself:
- What sounds am I hearing with this word at this location?
- How does it smell?
- When I touch this, what does it feel like?
The more you can get your senses involved – particularly if it’s in a weird or over-the-top kind of way – the better it will be for your memory.
Using a Memory Palace for Bible Memory
To bring this full-circle here, how can you use a memory palace to memorize the Bible?
I’ve already explained part of my method for memorizing entire books of the Bible that uses a memory palace as part of the method.
But there’s more you could do here. For example, you could:
- Use a 12-point memory palace to memorize the 12 disciples
- Use a 66-point memory palace to memorize all 66 books of the Bible
- Use a 10-point memory palace to memorize the ten commandments
The possibilities are endless, and the number of memory palace locations is limited only by your imagination.
Yes, you can use rote memorization to brute force Scripture into your brain (which is a method The Bible Memory Man uses, so it’s not terrible). But using a memory palace not only allows you to memorize faster, it also allows you to organize your brain so that you can retrieve the information easier.