The memory-peg system enables you to remember lists of items, in any order, for long times: weeks, months, years; whatever you want. The items don’t need any logical relationships to one another, and different lists will not collide. I use this system every day to remember passwords, phone numbers, account numbers, prices, and more. The system is used by memory athletes in competitions to do things like memorize the order of cards in multiple decks. This system JUST PLAIN WORKS!
The system works by a three-way association between
- mental pictures, which are easy to remember,
- numbers, which let you order or re-order, and
- consonant sounds, which give you flexibility in finding suitable mental pictures by name
It’s an ancient system developed (so they say) by Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Aryeh of Modena many centuries ago to aid Yeshiva students in memorizing Talmud and Torah. In Christendom, its origins have been traced to Polish monks, who used it to memorize religious texts. It’s highly plausible that the Christian monks learned the system from Jewish sources.
I have learned both the English version and the Hebrew version of the system. They’re not compatible, because Hebrew and English consonants are very different, BUT they definitely work on each other! I proved to myself that the English system works for memorizing Hebrew vocabulary, and the Hebrew system works for memorizing material in English.
The system works in layers. Anyone can learn the first layer in about 20 minutes, and you can use it to memorize up to ten disconnected facts or things very quickly, as quickly as you hear them. I routinely teach this layer to children as young as seven, and they love it because they are instantly more powerful mentally.
The second layer can be mastered in a couple of days, and gives you power over lists up to 100 in length. This is the layer I use every day. This third layer is a real challenge, but can be mastered in three full-time weeks and gives you power over lists of 1,000 unconnected items. This layer is used by magicians, spies, orators, actors, and memory athletes.
Over time, I will teach all three layers in this Blog. More later.