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June 2, 2014 3:26 pm  #21

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

I hadn't heard the term mind palace until the show, but I  have one. Well, a mind bungalow. I've always called going there 'going into my head.' The rooms are full of filing cabinets and bookshelves. More like Magnussen's mind palace than Sherlock's.

The filing cabinets are full of images that help trigger memories/recollection. I mentally photograph the contents of books so that I can store them on the bungalow's shelves so I can retrieve the information from anywhere.

Yes, it's possible to delete stuff from your mind palace, at least it is for me. It's about forgetting things, that's much harder to do. But I frequently go in and chuck and rearrange things, the way I do with my real house, to make them less prominent so that the stuff that matters is at hand and the stuff that is no longer relevant is tucked away deep. I also occasionally redecorate! The bungalow used to be very dark and cramped, but now it is spacious and well lit.

I mostly go into my mind palace for the purpose of maintenance in a state of wake dreaming just before I go to sleep, but I can retrieve information at any time, and I can hide out there during situations of extreme distress.

I really love the post-shooting scene in Sherlock's mind palace in HLV because it's so realistic. I had a really bad injury about 10 years ago, real life or death situation with hypovolemia and shock and hypothermia and crippling pain while alone in the bush in 40 below weather. I am convinced that if I couldn't have separated myself from what was happening to my body and been able to retreat to my orderly mind palace where I could get the medical information I needed to save my life (I was a medic at the time), I would have died.

My favourite room in the bungalow is the solarium, with all its comfy chairs and lounging spots, where can go be comforted by the memories of the people and pets I have loved and lost.

It's neat to talk about my bungalow; I've never done that. The people in my life just think I'm day dreaming when I go there.


John: That's clever. So you scratch their backs and...
Sherlock: Yes. And then disinfect myself.

June 4, 2014 7:14 am  #22

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

Thanks for answering my question! I must say, I am very impressed by what you are able to do with your mind bungalow. I had no idea that they could be used so extensively.

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.'' ~ Sherlock Holmes

July 2, 2014 6:26 am  #23

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

While reading about mind palaces I started to think of my imagination abilities / visualizing things. Building a mind palace and mind mapping is about "seeing" things, right? For me it is normal to close the eyes and see nothing but black. I can't get pictures. And also no colours. I can imagine things of course (and I also dream) but this feels more like I think those things, I don't see them with inner eyes. When I'm lucky I "see" some diffuse black contours on a black background. That's lousy. I try to look at an object, then close the eyes and imagine it again. It doesn't work neither.Is there a trick to visualize things? Or it this just a thing of practice? I feel like start on this first before I try to build a mind palace. Any suggestions? 


July 2, 2014 7:38 am  #24

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

Derren Brown's books?
I think he writes about Mind Palaces.


July 3, 2014 4:51 pm  #25

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

Did you already try it with relaxation music? I think, music is a perfect key to the doors of inner perception.


I have to thank you for the inspiration you give to me.
You made me change my mind in so many ways.


July 16, 2014 7:26 pm  #26

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

I'm thinking I have an uncultivated mind palace... 

What I really have is photographic memory; I can visualize a room I've been in and zoom in on certain things like a rose on a table, a book on a shelf etc. It's pretty neat! Although it does have it downsides for me because I'm not completely in control of it... 

I am in control in the sense that I can recall things when I want to or need to. At work I'm the first one to be asked if somone forgot where they put stuff etc. 

But it also means I can have vivid flashbacks of my past from little things like a special kind of glass etc. I need to be able to control that. There's things I'd much rather forget about.

I'm pretty good at answering correctly when watching Quiz shows and my mother keeps pushing me to audition for some. I tried to explain to her how I did it last weekend and I think she's a bit worried for me.

What I explained to her was this: When having to guess when a tennis player won a specific tournament I saw a picture of her in a frame and the number 8 in blue floating around the picture. The fact that the 8 was in blue told me there was two... making my answer 1988. Which was correct. 

Please tell me my mother doesn't need to be as worried as she looked. 


"Don't talk out loud, you lower the IQ of the whole street!"

"Oh Watson. Nothing made me... I made me"
"Luuuuurve Ginger Nuts"

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November 6, 2014 7:20 pm  #27

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

I've been using these techniques since the 1980s. There are better techniques than the memory palce though. The peg system is the best. I enter memory competitions and the whole thing is now an international "sport". It's become my natural way of remembering now and I use it for everything from memorising shopping lists and phone numbers to winning money of gullible people who say it's impossible to memorize a deck of cards in under 2 minutes!


December 23, 2014 7:58 am  #28

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

I'm going to build my own mind palace, based on my childhood home as I know that by heart. 

I remember many years ago I thaught myself a similar-ish way to remember stuff, but I used it more as a party trick.

I memorized the numbers from 1-16 with the numbers being symbols that looked like the number itself. (No 1 was a candle, No 2 was a swan with it's next like the number 2 etc). I then asked people to write a list of 16 random words - any words. I would then combine the number symbol with the word - for instance, if the first word was "car" I would imagine a candle driving a car. The crazier the image, the easier to remember.

After spending only a few seconds combining each random word to the symbol associated with each number, I could then leave it talk about something else. Fifteen minutes later I would go through the list, listing up each word in order, backwards order and name any number at all (What's word number 7?).

People were quite impressed, but it was an easy technique to learn - took me 10-15 minutes in the library to remember all the number-symbols from 1-16. Later I added some of my own, and managed to get 20+ something.

"We'll live on starlight and crime scenes" - wordstrings

Team Hudders!

December 30, 2014 10:35 am  #29

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

The scenes when Sherlock uses his mind palace are great , it is impressive ! It is more impressive to see it is real
I am trying to build my palace with the method
For the moment I choose my previous house because I lived 10 years in this house.
I choose a route and I try to remember some key elements in the rooms.
It is very exciting !!

Last edited by maxime (December 30, 2014 10:37 am)


January 2, 2015 8:46 pm  #30

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

This struck me as connecting Sherlock, mind palaces and pirates.


August 1, 2023 2:34 pm  #31

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

This YouTube channel explores a lot of interesting topics. I haven't watched every video but I always enjoy them when I do. This one I watched recently deals with memory, and the concept of the mind palace/memory palace is involved so I thought I would share it. This person starts from a place of not being able to remember things well and then ends up being able to memorize Pi to the 3,141st digit.

I don't know if I could stand all the planning involved in this memorization method, if I'm being honest. It seems like a lot of work, even though apparently she only memorized chunks of information for five minutes at a time once she'd planned out the memory palace.


Last edited by Yitzock (August 1, 2023 2:35 pm)

Clueing for looks.

August 1, 2023 5:46 pm  #32

Re: Build Your Own Mind Palace

This looks fun, thanks! I'm having some problems with memory, as are other friends my age. I recently met up with a group and we had a long conversation about actors and films/TV while hardly ever being able to remember the names of the actors and/or films/TV series! But I don't know if I could to the work of memorising trivial things like this when there are so many things I need to remember and am forgetting!  I just can't seem to retrieve the information properly any more. I like to think it's because there's too much information there now.
I'll watch the video later when I get chance.  Thank you!


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