Memories are queer things, sometimes something very insignificant creates a lasting impression on the mind, and at other times something important is not registered by the brain. It is so subjective what one wants to save and what one wants to delete from the experience.
Memories of events comprise many components-- sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. Our brain stores all that depending upon our sensitivity to particular sense. And then all these features of the episode are woven together to create a visual impression. In spite of all the technical evolution researchers have not been able to find how the memories are processed by the brain's memory center. And why the brain wants to store the experiences in the first place?
For meditators memory is a big impediment because memories create a thick fog of cloud over consciousness. And the consciousness identifies itself with this fog. When we say “I recall” or “I remember”, we are not available to respond to this moment…we are in the past.
Thus, those who are too much surrounded by memories start living in the past. If they are miserable today they glorify their past, the atmosphere, people and events in their lives. The phrases like “good old days” or “golden childhood” emerge from this tendency. Interestingly, when we are actually living the past, we may not have enjoyed it so much because our mind was again stuck in the past even at those moments.
This is the mind’s game to prevent us from clearing the sky and going deeper into the cloudless inner consciousness. If memory functions like a car-- use it when needed and discard it later-- it is a wonderful tool. But memory used to avoid living now, is anti life.