— 149 —
Memory.       §2. The other way of Retention is the Power to revive again in
our Minds those Ideas, which after imprinting have disappeared, or
have been as it were laid aside out of Sight: And thus we do, when
— 150 —
we conceive Heat or Light, Yellow or Sweet, the Object being
removed. This is Memory, which is as it were the Store-house of our
Ideas. For the narrow Mind of Man, not being capable of having
many Ideas under View and Consideration at once, it was necessary
to have a Repository, to lay up those Ideas, which at another time it
might have use of. But our Ideas being nothing, but actual Per-
ceptions in the Mind, which cease to be any thing, when there is no
perception of them, this laying up of our Ideas in the Repository of the
Memory, signifies no more but this, that the Mind has a Power, in
many cases, to revive Perceptions, which it has once had, with this
additional Perception annexed to them, that it has had them before.
And in this Sense it is, that our Ideas are said to be in our Memories,
when indeed, they are actually no where, but only there is an ability
in the Mind, when it will, to revive them again; and as it were
paint them anew on it self, though some with more, some with less
difficulty; some more lively, and others more obscurely. And thus
it is, by the Assistance of this Faculty, that we are said to have all
those Ideas in our Understandings, which though we do not actually
contemplate, yet we can bring in sight, and make appear again, and
be the Objects of our Thoughts, without the help of those sensible
Qualities, which first imprinted them there.
Locke Hum II, 10, §2, pp. 149-150