Memories are queer things


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 centre. 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. Secondly, those who are too much surrounded by memories start living in the past. If they are miserable today they glorify their past. The phrases like “ good old days” or “golden childhood” emerge out of 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 of that moment. For instance, ask children, are you very happy right now? The answer will be, "No." In fact every child wants to grow up as fast as it can. Because kids feel that they are constantly dominated and controlled by the elders. They think that the grown up guys are having all the power and fun.

  Memory is a faculty of the mind and is useful in the outer world for sure, but those who want to meditate, live a silent life find memories are a great obstacle. This is a mind’s game to prevent us from clearing the clouds of thoughts and emotions and going deeper into the cloudless 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 in the present, is anti life.

This is why Osho continuously asks us to die to the past which means not to get entangled in past impressions on the brain. This can happen when we bypass the mind and get rooted in witnessing more an more.  The watcher is not part of any mind games. It doesn’t have a memory because it doesn’t need it.

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