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Chapter 7: Awareness: The Fire That Burns the Past

And an psychological memory is a very falsifying process: you may have come to ask to be forgiven, and if I am carrying the wound, I cannot see your present face which has come to be forgiven, which has come to repent. If I see the old face of yesterday I will still see the anger in the eyes, I will still see the enemy in you; and you are no more the enemy if you have repented. The whole night you couldn’t sleep, and you have come to be forgiven; but I will behave in such a way because I will project yesterday onto your face. That yesterday will destroy the whole possibility of the new being born. I will not accept your repentance, I will not accept that you are feeling sorry. I will think that you are cunning. I will think that there must be something else behind it because the anger, the face of an angry man is still there, in between me and you. I may project it so much that it will become impossible for you to repent. Or, I may project it so deeply that you will completely forget that you had come to be forgiven. My behavior may again become a situation in which you become angry. And if you become angry, my projection is fulfilled, strengthened. This is psychological memory.

Existential memory is okay, it has to be there. A Buddha has to remember his disciples: Anand is Anand and Sariputra is Sariputra. He is never confused about who is Anand and who is Sariputra. He carries the memory but it is just a part of the brain mechanism, functioning apart, as if you have a computer in the pocket and the computer carries the memory. Buddha’s brain has become a computer in the pocket, a separate phenomenon. It doesn’t come into his relationships. He does not carry it always. When it is needed he looks into it, but he is never identified with it.

When a person lives with full awareness in the present - and with full awareness you cannot live anywhere else because when you are aware, only the present is there; the past, the future are no more, the whole life becomes a present phenomenon - then no karma, no seeds of karma are accumulated. You are freed from your own bondage, the bondage created by yourself.

And you can be free. You need not wait for the whole world to be freed first. You can be blissful. You need not wait for the whole world to be freed from miseries. If you wait, you will wait in vain - it is not going to happen.

This is an inner phenomenon: to be freed from bondage. You can live totally free in a totally unfree world. You can live totally free; even in a prison it makes no difference, because it is an inner attitude. If your inner seeds are broken, you are free. You cannot make Buddha a prisoner. You can throw him in the prison but you cannot make him a prisoner. He will live there, he will live there with full awareness. If you are in full awareness you are always in moksha, always in freedom. Awareness is freedom, unawareness is bondage.

As long as the roots remain, karma is fulfilled in rebirth through class, span of life, and types of experiences.

If you carry the seeds of karma, those seeds will be fulfilled again and again in millions of ways. You will again seek the situations and opportunities where your karmas can be fulfilled.

For example, you may have many riches, you may be a rich man. You may be wealthy but you are a miser and you live a life of a poor man - this is karma. In the past lives you have lived like a poor man. Now you have riches but you cannot live those riches. You will find rationalizations. You will think that the whole world is poor so you have to live a poor life. But you will not donate your riches to the poor, you will live a poor life, and the riches will be lying in the bank. Or, you may think that a poor life is the religious life, so you have to live a poor life. This is a karma, a seed of poverty. You may have riches but you cannot live them; the seed will persist.