Chapter 14: I Am Ready, If You Are
At the meditation camp in Dwarka, you discussed the process of entering into memories of past lives. You said then that we should disconnect the mind completely from the future, and the energy of meditation should then be focused toward the past. Explaining the process further, you said that first one regresses to the age of five, then to the age of three, followed by the memory of birth, the point of conception, and finally into memories of past lives. You also said that you were not going to give all the keys, the whole technique, for remembering past lives. What is the whole technique? Would you please explain the other keys.
Memories of our past life have been prevented by nature. There is a reason for it. It is necessary that in the overall system of one’s life one forgets most of the things that happen to him every day. Similarly, we don’t remember all the memories that we create during our lifetime. However, that which you don’t remember is not erased from your mind. Only the connection between your consciousness and that memory is severed.
For example, if a person lives for fifty years, billions of memories will be formed in his mind. If he were to remember them all he would go mad. So he remembers whatever is meaningful: whatsoever is worthless he slowly forgets. But your forgetting does not mean the memory is completely wiped out. It merely slips out of your center of consciousness and is stored in some corner of your mind.
Buddha has given a very significant name to this storehouse. He calls it alaya vigyan - the storehouse of consciousness. It is just like having an attic or a basement where all the unwanted things are stored. Even though the objects are out of your sight, they still remain present within the house. Similarly, your memories go out of sight, but remain accumulated in some corners of your mind.
It would become difficult to live if you were to recall all the memories of even this life. In order that the mind stays free to handle the events of the future, the past has to be forgotten. Since you forget what happened yesterday, you become capable of living the tomorrow. This way the mind goes on becoming empty, it is able to look ahead. In order to look ahead it is necessary to forget the past. Without forgetting what has already occurred you won’t have the capability to see what is ahead of you.
Every day a part of your mind must become blank so that it can receive new impressions, otherwise how can it work? As the future arrives, the past disappears every day. And as soon as this future becomes the past, it disappears too so that we are free to receive what lies ahead. This is how the mind functions.
We cannot carry the full memory of even one life. You won’t be able to recall anything if I ask you what you did on January 1 ten years ago. You did exist on January 1, 1960, and you must have done something from dawn till dusk, yet you will be unable to remember anything. A small technique of hypnosis can revive the memory of that day. If you are hypnotized, and a part of your consciousness is put to sleep, and then if you are asked to describe what you did on that day, you will recount everything.