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Chapter 26: Memory Is Not Understanding

The flowering of Zen has left even the original master, Gautam Buddha, far behind. It has also left Lao Tzu far behind. It went on improving because there was no resistance, no argument against it, nobody to fight with it. Everybody was immediately in an agreeable receptivity. Zen became such a flowering that nothing like it has happened anywhere in the world.

Anand Alok you have been with me for many years, but your foundation is Confucian. And on top of it, you are interested in communism too. Both these together are preventing you from growing. Springs come and go but your meditation has not reached to the peak, although you love me, and slowly, slowly you have started loving meditation too. But you have barriers within you: Confucius and Karl Marx and Mao Zedong. And these are big boulders, preventing the whole passage, not allowing your consciousness to reach to its ultimate heights.

Your girlfriend is in a far more blessed state - please don’t disturb her. Let her enjoy a silent communion. It is the ultimate as far as communion is concerned.

She is fortunate that she does not understand the English language; hence her mind cannot interfere. She can understand, but not what I am saying. She can feel me, but not the meaning of my words. I am to her just a presence which makes her silent, which helps her to be more conscious, and she is absolutely right not to learn the language, because she is growing. Why bother about what I am saying? If you can understand me, what I am, there is no point in understanding what I am saying.

If you can also forget Confucius and Karl Marx and Mao Zedong-Tung, it will be a great step towards Gautam Buddha, towards Lao Tzu, towards me - and in the final analysis, towards yourself.

“You must help me, doctor,” said Hymie to his psychiatrist. “I can’t remember anything for more than a few minutes. It is driving me crazy.”

The psychiatrist asked gently, “How long have you had the problem?”

Hymie paused, then said thoughtfully, “What problem?”

Mind is nothing but memory, and memory is not understanding. This has to become as clear as possible to you. Memory is a totally separate mechanism; even a very stupid person can have a very good memory. Intelligence is a totally different phenomenon. More often, the intelligent people don’t have good memories. Their whole energy is involved in intelligence. The mechanism of memory does not get enough nourishment. But a person who has no intelligence, all his energies go into his memory systems, and there have been such strange cases of memory, almost unbelievable, but the people were simply idiots.

It happened in the time of the emperor Akbar, in India, and it happened again in the times of a British governor-general, Curzon. The Curzon case is very famous, and perhaps there has never been such a complicated examination of a villager’s memory, who had no intelligence. And Curzon is close to us, and every detail has been written about it.

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