Chapter 8: Die to the Past
You are afraid because you cling to the past. Otherwise you will be happy, and you will welcome it - you will feel grateful to nature because nature always kills the old, the past, the dead, and your life moves into a new body.
An old man becomes a new baby, completely clean of the past. That’s why nature helps you not to remember the past. Nature uses ways to allow you not to remember the past; otherwise you will be old the very moment you are born. The old man dies and is born as a new baby, but if he can remember the past he will be already old; the whole purpose will be lost.
Nature closes the past for you, so every birth seems to be a new birth. But you start accumulating again. When it is too much, nature will kill you again. One becomes capable of knowing his past lives only when one is dead to the past. Then nature opens the door. Then nature knows and there is no need for nature to hide from you. You have attained to the constant newness, freshness of life. Now you know how to die: nature need not kill you.
Once you know that you are not the past, that you are not the future, but you are the very “presentness” of things, then the whole of nature opens its doors and mysteries. Your whole past - millions of lives lived in many, many ways - all is revealed. Now it can be revealed because you will not be burdened by it. Now no past can burden you. And if you have come to know the alchemy of how to become continuously new, this will be your last life, because then there is no need to kill you and help you to be reborn. There is no need. You are doing it yourself every moment.
That is the meaning of why a buddha disappears and never comes back, why an enlightened person is never born again. That is the secret: because now he knows death, and he uses it continuously. Every moment whatsoever is past, is past and dead, and he is freed of it. Every moment he dies to the past and is born anew. It becomes a constant flow, a riverlike flow of gaining fresh life every moment. Then there is no need for nature to gather seventy years of nonsense, rubbish, rot, and then to kill this ruin of a man and help him to be born again and to put him in the same circle - because he will gather it all again.
This is a vicious circle. Hindus have called it the sansar. Sansar means the wheel: the wheel goes on moving again and again on the same route. An enlightened person is one who has dropped out, out of the wheel. He says, “No more of it! Nature need not kill me - now I kill myself every moment.”
If you are fresh, nature need not use death for you - but then there is no need for birth also, because you are using birth continuously. Every moment you die to the past and are born to the present. That’s why you feel a subtle freshness around a buddha, as if he has just now taken a bath. You come near him and you feel a fragrance - a fragrance of freshness. You can never meet the same buddha again. Every moment he is new.