Chapter 7: Any Moment!
The first question:
You implore us constantly to give up memory, to live in the herenow. But in giving up memory I must also give up my creative imagination, for I am a writer and all that I write about has its roots in what I remember.
I wonder - what would the world be like without art and the creative imagination that makes art possible?
A Tolstoy could never become a buddha, but then could a buddha write War and Peace?
You have not understood me, but that’s natural. It is impossible to understand me, because to understand me you will have to drop your memory. Your memory interferes. You only listen to my words, and then you go on interpreting those words according to your memory, according to your past. You cannot understand me if you are not herenow.only then the meeting. Only in that moment you are with me; otherwise, you are physically present here, psychologically absent.
I have not been telling you to drop your factual memory. That will be stupid! Your factual memory is a must. You must know your name, who your father is and who your mother is and who your wife is and who your child is and your address; you will have to go back to the hotel, you will have to find your room again. Factual memory is not meant - psychological memory is meant. Factual memory is not a problem, it is pure remembrance. When you become psychologically affected by it, then the problem arises. Try to understand the difference.
Yesterday somebody insulted you. Again he comes across you today. The factual memory is that “this man insulted me yesterday.” The psychological memory is that seeing that man you become angry; seeing that man, you start boiling up. And the man may be coming just to ask for your apology; the man may be coming to be excused, to be forgiven. He may have realized his mistake; he may have realized his unconscious behavior. He may be coming to befriend you again, but you become boiled up. You are angry, you start shouting. You don’t see his face herenow; you go on being affected by the face which was yesterday. But yesterday is yesterday! How much water has flowed down the Ganges? This man is not the same man. Twenty-four hours have brought many changes.
And you are not the same man either.
The factual memory says, “This man insulted me yesterday,” but that “me” has changed. This man has changed. So it is as if that incident had happened between two persons with whom you have nothing to do any more - then you are psychologically free. You don’t say, “I still feel angry.” There is no lingering anger: memory is there, but there is no psychological affectation. You meet the man again as he is now, and you meet him as you are now.