Chapter 14: I Am Ready, If You Are
It is necessary to understand the difference between remembering and reliving. It is not very difficult to relive one life. The only problem is we have become identified with our age. A man of fifty is not willing to step back even five years - he wants to remain stuck at the age of fifty. Those who wish to relive their past, who want to remember their past, will have to give up their fixed identities; they will have to relax a little.
For example, if a man wants to go back to his childhood it would do him good if he played with children for an hour or so every day. It would help him greatly if he dropped his fixation on being fifty years old, if he stopped being serious for a while. It would be good if he did jogging, swimming, dancing. It would be helpful if he consciously lived like a child for an hour; that would make it easier for him to return to his past in meditation as well. Otherwise he remains rigidly at the age of fifty.
Remember, consciousness has no age; it only consists of conditionings. There is nothing like a five-year-old, a ten-year-old, or a fifty-year-old consciousness. It is just an idea. Close your eyes and try to find how old your consciousness is - you won’t be able to say anything. You might say, “I will have to check the diary, or look into a calendar, or consult the horoscope.”
The fact is, no one knew what his age was until horoscopes, calendars, the counting of years, the numbers came into existence. Even today there are aboriginals who find it difficult to answer if you ask them how old they are, because for some of them the numerals stop at fifteen, for others at ten, and for some the number doesn’t go beyond five.
I know a man who is a house-cleaner. Once someone asked him how old he was. He replied, “Just about twenty-five.” In fact he was at least about sixty.
The people who heard him were a little surprised. They asked, “How old is your son?”
He said, “Maybe about twenty-five.”
The people were puzzled. They said, “Your son is twenty-five, you are also twenty-five years old - how can this be?” He had no problem with it, because for him twenty-five was the last number, there was no number beyond that. The difficulty arises for us because we have numbers beyond twenty-five. For him, beyond twenty-five was the infinite, the numberless.
Age exists because of our calculations based on calendars, dates, days. Age is a byproduct of all these. If you look within there is no age. You won’t know how old I am by looking inside me, because age is purely an external measure. But this outer measurement becomes fixed on the inner consciousness - it sticks there like a nail. You go on driving nails in your consciousness, saying, “Now I am fifty, now I am fifty-one, now I am fifty-two..” If these nails become too much set, it will be difficult to go back into the memories. One who is very serious cannot return to his childhood memories.
The serious people are sick people. Actually, seriousness is a psychological disease. Those who are very serious always suffer from illness. It’s very difficult for them to regress. Those who are simple and lighthearted, who can play and laugh with children, for them it will be easy to go back into the past memories.