Chapter 11: Truth or Trick?
The first question:
You said that to live moment to moment one must throw away one’s dead past and memories. Does it mean that all the memories have to be dissolved and destroyed to transcend the mind? But one needs a strong mind and an intense and sufficient accumulation of memories to function in this world.
To die to the past does not mean that you will not be able to remember it. It does not mean that all your memories will be dissolved or destroyed. It only means that now you do not live in those memories, you are not identified with those memories. You are freed from them. They will remain, but now they will be just a part of your brain, not part of your consciousness.
The brain is a mechanism, just like a tape-recording machine. The brain goes on recording everything. The brain is the physical part. It will go on recording, and your memories cannot be destroyed unless the brain is destroyed. But that is not the problem. The problem is that your consciousness is filled with memories. Your consciousness goes on identifying itself with the brain and the brain is always stirred by your consciousness - and memories go on flooding you.
When it is said, “Die to the past,” it means do not be identified with the brain. You can use the brain; then it is just an instrument. When you will need it you will use it. And you will need it. You will have to go back home; you will have to remember where you live - where your house is, what your name is. You can use these memories, but use them, do not be used by them. That is the problem.
While you are here you need not think about the house where you live in your town, but you go on thinking about it. You need not remember your wife while you are here, but you go on talking with her and she is not here. When you go back home you must recognize that she is your wife, but there is no need to be bothered with her now. She must not come in the mind; the mind must not go on functioning unnecessarily. It must not bring in the past; it must not flood the present with the past.