Chapter 7: Awareness: The Fire That Burns the Past
You fall in love with a woman and the woman dies. Now how are you going to find another woman? The other woman is going to be a modified form of your dead wife; that is the only way you know. Whatsoever you do in the future will be nothing but a continuation of the past. You can change a little - a patch here, a patch there, but the main part will remain the same, just the same.
Somebody asked Mulla Nasrudin when he was lying on his deathbed, “If you are again given a life, how are you going to live it Nasrudin? Would you make any changes?” Nasrudin pondered with closed eyes, thought, meditated, then opened his eyes and said, “Yes, if I am again given a life, I will part my hair in the middle. That has always been my wish, but my father always insisted that I not do it. And when my father died, the hair had become so conditioned that it could not be parted in the middle.”
Don’t laugh. If you are asked what you will do again with your life, you will make slight changes just like this: a husband with a slightly different nose, a wife with a little different complexion, a bigger or smaller house; but they are nothing more than parting your hair in the middle - trivia, not essential. Your essential life will remain the same.
I look into your eyes and I see this. You have done it many, many times: your essential life has remained the same. Many times you have been given lives. You have lived many times; you are very, very ancient. You are not new on this earth, you are older than the earth because you have lived on other earths also, other planets. You are as old as existence. This is how it should be because you are part of it. You are very ancient, but repeating the same pattern again and again.
That’s why Hindus call it the wheel of life and death; “wheel” because it goes on repeating itself. It is a repetition: the same spokes come up and go down, come up and go down, come up and go down. Mind projects itself, mind is past, so your future is not going to be anything other than the past.
And what is past? What have you done in the past? Whatsoever you have done - good, bad, this, that - whatsoever you do creates its own repetition. That is the theory of karma. If you were angry the day before yesterday, you created a certain potentiality for anger: to be angry again yesterday. Then you repeated it, you gave more energy to the anger, the mood of anger, you rooted it more, you watered it. Now today you will repeat it again with more force, with more energy. And then tomorrow you will again be a victim of today.