A living master responds to reality moment to moment; he never bothers whether it is consistent with yesterday or not. His only concern is whether it is true to the moment or not; whether his response to the moment is authentic or not. If it is authentic, then there is no need to bother what he has said yesterday or the day before yesterday.
This is where the philosopher and the mystic differ. Philosophers remain consistent; they avoid inconsistency. Their only fear is to commit a mistake, to say something which goes against something that they have said before. But just because of this consistency they remain unaware of the mysteries of existence, they remain confined in their mind. They never come to know the rain, the sun, the moon, the trees, the children playing. This whole drama of tremendous beauty is missed by the so-called philosophers.
But strangely enough they are the people who dominate the mind of humanity. There is a natural reason: they can dominate the mind because mind loves consistency and philosophers are consistent people.
Ta Hui is saying: Don’t remember what I have said, and consider it right…The day has passed, the statement is out of date. ‘Right’ belongs to the present. Never compare dead corpses with living people; never compare flowers which have disappeared with the flowers that are blossoming now, otherwise you will be getting into a confusion. To come out of such a confusion is very difficult, almost impossible. It is good to remember it from the very beginning: Don’t remember what I have said.
Teachers go on saying to the students, “Remember what I’m saying to you.” Only a master can say to the disciples, “Forget all that I have said to you. When it was needed, when it was a response to something actual, it was said and you heard it, and you absorbed it. Now there is no need to remember it. It has become part of you.”
Memory never becomes part of you. That’s why after the universities your so-called gold medalists, your so-called first-class people, simply disappear in the world; nobody ever hears about them. What happened? They were so great in the university. They should have made a remarkable life outside the university; they should have left a mark in the world; they should have left their signature in life. But nobody ever hears about them, and the reason is that in the university memory is all. They were good at remembering.
In life just memory is of no use. In life something more and something better – intelligence, spontaneity, being in tune moment to moment with all the changes that are happening – is needed. A man who is stuck with his memories falls far away from life. That’s what happens to your so-called scholars. They know much about scriptures, but they know nothing about life.
Don’t remember what I have said, and consider it right. Today I speak this way…because today is today. It has never been before, and it will never be again. It is absolutely new and fresh. It is not a repetition, it is not a continuation either. Life goes on jumping from moment to moment abruptly.