The fisherman looked back. There was a different type of light in the eyes of Jesus. The man was hypnotized. He threw down his net and followed Jesus. But just as they were passing out of the village a man came running and asked the fisherman, “Where are you going? Your father has died.” His father was ill, very old. Any moment it was expected that he would die.
So the fisherman said to Jesus, “Jesus, allow me a few days so that I can go back and pay my respects to the old man who is dead and do all that is needed and expected from a son.”
Jesus said, “You need not go. The dead will bury the dead.” To Jesus the whole village was dead. So he said, “They will bury the dead; you need not worry about it.”
Why did Jesus say that the dead will bury the dead? Because all those who live in the past, they are dead. Only those who live in the present are alive. Life means the present, the here and now. It is a very fleeting moment. You can catch it only when you are totally unburdened; otherwise you will miss. If your mind is moving toward the past you will miss the fleeting moment of life. It is so momentary, it is so fleeting, that if you are attached to the past you will go on missing it.
And this is happening. Even when you are not thinking of the past, you are thinking of the past reflected in the future. But you are never in the present, that much is certain. Either you are in the past which is no more, or in the future which is yet to be. Both are not, both are nonexistential. One is dead and one is not yet born. And whatsoever you think of the future is just a reflected past, a projected past, because what can you think of the future? You can think of the tomorrow only in terms of the yesterday because you do not know any other language.
You loved someone yesterday, now you think to love him tomorrow. It is going to be just the past again repeated with some modification. And those modifications also come from past experience. Nothing new can be projected into the future. Only the past can be projected. So you move like a shuttle between the past and the future, and in this constant movement the fleeting present, that which is life, is missed. And only through life can you enter the Brahman.
The Upanishads say do not be attached to knowledge, do not be attached to memory, do not be attached to the past. Go on dying to it so that you are ever young, fresh, virgin. Again and again you are open. No past becomes an imprisonment around you. You always move on and leave the dead shells to the past.
The sutra says:
He knows it who knows it not…