At night, she woke up with a start several times. In the morning she said to her husband, “I am in trouble. I am very much afraid my child will be born with a deformed thumb.”
Consoling her, the husband said, “Are you crazy? What’s in a book? Do you believe something will happen just because it was written by somebody? Drop the whole thing from your mind!” But the wife couldn’t drop it.
The fact is, the very thing we are asked to drop becomes difficult to let go of. The more the husband tried to persuade her to drop the thing and forget about it, the more it became crystallized. You know very well – that which you want to forget, you never can. In fact in the very attempt of forgetting you have to keep remembering it – just to forget it. It keeps coming back to your mind. If you really want to forget something, you will at least have to remember it. And in order to forget, the more you will need to remember it the stronger that memory becomes.
As the days passed and the time of the child’s birth drew closer, the thumb began to weigh heavily on her mind. No matter how much she tried, she couldn’t forget it. As she went through labor pains, as the child was taking birth, the thumb was in her thoughts – not the child. And an incredible thing happened: the child was born with a deformed thumb. When the photographs of the child’s and the general’s thumbs were compared, they looked identical. It was the mother who gave this thumb to the child. Like this, all mothers give their own thumbs, their own disorders to their children. Everyone has different kinds of thumbs, disorders which have been given to them.
So first, you will have to go back in your memory to the day you were born – but that is not your real birthday. The actual birthday is the day a child is conceived. What we call the birthday is in fact the day which falls nine months after the birth has happened – it is not the right birthday.
The day the soul enters the mother’s womb is indeed the correct birthday. It is neither difficult nor dangerous to go back in memory this far, because it pertains to this very life. And in order to do that, as I mentioned earlier, you need to turn the mind away from the future. Those who practice even a little bit of meditation will have no difficulty forgetting about the future. And what is there to remember in the future anyway? In fact, there is no future.
So the direction has to be changed. Instead of looking at the future, look in the past, and go on making your resolve stronger and stronger in your mind. Turn one year back, two years back, ten, twenty years back; keep moving backward and you will have a strange experience.