You try different ways to recall this once-very-familiar name that you need so urgently. You strain your mind, you scratch your head, you close your eyes and twitch your brows, and yet it goes on eluding you. Nothing works. The more you strain yourself the more difficult it becomes to find it. The more you try, the more tense you become; this tenseness becomes another barrier between you and your mind. A tense mind goes into pieces; a quiet mind collects itself and becomes whole again. Your difficulty is that the more you strain your mind to remember the name, the more you become incapable of doing it. A part of the mind is trying hard to recall it, and another part is simultaneously worrying and cursing itself for its incapacity to do it. Two suggestions, contrary to each other, are being fed into your mind simultaneously, and they are enough to incapacitate it, to paralyze it. They also undermine your self-confidence.
Then some friend comes along and you tell him about your difficulty. He tells you to drop it, and engages you in some conversation which has nothing to do with the name you are trying to remember. You take two cigarettes out of your pocket, and you and your friend begin to smoke talking about trivia. In the meantime you forget your worry about the name. And the wonder of wonder happens: the whole name suddenly pops up and you have it once again.
What has happened? How is it that you remember it suddenly in a state of relaxation. The reason is simple. As soon as you gave up straining yourself for the name, the tension caused by the opposing pulls on the mind just disappeared and you entered into a state of relaxation. Before, your mind was split into two parts – one which possess the name and the other which wanted to recall it – and they were fighting with each other. This tension disappeared when your mind was withdrawn from the search for the name and engaged in conversation with your friend. The cigarette added to your relaxation, and the name surfaced. What you had failed to remember with effort came so effortlessly. And when it came it came whole.
I have said this as an illustration this is how our ordinary memory works. Memory is one of the functions of mind which is divided into two parts. One part is called the conscious mind and the other the unconscious, and curiously enough truth the conscious and the unconscious have a hand in the way one’s memory functions. We use the conscious mind in our workaday world – it serves us twenty-four hours of the day. The unconscious mind is used sparingly; it is used whenever we need it. The conscious is the lighted part of the mind, while the unconscious is submerged in the dark. The memory I was speaking about is lying hidden in the unconscious mind, whose conscious part is trying to remember it. The conscious part of the mind is fighting with its unconscious part, and so long as this fight continues you cannot recall a thing. Remembering is possible only when the fight stops and the two conflicting parts of the mind are put together. Then that which was standing on the doorstep of the unconscious, which made you certain that you knew it, emerges into the conscious and you have it.
Remembering the divine, or what we call self remembering goes even deeper than the unconscious. It is not buried in the unconscious; it is beyond it. There is yet another part of the mind which is called the collective unconscious.