Remembering and Forgetting
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2007-11-19
Memories, suppressed and repressed, can be surfaced, brought forth and cleared through proper handling of the mind. What is no longer desired is naturally forgotten. We need to remember: We are not our instinctive mind, we can detach from it. We are a soul. This is God Siva's perfect Universe. Gurudeva's key to development of indomitable willpower. Willpower is the same in external as in internal tasks. Life naturally gives us chances to fix and thereby no longer regret the past.
Good morning. Did everyone have their morning cup of coffee? The intellect turned on?
So this is about remembering and forgetting. Starts out in "Cognizantability."
"Before you turn the page and begin the study of Cognizantability, I am going to impart to you two questions to exercise your mind. Number one: How can we forget what is forgotten? Number two: How can we remember what is remembered?
"These are two questions that can be discussed, talked about and dismissed without ever coming up with concrete conclusions. Now, let us take into consideration the following: How can we remember what has been forgotten? That is the way you would write it, but I said, 'How can we remember what is remembered?' And this is what it means: that nothing is forgotten. It is all locked up in the mind and can be brought out by the proper handling of the mind."
So, to comment on that before we go on. So, when Gurudeva says: "How can we remember what is remembered?" another way of paraphrasing that is: How can we remember everything? So, in other words, quite often our memories are in the subconscious mind but we've buried them. We've successfully suppressed them and repressed them and they're not necessarily going to surface. So, how can we get to them? How can you remember everything there is to be remembered and in that way of course, clear it out of the mind? So, as Gurudeva says: "...brought out by the proper handling of the mind." So, for example, we have the Maha Vasana Daha Tantra which is an excellent way of bringing out the past and clearing it up, remembering it. Meditation itself can do that as we talked about in looking at "The seed of Desire" couple of months ago which comes from Cognizantability, also. Finds meditation can clear out past memories that otherwise would be unclear to us. So, in these various ways, we can bring forth the memories, remember them and clear them up. Get the mind in proper order.
"Next question: How can we forget what is forgotten? Now that is even more ambiguous than the one I just explained. However, it is easy when you look at it through the right light -- in the light of desire. For desire is the force that drives humanity onward and through all phases of the mind. Desire is the only thing that holds this world together. So, how can we really forget what is forgotten? Have not all things been forgotten when the focus of desire has been transmuted into the realm of desirelessness? So, truly, how can we forget what is forgotten is when through changing our desire we change our life? By changing our life we change those around us and so the world. What was forgotten is that the desire changed. However, it still exists in the halls of memory, in the essence of time, cause and space, the superconscious mind, of which you will learn more later. So, on with the study, and may it lead you into that for which you were destined -- peace, power and a positive, unfolded life."
So commenting on that. So, Gurudeva says: "How can we forget what is forgotten?" and by that he means how can we forget everything. So, something is naturally forgotten when we no longer desire it. We forget all about it. It's desiring it that keeps it in the mind. So it's a natural process in growing up. When we're small we have our toys. When we're in our teenage years we don't have our toys anymore. We've forgotten all about our toys which we were very attached to, right? Why? Because we matured. Our desire changed and as Gurudeva used to say about the monks -- see if I can remember it -- "The only difference between..." what is it? Yes, that's it. "The only difference between the men and the boys is the cost of the toys." Meaning it was expensive to have monks around. They needed expensive toys. So, that's the idea is, you know: Our toys change, what we desire changes and so when the desire for something's no longer there we forget about it. Food is a good example. An hour before a meal we're thinking about the food. What is it? This and that. Twenty minutes after the meal we're not thinking about food anymore; our desire has been fulfilled, so it went away, so we forgot all about it.
So, looking at today's lesson, trying to tie this all together. Today's lesson from "Living With Siva" is called: "Harnessing Instinctiveness."
"Fear, anger, jealousy and deceit produce an odic aura web of green, gray, black and red, running through and through the organs of the astral body, affecting the organs of the physical body, as well as draining the vital health body of needed odic power. This cuts the actinic flow to a minimum, so that the only life in the body exists in a dull, crafty sparkle in the eyes.
"These basic, instinctive emotions of the subconscious mind are the substance through which we evolve. As more control of the forces is effected, the colors of the aura lighten and the nature is refined. This refining process is done quickly through discipline on the raja yoga path to enlightenment. Every effort that you make to curb and control your base, instinctive nature brings you that much closer to your spiritual goal. There is a very true saying, 'You are only as actinic as your lowest active odic force.' Those things to which you still react represent your low points and must be turned into actinic understanding before you can dissolve the odic force field that contains them."
OK, so we're going to try our own remembering and forgetting. Apply it to this lesson. So:
"What do we need to remember? We need to remember that these emotions are simply creations of the instinctive mind and are not us. We are the soul, the superconscious mind, the actinic energy."
So if you haven't studied some kind of philosophical concept of yourself, you can be very attached to these lower emotions because you think that's who you are. Well that's who I am. That's me. We can't change that. Who would I be if all of that went away? Fear, anger, jealousy, and deceit. I wouldn't be anything. So, we get attached to it if we don't have a philosophy. So, having a philosophy that we aren't that, that it's simply emotions created by the instinctive mind and that we're a soul, allows us to detach enough from it to move forward. So that's what we need to remember. "What do we need to forget? (Obviously) We need to forget these lower emotions of fear, anger, jealousy and deceit..." So, how do we do that? "... by identifying with actinic energy."
So once you do that those emotions aren't around anymore and you know, you've really forgotten them. You just don't experience fear, anger, jealousy and deceit when you've successfully moved out of them into the actinic energy or into the higher chakras. So, in Gurudeva's last paragraph -- which we didn't read yet, of this lesson -- he explains this concept in more detail.
"Make a list of all the negative emotions which still reside in your instinctive force field. Should you find that you are dominated by one or more of these emotions, admit it to yourself honestly. This admission, this facing yourself, loosens the hold of the odic force and allows some actinic force to penetrate and dissolve the lower force field of the instinctive emotion you are examining. First step--admission; second step--observation. When, for instance, you become angry, fearful or jealous, observe yourself in this action. Immediately become aware of actinic force. Become an empty being of colorless energy; see the dark auric colors dissolve into a radiance of blue, yellow, lavender and white. You can do this with your present understanding that the actinic force is much higher than the instinctive mind, much greater than the astral or the physical or health bodies."
We have another one on remembering and forgetting. This is from "Merging With Siva -- Transmuting Willpower"
"Willpower is a pranic force which exudes out of the manipura chakra. This energy, when directed downward, can be used up through excessive reason, excessive memorization, fear and amplification of fears, anger, the perpetuation of resentment without resolution, amplified by instinctive jealousies, all of which eventually dissipate the semi-divine energy of willpower and eventually close the manipura chakra. (Doesn't sound good, right? Want to avoid that.) But when this same energy of willpower is upwardly directed, it pulls memory into a purified memory, making it forget what has to be forgotten. "
Sound familiar? So what has to be forgotten? "Wrong knowledge." That's what has to be forgotten, Gurudeva says.
And: "Making it forget what has to be forgotten, namely wrong knowledge, (the concept that we are these lower emotions) and remember what has to be remembered -- siddhanta, the final conclusions of the rishis who live within the sahasrara chakra, the siddhas who are contacted through great tapas. "There is no reason to believe that developing and unfolding the ten petals of the manipura chakra comes easily. To develop an indomitable will capable of the accomplishments needed as a prerequisite to make the upward climb to the anahata, vishuddha, ajna and sahasrara chakras, and to sustain the benign attitudes of humility, is certainly not an easy task. But it comes naturally to one who has attained such in prior lifetimes, an older soul, I would say. Fulfilling each task one has begun, putting the cap back on the toothpaste tube after squeezing the toothpaste (out) on the brush, the little things, and perfecting the yamas and the niyamas, especially contentment, austerity, giving, faith and regular worship, builds this indomitable will. These are mini-sadhanas one can perform on his own without the guidance of a guru. Yes, it is the little things that build the indomitable will that dominates the external intellect, its memory and reason abilities, and the instinctive impulses of fear, anger and jealousy. Doing this is just becoming a good person."
So, my commentary: So, Gurudeva's giving us the key here for cultivating willpower, it's a very important. "Willpower can be cultivated by finishing and doing well every task that we undertake. In fact, done a little better than our expectations. First, finish each task. Second, do it well. Nothing is done with half our mind thinking about something else. Nothing is dropped in the middle. Developing these two important habits produces an indomitable will power."
So, sometimes it's not thought about, but it's important to reflect on the fact that willpower, the willpower we have in external tasks, is the same willpower we have in internal tasks. So, when we're trying to meditate for example it's not a separate thing. So, it's easier to see it in action in external tasks because we can see physical objects: Did we finish this job or not; how well did we do? It's, we can easily measure how we're doing in our willpower. When we sit to meditate it's harder afterwards to judge because we're just dealing with thoughts and states of mind. But, physical objects we can see it and it's the same willpower. So, in our physical tasks, at work and in our service, if we use our willpower, strengthen our willpower, then that strength and willpower is there to help us meditate better.
Got one more: Remembered and Forgotten.
Story: When you were a teenager, --this is my story -- you were rebellious and neglected many of your duties to your parents. Or, you know someone like that. Now you are in your forties and look at those teenage years with regret, in fact find yourself preoccupied with them and often not fully in the present moment. Karma will bring to you opportunities to help others and thereby make up for the karma of neglecting your parents, if you pay attention to the present and don't regret the past. However, if you remain overly concerned about the past you won't don't pay sufficient attention to the present and will miss the opportunity to erase that karma. So, applying the concept, how can you forget what is forgotten? You can eliminate past negative karmas by not regretting the past and focusing on being of service to others in the present as your karma presents you with these opportunities. Applying the concept, how can you remember what is remembered to this example? A natural reaction of being of service to others is remembering the teaching that this is truly God Siva's perfect universe.
So this is an interesting concept that life gives us chances to fix the past. They come along naturally. We don't have to dwell on the past, think of the past; it'll come back to us in the present. If we did something that wasn't quite up to the standard of dharma, a new opportunity or opportunities will come around for us to act in a different way in the present moment as different people, but the situation will be similar. So therefore, if we end up in the state of mind of regretting things that we did in the past and if that's dominate in our consciousness, we're not responding, necessarily, to the opportunities in the present moment; we're not seeing them. We're just seeing the past so we're missing the present. We're not seeing how we could do something in the present to be of service to others, which fixes the past. So that's the idea.
So, we forget what is forgotten by not regretting it. In other words, we forget what is forgotten; we get rid of the karma. We get rid of the negative karma by not overly regretting it and therefore being open to the present moment when it comes around in a slightly different form, to be of service to others and in that way we get rid of it. Whereas, if we're overly burdened by it, we don't see the opportunity in the present and we don't act. And if we do, act in the present, then we remember quiet naturally: This is God Siva's perfect universe. Every thing's going to work out. We just give it time. And trust in God Siva's laws that it's a perfect universe.
So did that stretch the brain enough? Remembering and forgetting. Have a wonderful phase everyone.
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