What exactly is the right remembrance that Buddha talks about? I go on remembering all kinds of things you have said, and my own insights, but isn’t that my mind trying to deceive mind? And who is remembering it?
Anand Agyeya, what Gautam Buddha calls the right remembrance is not what you understand by remembering. To create the distinction between what he means and your understanding of remembering, he uses the word ‘right’; otherwise there is no need to use that word.
His original word is sammasati; sati is remembering, it is memory. It is all the experiences that you have passed through. Right remembrance is not memory; it is remembering yourself – who you are.
Not your education, not your culture, not your civilization, not your religion, not your profession – who you are. The moment you remember yourself – “I am this… this moment, this consciousness, this bliss, this eternity” – it is right remembrance.
It is the same poverty of language that each mystic has suffered from. Even Buddha could not do much more than that. He had to use a word from the language which knows nothing about the self; which knows about everything else in the world, but don’t ask ”Who are you?” because that creates great anxiety.
Just think: if somebody asks you, “Who are you?” – Not your name, obviously; not your caste, obviously; not your nation, obviously. Who are you? Not your body because it changes every day. Will you be able to recognize a picture of yourself from the first day your father made your mother pregnant? Your picture will not be more than a small dot on the paper. Will you be able to recognize that this is you?
And since then, every moment you have been changing. Once you were a child, once you were young, once you were old, and some day you are going to be dead also. You are a constant change. It is not still photography, it is a movie.
But in this whole changing, river-like being… who are you? Only the stupid will speak out; the wise will remain silent. One who knows not will say, “I am this; I am a man, I am a woman, I am young, I am Hindu, I am a Christian…” Only the stupid will speak out.
The wise will become absolutely silent. He is also answering – his silence is the answer. Buddha calls this silence “right remembrance”… sammasati.
You are saying, “I go on remembering all kinds of things you have said, and my own insights…”Agyeya, I had no idea that you also have insights! But… okay.
Remembering all kinds of things that I have said, and what you have imagined as your intuitions… just try to find a single intuition that is yours, and you will be surprised. It is borrowed. Either you have heard it from someone or you have read it. You may not remember the source, but all thoughts are borrowed.
Once your insight starts functioning you won’t ask any question. Your insight will be the answer to all the questions that can be asked. That’s why I say without any hesitation, without any uncertainty, that you are befooling yourself if you think you have insights.
And moreover, just insight is enough – in singular, not in plural. “Insights” – those are all imaginations. They are also borrowed; perhaps you may have forgotten the source. Mind tends to forget the source so that it can claim, “It is my thought, my insight. I am the originator of it.”
And then you ask, “But is that not my mind trying to deceive mind? And who is remembering it?”
One thing is certain, I am not remembering it! One thing is certain, that nobody else is remembering it. It is still your mind, deceiving you. It is not the self-remembrance of Gautam Buddha.
How to make the distinction? The distinction is very simple. If it were your own insight into your own being, if your inner eyes were open, the question would not have arisen. But because the question arises of who is remembering it…
There is only pure consciousness in you. This pure consciousness is in itself the remembrance – not of many things, but only of one thing: of itself.
Mind is a junk yard, it is a junkie. It goes on collecting all kinds of things. It enjoys collections very much, all kinds of stupid collections – postal stamps, strange things, which children can be allowed to do but I have seen even old people collecting postal stamps, purchasing ancient postal stamps.
There is a great market; all around the world there are those idiots who are selling their collections and there are people who are purchasing them. Ancient coins, maybe two thousand years old….
I was a guest in a beautiful house in Greece. The house belongs to a famous film producer. His collection is of old pottery – all kinds of ancient pots; perhaps he is the greatest collector of old pots.
Mind collects outside, mind collects inside. Mind is such a great collector – and the thoughts that are arising in you as insights are nothing but borrowed thoughts whose origins you have consideredly forgotten. If you want to remember, you can remember because your unconscious still goes on keeping the record of each forgotten source. But what Gautam Buddha or what I am saying to you is to be in a state where there is no thought, no insight, no imagination, no emotion, no sentiment.
Just simple consciousness, utterly empty.
Only in that utterly empty consciousness blossoms the mystic rose. That is your very being. Out of that being arise all kinds of ecstasies, but it is not a thought. It is not part of the mind.
On the contrary, it is called no-mind, no-thought, no-insight. Gautam Buddha was very particularly insistent that unless you achieve a state of nothingness, you have not found yourself. It looks contradictory to the mind, because mind is searching for something and Gautam Buddha is saying, “Unless you find nothing, you will not find yourself.” Logically, Buddha is making an irrational statement. But existentially, he is absolutely true.
And we are here not to learn logic; we are here to feel existence, to feel life and its flame within you. That is possible only when you are surrounded with absolute nothingness.
When everything is discarded, when nothing remains, you are. Only you cannot be discarded.
How can you discard yourself?
That’s why Buddha is absolutely right – he tried to negate, to eliminate everything, till there is nothing to negate. But you are there, who has negated everything.
This great negator has been called by many names. One of the names is enlightenment.
From Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose, Chapter 29
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