Previous Parts: Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13
“As far as my understanding goes, we need to visit our past every now and then to learn from our mistakes, to reorganize our life based on past experiences, to understand our priorities and to make our life better. And similarly we need to think about our future to plan about things in advance, to set our goals and to dream big.” I replied with force. “Past cannot be undone or redone how much time we waste in thinking about it. It has simply cease to exist and the thing which doesn’t even exist, how you are going to do anything about it. You can’t make a dead person alive; you can’t make dead past alive. Good or bad, whatever it was, it’s no more and thinking about it is like adding layer of dust on the mirror of our soul. Let’s assume, it was better than today and thinking about it makes you feel better but it would be momentary as its inevitably going to be followed by sadness when you will compare it with the present situation. And same is true if your past was not so good. Thinking about it will only depress you.
We can only let go of the past so that it doesn’t interfere with the present moment. But we need to be in totally in the present to be able to let go of the past. We should understand this very clearly that past is not any entity, its only web of thoughts in our head. The more identified we are with our thoughts, stronger is the ego. The future is also a form of thought, a potential in our head, it doesn’t exist. We can’t do anything about it, how much we try. And we cannot make it happen the way we want because universe doesn’t function according to our wishes and desires, it has its own destiny to fulfil. Don’t you think, it happens so many times that we decide to do something but we end up doing exactly opposite? This is just a small example of unpredictability of future and if we are not even sure about our own actions, how to be sure about others. We simply have no control over our future.”
“Arvind, if we don’t think of past and future, only thing which remains is Present. It means that what all we have is our present?” I was still finding it difficult to accept that we only have today s and no yesterdays and no tomorrows. “Actually, it’s everything. Nothing happens anywhere else. Everything happens in now. We are so busy with past and future that we keep missing the present moment. Our ego ensures that we live anywhere, past or future but not in present. When we are totally present, when we simply live in now, we are in sync with the soul of the universe. And ego simply annihilates by power of the present moment. You can try Doctor, if you are totally involved with any work in the given moment, you will forget about past or future. Your ego vanishes because for ego to exist, your absence from the present moment is needed. Past and future exist because we don’t live in the present moment totally. If it’s total, there remains no space for ego to enter and direct us toward past or future. Ego thrives in past or future because it’s secure there, not threatened by the light of the presence. The moment we miss the present, we are not in touch with our soul.. our spirit anymore, then we are simply run by our ego.” He answered elegantly.
I could see the reasons of his calmness and joyful demeanor in spite of his ill health. For him, this moment was all he had. He was so totally present in this moment that past or future simply didn’t exist for him. “I still feel that power to think is a great gift and it should not be limited. We should let our thoughts go anywhere, untamed and uncontrolled to let our dreams soar the sky.” I was still not convinced with the idea of restricting ourselves to the present moment. The idea of controlling the mind was not fitting into my tiny brain. “Of course doctor, thinking is the best gift to human beings. I have said so before also. However thinking is not whole of what we are. It’s just a small part of our consciousness. Sense organs and senses are below thinking and our intellect and soul, the awareness; the witnessing consciousnesses are above thinking. We should understand that we are not our thoughts, we are more than that. And there is no harm in thinking if it is accompanied by awareness. You will never lose yourself in your thoughts if you are aware that it’s simply a brain activity rather than your identity.
Even if you want you cannot control your mind, what all you can do is watch your thoughts. However how much I try to make you understand, this realization that thinking is not what we are, that thinking which takes you away from the present moments only serves to crystallize your ego will not clear your doubts until and unless you realize it for yourself. You have to go through the fire of it, when you would be exhausted by your incessant mind activity, when thinking would only add to misery, when because of thinking you would be either depressed about the past or anxious about the future, only then you would understand that thinking serves no purpose, that its most futile activity. You have to experience it yourself, no one make can you understand. I can only give you an idea, can only guide you.” He remains unperturbed and replied with a smile.
~To be continued