Reflections of the Past

Earlier a long time ago I had written ‘The Past is Over’ and that we must not keep holding on to the past. Yet, is it actually possible that we can forget the incidents from our life?

This moment is the present while the last moment is now the past. I actually have no idea about the next moment…

The mind is the one who is playing the game. The entire hopping into the past, trying to format a future which is not yet occurred and not much living in the present moment is all done by the mind. What is the mind? What role does the mind play?

I am neither the mind nor the body nor the intellect…I am the pure soul.

No one has seen the mind. It does not have a physical presence as such. Yet it is considered the most important as everything we do, do not do, feel etc. depends on the mind. So how does something that is not even a part of this body make the body do whatever it wants. How does the mind have so much control on the body?
Where is this mind? Is there a mind at all? All scriptures point to the fact that mind or ‘mann’ is the root cause of creation. Mind creates…everything that is happening around me is the creation of my own mind!

How can I just believe that? Also what about ‘buddhi’ the intellect? Belief is information or knowledge. How does belief become the truth? When one experiences it, the belief no longer remains a belief and becomes the truth.

All these subtle elements are overpowering the true self that is pure and untainted. So, though all that happens with our body and by our body is directed by the mind with or without help from the intellect, the pure self remains pure all through.

The body does get affected by all the drama that the mind directs either in a good way or a bad way or both. Everything affects the body. It is not the cause. The mind is the cause while the body is the effect and in all this the pure form (soul) remains in its purity.

So to come back to the title of reflections of the past, why does the mind not let go of the past happenings and just focus on the present moment. What is there in the past that is so good or so bad that it keeps hopping back to the past creating glimpses of incidents that have already been enacted?

Some are very beautiful incidents while some are tragic…there is death…failure…loss…and no one wants to go back to tears and tragedy. Yet the mind pulls open the curtains and reflects the past. When it is not going to happen again, the pleasure or the pain is over and surely will not recur in the exact manner once more, what is the whole point in reflecting over it?

There are so very dear incidents that we hold on to and keep replaying them in our mind. Not that they are in any way going to occur again. The present is lost in this endeavour. So to live in the present is what all scriptures advise and all gurus preach.

How does one exactly manage that? How does one acquire control over the mind? Is it possible to attain a state of NO MIND?

The last aspect seems quite an impossible task. Surely the day one finishes the mind, self-realisation is attained.
The truth is experienced…

So now that that goal seems quite far away, one can focus on at least finishing this dance of past present future that the mind keeps choreographing. I spoke to my Guru who told me:

The past is dead – The future is unborn – the present is what you are in now – so live it to the optimum!

However good or bad the past is, the fact remains that it is over! Also the unborn future cannot be seen though our present actions will surely decide the future for us. So as he said we all need to work in the present moment with complete positivity, doing the right actions and performing good deeds. Only a negative can give birth to a negative. Positive will always bring forth positive. Infact, lack of positivity is negativity. When there is no positive, its all negative. It is like darkness is the absence of light. So the more positive actions we perform, the light increases and the darkness fades away.

Now the past actions will surely give fruits in the present. So in case of wrong deeds or not so positive occurrences will they not darken the present moment? Undoubtedly they will. That is the main reason the mind tends to go back to the past and check where and what was done right or wrong. This tendency of the mind is more of an evaluation of the past actions. Yet the present cannot be changed by reflecting on the past. The solution here is to keep doing good actions. That is the only way we can experience light and though the present might seem a bit dim ( in case the past actions were incorrect ), the good deeds will only increase the light every moment until the time there is sufficient light.

Light is knowledge and darkness is ignorance. So with the light of knowledge darkness of ignorance disappears.

Focus on the present! It is possible when one is physically and mentally busy doing some work with utmost concentration. For eg. A child who is a top performer and is writing an exam paper in the examination hall cannot think of anything from the past as the child is focussed on performing and writing the best answer paper. A batsman who wants to hit a six is only focussed on the ball that is coming towards his bat. Nothing else is there in that moment for him, neither the past nor the future. That moment is all that he is focussed on!

That is what Arjuna told his Guru when he asked him what he can see while having a test in archery of aiming at the bird’s eye. While the rest of the disciples answered saying they saw the bird, the green leaves, the tree, the sky etc. Arjuna said that he saw the bird’s eye!

This is probably the way to live our life. Every moment is to be lived and cherished in complete concentration on only the job at hand. This way fear flies out of the window and the mind has a better role to play.

Each person has to look for that passion within that makes them forget about everything and everyone and just focus on what they are doing. A painter, a writer, a player, an actor are a few examples I am stating. Look deep within for that one work that makes you live entirely in the present moment. ‘Coz it is that one work that will give you ultimate peace and immense light to ward off the otherwise dark incidents happening around.

Choose…we have the power to choose what we want. The mind actually has no control. The intellect is superior and it can keep the mind occupied and focussed on the present! The purity that is the self knows all and is the one who can reflect its divinity on the intellect and mind and turn the game around! Focus must be on being in one’s true nature…that is divinity…purity.

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