Human memory is a fabulous thing; it’s because of this ability to remember we have science, we have technology, we have a civilization, we have information technology; it’s all about memory, isn’t it? But at the same time, it’s human memory which is the source of all bondage. What we call as karma is just memory on different levels of life. Memory is like a doorway; a doorway can open but also it can close.
In our life if doors are opening for us wherever we go, we see door as a very wonderful thing but if it’s always slamming in our face, door becomes a horrible thing. Memory is just like this. Memory is what has given us the ability to be informed; it is because we are capable of making ourselves informed about various things, many beautiful things have happened in our lives. The very basis of civilization is memory. Today what goes as learning is simply memory.
Memory transmitted from generation to generation; that is how if one’s father knew how to do one stitch, we learnt how to make the second stitch and our children learnt the third stitch; this is how things have happened. But if we did not remember the first stitch, reinventing the wheel all the time, nothing would have happened! Just intelligence would not have led to civilization; memory is important. At the same time memory also makes our life repetitive, not receptive, simply repetitive. When we carry a certain volume of memory within us, life becomes repetitive, automatic.
All sense of being human, all the possibilities of being spontaneous, all the possibility of exploring new terrain in one’s life gets obliterated because of memory. It’s like a doorway. It all depends whether it’s opening for us or closing for us. When people try to learn by sheer memory many things happen and lot of so-called culture and civilization is a product of that — sheer memory, not much intelligence in it. Together they are a deadly combination. Just memory is simply a repetitiveness.
Information that travels from generation to generation gets stored in different ways and so much distortion takes place and now we can’t look at anything straight — the way it is supposed to be. Minds get so deeply conditioned that we can’t look at anything straight anymore.
So, what we call as culture is just memory; what we call as civilization is just memory; memory is not useless, memory is useful but if we do not know how to keep it aside that becomes our biggest bondage because life becomes repetitive. When we are repetitive, we cannot be receptive.