Osho on Men Memory is Short

Question : Beloved Osho, Being with you in discourse, i feel so nourished, and have finally found the rest i had longed for. Being in the west, i didn’t even feel how much i was missing being in your presence. How could i forget the beauty of being with you? Please comment.

Osho – Man’s memory is not very great. He forgets easily. Just a few examples will help you. You all have been children. How much do you remember the innocence that you had? In fact, a strange fact is discovered by the psychologists: that if you go backwards trying to remember, you reach only to the age of four, at the most to the age of three. But those three or four years in the very beginning were the best — no responsibility, no worry, no tension. Life was simply a romance, a sheer joy, but people don’t remember it.

And it is very strange that everybody’s memory stops nearabout the age of three or four. It seems the best in us is not recorded. Perhaps it is a biological strategy that you should forget it; if you remember it, then for your whole life you will feel you are missing. You are missing because you have seen the most beautiful moments, and now everything will be dull, pale, dead. It will not have that luster, that joy, that liveliness. Perhaps it is a strategy of biology not to record those beautiful moments.

Even in later life…. You will be surprised to know that the mind functions in a very strange way: it records everything that is miserable very quickly. Somebody has insulted you — you will never forget it for your whole life. So many people have respected you, you have forgotten. One person has insulted you and you cannot forget.

It seems that the ugly, the dark, the humiliating, the tragic have a priority as far as remembrance is concerned. All that is good, all that is beautiful is simply forgotten; they leave no marks on your memory.

Politicians have been using it, priests have been using it in exploiting humanity from the very beginning. They say that in a democracy two parties are needed. Democracy has nothing to do with two parties. Two parties are needed for a totally different reason, which is psychological. One party is in power for five years; in those five years everybody goes against that party — because it has promised paradise and you are living in hell, and it has forgotten all those promises.

The opposition party goes on provoking you: “What happened to the promises of these people? We could have fulfilled your promises.” In the next election, those who were in power lose power and the other party that was powerless comes into power. In five years’ time, they are finished. But in five years, people have forgotten the first party, and the first party is again promising a paradise, and they are listening to them and believing them.

It has been found that the masses have a memory of five years at the most. That’s why elections have to be decided every five years; there is no other reason. So in five years’ time the masses forget the first party’s crimes, the first party’s stupidities, the first party’s lies; they all become saints again.

That’s why two parties are needed. One party will be in difficulty, because if they are continuously in power you cannot forgive them. People will start revolting, killing those who are in power. So this is a very psychological way of keeping people satisfied: “Don’t be worried, it is only a question of two years more. Then these people will be gone and the good people will be coming” — and they all belong to the same category.

I have never voted in my life for the simple reason that I could not see any difference between two idiots, who is a lesser idiot. I could not find a way, so I thought it was better not to get involved in it. At least nobody can blame me — “You have chosen this idiot.” I have never chosen anybody. Choose anyone and you have chosen the wrong person.

Just look forty years back in India: whoever you choose, you always choose the wrong person, and whoever you choose again you will choose the wrong person — because they are the same people. It is just like a football match: two parties, two groups are playing football, and you are the football. You are going to get kicks from everywhere. Wherever you go, you will get a good kick.

You are asking me why we tend to forget the beautiful moments. It is natural, because the mind is not interested in taking note of the flowers, it is interested in taking note of the thorns. Anything that hurts, it immediately takes note of.

Who cares about a flower? You remember your enemies better than your friends. Just watch your mind and you will be surprised that you remember your enemy more than you remember your friends. You can forget your friends, but you cannot forget your enemies. This is your insane mind.

A saner mind will look at things from just the opposite direction: it will count the blessings, it will count all that is beautiful, it will keep note of all it has to be grateful for. And then, naturally the life of such a person will become a life of blessings, surrounded by all beautiful experiences. It is only a question of changing a small structure in your mind.

I have always loved a story. It happened in a synagogue. The synagogue was also a monastery for the Jews, and the chief rabbi was a very strict person. Two young Jews were walking in the garden of the monastery. They used to get one hour in the morning, and one hour in the evening to go into the garden. Other times, they had to study the scriptures and do other disciplines. They both were thinking, “Should we ask the chief if we can smoke while we are in the garden?” Both were chain smokers, but in the monastery, inside the synagogue, smoking was impossible. It was a crime. They were suffering, so both decided that although it was putting your hand in a lion’s mouth, one effort should be made: “That chief rabbi is a dangerous man; how he will react, only God knows!”

The next day, one of the two was coming out of the synagogue with tears in his eyes, both angry and sad. And then he saw the other fellow, who was sitting by the side of a beautiful rose bush — smoking! He said, “My God, have you started without asking?”
The other man said, “No, I have asked.”
He said, “What kind of man is this? I asked him also, and he shouted at me so loudly — `You rascal! What do you think, this is a synagogue or hell? If you want to smoke cigarettes, go to hell!’ So how is it that he allowed you?'”

The other man smiled and he said, “What was your way of asking?”
He said, “What has that to do with it?”
The other man said, “Just tell me, how did you ask?”
He said, “I simply asked…” because these two hours were called `hours of prayer.’ They were allowed to go into the garden for two `hours of prayer’.
So he answered, “I simply asked, `Can I smoke while praying?’ And he shouted so loudly and it seemed he was going to hit me!”
The other man said, “Calm down. You asked in the wrong way. I asked him also; I asked him, `Sir, can I pray while smoking?’ and he said, `That’s perfectly good, there is no harm in that.'”

Just a slight change, but it makes lot of difference. Start collecting all that is happening to you that is beautiful. And it is happening to everybody. And anything that is not beautiful is not worth remembering, not worth collecting. Why make yourself burdened with rubbish when you can be full of flowers and fragrance? You have to make a little change in your natural biological mind.

Meditation can do it very easily. One of the essential parts of meditation is to look at the good side of things, to look at the good side of people, to look at the good side of incidents, so that you are surrounded with everything good. Surrounded with all beautiful things, your growth is easier.

But people are strange…. You may do one thousand favors for a person and just do one unfavorable thing — he will forget one thousand favors and he will remember that one unfavorable thing that you did. That he will carry for his whole life. This is how people are living: in revenge, in anger, in despair, feeling rejected by life, feeling like outcasts of existence. But the whole thing is that you are collecting the wrong things.

Life is full of both. You can see that one day is sandwiched between two nights, and you can also see two beautiful days sandwiching one small night. Choose how you want to feel — to be in heaven or hell. It is your choice.

Source – Osho Book “Beyond Enlightenment”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *