Question: Acharya Ji, my father passed away four years ago, but still I miss him and he is in my memory. I don’t know how to deal with this condition. What is this all about?
Acharya Prashant Ji:
You want to remember him as a body, as a person, and body can do no better than stay merely in your memories. The more we think of ourselves as a body, the more we will think of our loved ones as bodies.
And bodies have no other place in the universe.
If they are gross, they can be touched as material objects – material objects outside of you. Here you are taking of yourself as the body, and outside this body is, this object. And if this object is gone or destroyed, then the only other place this can be found is in the brain – in the brain, as a material configuration.
It’s material even when it is in the outside world, the world outside your body. And it remains material even when it is in the brain.
You very well know that all memories are stored in the brain, as something material. Therefore if you disturb the configuration of the brain, the memories also get disturbed. We have talked about it, right? If you hammer somebody’s brain he is likely to lose his memories, just as a hard disk upon falling to the ground is likely to lose it’s memory, because memory too is material.
We have limited our loved one to a body even when he is in front of us, and even after he is gone and is no more in front of us.
As your own body-identification will diminish, so would your insistence on memorisation.
When you will see who you really are, you will also start seeing who your dad really was. You wouldn’t even say, “Was.” ‘Was’, ‘is’, ‘would be’, are terms that pertain only to material. Then you would not even relish talking of him as a deceased one.
Remember that in his demise, it is your own death that you fear. When you become free of the thought of death, it would be no more very appealing to you to think of your father as somebody who has passed away.
As long as the one we love is merely a body, there is bound to be dissatisfaction in relationship, because two bodies can never come very close to each other.
Both bodies being distinct, will have to retain their individuality.
Therefore there is always a separation, and that separation is suffering.
It doesn’t matter that he might physically be no more. Once you discover yourself to the Core, you might find that you are falling in love with him again, newly. And it’s much more than a daughter-father relationship now – something inseparable, something that does not require the assistance of memory.
We often feel that if we love someone, we must think of him or her. In fact if someone tells us that we stay put in his memories, then we feel assured that the fellow loves us. Isn’t that often taken as a mark of love for us?
“O! I think of you so much.”
“O! You occupy my memories and mental space.”
That is not Love, that is separation.
Only that which is away from you, needs to be arrested in memory.
Real Lovers have no need of remembering each other.
They just are with each other without distinction.
One, without a boundary.
And that obviously cannot happen with two bodies.
Between two bodies there would always exist a boundary.
So do not be afraid that if your father recedes from your memories, then it is some kind of disloyalty or separation. No. If he recedes from your memory because of your spiritual advancement, then it means that the two of you have actually come closer.
It is a great thing, it is a strengthening of the bond.
Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, this physical distance between the two, it happens because we see the other as ‘other’, rather than seeing the oneness of existence.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Before we the other as the ‘other’, we see me as ‘me’.
The other does not suddenly appear from nowhere.
‘Otherness’ of the other is a direct result of the ‘I-ness’ of the ‘I’.
We take great pleasure in owning this little ‘I’, in owning this little self, without realising that by identifying with something little, we have distanced ourselves from everything. Because once you are ‘this’, then everything is outside of you, and therefore separate from you.
And separation never feels good.
Question 2: Acharya Ji, I feel that Real Love can never be recongnised.
Acharya Prashant Ji: No, don’t speculate. Don’t speculate what Real Love is like. It’s just that false love has to be seen as ‘false’. Do not even call it as ‘false’, just call it ‘incomplete’.
Question 3: Acharya Ji, everything that we are seeing, or whatever we are taking through our senses, is it the ego that chooses? Or does everything go to the memory?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Everything goes to the memory. It’s just that only some part of it is deemed as access-worthy by the ‘I’ sense. There is no experience that does not become a part of your little self, but not all experiences are considered access-worthy by your ‘I’ sense.
It remembers only those experiences which strengthen it’s belief about itself, the others are promptly hidden away. They too remain there, but they remain buried deep.
Questioner 3: Is that what is called as ‘sub-conscious’?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Yes, this is that, the ‘sub-conscious’. That which you think of, rather that which you consider as ‘important’, comes to the surface of consciousness. That which you consider ‘junk’ or ‘useless’ goes to the basement of consciousness.
But there is nothing that your conscious really rejects. There is nothing that your consciousness really sheds-off. We keep stuffing experiences into ourselves. We keep getting bloated inwardly.
Questioner 3: So this ‘I-ness’ has no independent existence?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Don’t forget that the mind is nothing but the environment around the ‘I’. So all the stuff inside is being determined by the ‘I’. The ‘I’ is at the center.
The ‘I’ determines that nothing should be thrown away. Why should nothing be thrown away? Because the ‘I’ is not all sure of what is necessary and what is unnecessary. Saint knows what is essential and what is not, therefore the Saint finds it very easy to not stuff his consciousness. His consciousness is light and clean.
If you will ask him, “What is going on in your mind?” he will say, “Not much, never much.” Even the basement of his consciousness is clean, not merely the drawing room of the house, even the store room. Everything is clean of clutter.
As far as we are concerned, we just do not know who we are and where we are. So anything that comes to us, we keep it. Some of the things that appear immediately important are kept in the foreground, some of the things that do not appear immediately important are kept in the background. But nothing is sent to the junkyard.
Questioner 3: Is that because of fear?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Fear.
Fear of losing something important, because we do not know what really is important.
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Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More