Many times we do not remember the name of a favourite person, a friend’s phone number or the book we read in the last week and we blame our age and weakening memory due to it. But don’t be disheartened, when you don’t remember practical things, you don’t lose your intelligence. For it is just a working memory — which is the mental sketch pad that holds numbers, names and other facts temporarily in mind. Just as every shopkeeper keeps a daily register and tears the page the next day. This is our working memory. It is not permanent; it becomes useless every day and then no longer exists. But deeper than that is a memory which is not merely for getting work done: a memory which is our life, which sums up our entire experience — the accumulated essence of our experience throughout countless lives on the path. This has become ingrained within us, and American scientologist L. Ron Hubbard calls them engrams. In recent years, neuroscientists have shown memory cells on a widely distributed network in the brain, and it coordinates those interactions through slow-frequency, thrumming rhythms called theta waves.
An engram is a detailed mental image of a traumatic event from the past that occurred when an individual was partially or fully unconscious. Whenever something painful happens while the “analytic mind” is unconscious, engrams are supposedly being recorded and stored in an area of the mind.
Osho says, all that we have experienced through the ages are all registered in the cells and in deep meditation, they can be revived. But when this memory comes alive it is not like remembering a past experience, it is like reliving or revisiting the incident right now. The river of time is as if frozen in those deeper areas of the cells. Concealed within them, human beings have the mental impressions or seeds of the past. In whatever form a man has lived — whether as man or beast, whether a plant or stone — this entire stream of memories is still contained within him. This stream can be exposed, and a person can even be made to re-experience those memories.
What’s the use of stirring this pile? Well, the use is spiritual, not psychological. Besides clearing the mind it reminds you of your past repetitive patterns of life. This recollection warns you about not repeating the same mistakes, not desiring the same people or goals, not running after the same mirage. It is a wake-up call. The spiritual slumber is broken and you wake up with a start and stop leading life mechanically. You aspire for something higher and grander that will actualise your potential.
This corresponds to the famous wisdom of ancient sages: Uttishtha, Jagrata, Prapya Varan Nibodhat. “Get up, wake up and be aware of what you have to achieve in this life.”...