Virtually, Memory is a mine in three senses of this word.
1. Mine as a device that explodes on contact: Memories of our past bad habits are like mines implanted in our consciousness. At slight provocation, they could explode into uncontrollable desires that could destroy us. For example, to an alcoholic trying to turn sober, the sight of a liquor bottle is a mine that could cause him to relapse into alcoholism.
Similarly, if someone has misbehaved with us, then that memory becomes like a mine. Whenever that person behaves even slightly improperly, we explode into a disproportionate burst of anger. Instead of being assertive, we end up being aggressive and so end up compounding the problem.
2. Mine as excavation site from which ores and minerals are extracted: In our life, we do have some loving incidents too. We get some joy by thinking of the person we love or we repeatedly recollect those beautiful incidents and tell to our close relatives and friends about those incidents as part of our experiences.
3. Mine as possession, “belonging to me”: It is for each one of us to decide: “Which mine am I going to let myself be exploded by bad memories or am I going to enrich myself with a mine of enjoyable treasure?” Sometime, we wish to extract something from our memory field and sometime, we do keep reservation to open up. Such exploration depends upon our own attitude too.
The human mind tends to delight in worldly memories, good memories only. We must try to brush off our bad memories as soon as possible as their longer presence creates pessimism in our attitude affecting our workability. We need to control our mind as such and divert it to some productive work or spirituality. The uncontrolled mind works as an intractable enemy. A worldly enemy can be dealt with by friendship, gifts, divide and rule or punishment.
The process of overcoming undesirable memories entails treading the five fold path of awareness as Patanjali explained in the Yoga Sutra:
1. Mudha: deluded, as in sleep, laziness or dullness.
2. Kashipta: agitated, as in stress or mania.
3. Vikshipta: distracted, as in a lecture in a noisy environment.
4. Ekagrata: concentrated, as in a student revising an hour before the exam.
5. Niroddha: controlled, as in a devotee absorbed in Samadhi, the trance of love.
When we starve the mind, that is, when refuse to pander to its demands for immoral, unhealthy pleasures, it starts agitating more than normal. Many people become disheartened by this increased mental tumult and give up. But rich premiums await the courageous few who refuse to be cowed down by the mind’s scary tactics. We may have to be spiritual adventurers by determinedly refusing to be cowed down by a recalcitrant mind into silence and submission by philosophical conviction and devotional meditation. Then, the mine of the heart will yield us the treasures of unshakable, unending peace and bliss. Let us try to tread our memory field very carefully.
Be Happy – Treat Your Memories As Minefields