Just the other day when I was having dinner with my friend, two persons walked over to our table – a lady holding a few packets of tissue together with a visually impaired man beside her – obviously requesting us to assist in purchasing the tissue to support their living. I already saw them earlier at a nearby table and a thought pop in my mind that it would be a matter of time before they approach us.
As they finally came by, without further ado, I picked up the wallet from my pocket and chose a big note in exchange for a packet of tissue. It was an attitude that I have determined from the past and trained myself not to question the motive of the request as and when it appears before me, acknowledging fully that it is my own wish to give unconditionally without being plagued by thoughts of doubts. And if ever any of such thoughts were to arise, it is about my mind that I have to address and not what is been projected outside of it. What is seemingly outside, as I remind myself constantly, is merely my own thought put onto it.
What surprised me a moment later is the inner dialogue that came out from that act. The guilt of giving too much and the uncertainty of what I have just done plagued my mind into distress. It was a brief moment of uneasiness as I looked at the mind that was in tussle, trying to find ways to justify the act. Regret was one of the obvious unquestioned emotion together with a myriad of associated feelings with it. It was a case of betrayal, more correctly, a self-betrayal – feeling betrayed towards myself for the amount I handed out. As before in such situation, it has always been a norm to console myself by justifying the act, imagining that they needed the money more than me, or by refuting or admonishing my own mistake; and if all of such doesn’t work, a series of mindless guilt and punishment comes to place. It is interesting to notice how the mind works, or more accurately, delusion – trapped in a whirlpool of meanings of entanglements.
Just as about the plot seemed to get thicker, a glimpse of light of understanding shined through the mind as Wisdom reminded me one more time that both moments are not at all connected in any way, though it seems to be a consecutive leading on moment. It unravelled me the understanding that the moment of giving is simply an act of unconditionality and it has since long gone as quickly as it came. The next moment of regret, had nothing at all to do with the earlier act, as it too came and gone at that moment; the latter seemingly meeting the former and parting once again. The regret was merely a memory, a shadow or an ancient thought that was held back in the past, surfaced and joining into the moment to be freed and gone forever, to be forsaken. And that is exactly all it was, a pleasant remembering and a conscious wakefulness and understanding so not to perpetuate it’s meaning and thus consciously releasing it so as not to return again.
Every moment of what arises in the mind is but old unresolved meanings that we have harboured and not released. And if I were to believe in it, I am only securing another future similar incident to spark that meaning to meet me again – in fact that is why it arose again of a past I did not choose correctly to see it as a memory. The experience I had with what was outside me was not relevant at all to my peace as to what comes up within me. My outside experience is by and large defined by my inner perception, and thus is not always to my best interest, though I think I am that. I thought getting upset is to my best interest, yet it is not. I thought desiring my experience is to my best interest, yet it is also not. What arise from the mind is just what I have addicted myself to, re-experiencing it unknowingly until waking up from it one fine day.
“The miracle but shows the past is gone, and what has truly gone has no effects. Remembering a cause can but produce illusions of its presence, not effects.” – ACIM, The Present Memory.
Do read an awesome related entry: Living Memory