Remembering the past is a “past time” for most individuals. When we observe our minds going into the past to re-live those moments, we could observe that our emotions will change, with that our mood will change and our outlook towards life, the experience of living the moment, will change as well.
Nothing wrong with remembering the past; what is important to recognize is how our emotions will change our experience of “now.”
Those emotions, whether elation or sadness are just ghosts. They no longer exist, nevertheless, our emotions are timeless.
A factual past becomes a hurtful psychological past. That psychological past has a charge of emotions, which will affect our present.
For example, some will remember a loved one who left, several times a day for many months. When this condition is beyond our control, this becomes a mental disease.
It is a chronic depression.
The solution does not reside on “not thinking” about things, or to have the “self control” not to think, to avoid this condition. Most will recur into further pain by doping themselves to avoid remembering.
The issue resides in our inability to understand the emotion underneath. Thinking about that loved one is merely showing that emotions need to be expressed. Thoughts are the vehicle for that expression.
The key element then is to find which is the emotion which needs to be understood, which neediness is being expressed by our rejection of the present, that is why we go into a recurrent past.
For example, the “9/11” episode. Many will gather today to remember that event. What will those individuals be remembering?
That is the key element to know. If it is about the sadness and pain of losing a loved one, if it is about maintaining the fire of revenge in their hearts; they are actually opening a wound that needs to be healed to “move on” in life.
“Move on,” means to transform that anger into acceptance. That is to have openness to life again. The obstacle in moving forward is resentment.
For a spiritual aware individual, revenge does not accomplish anything but the certainty to experience further suffering. Life has its own ways. There is no one who can escape the reaction caused by his or her own activity.
What you do unto others, you truly do it to yourself. That is why the teaching is: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
On the other hand, to gather and to remember the contributions of every human being who met their last breath in that event, brings a different attitude. It will not be about suffering anymore, but about appreciation, about recognizing the unique qualities and roles that every person plays in life.
It is in this way, when the past dissolves in the past; and our present brings a different fragrance. For once a hurtful situation is transformed into the flower of acceptance and openness, then there is the opportunity for that flower to blossom in life and to share that beauty without ‘trying to.’
That is the best way to give, to teach and to live a human life.