Loss of Memory
In the previous page we discussed birth and embryonic development, the witnessing higher self, and the projection of various human personalities - all following naturally from the Principle of Reflection.
Now it can be asked, if indeed there is such projection of personalities, why is it that one does not remember prior experiences of Being? What could be the reason for such a loss of memory?
There are very many reasons to this (some are covered in the chapter ‘War’), but the most significant one is that the scheme and the loss of memory exists to facilitate one’s evolution. A personality as it goes through life begins with a flexible mindset in its childhood, which invariably becomes a rigid and very often crusty system of thought, emotions, opinions and belief systems toward late years. While the experiences and innate wisdom from its physical existence have been valuable, this rigid framework often prevents or stifles the personality from experiencing anything truly fresh, and from exploring new avenues and perspectives. It comes to a kind of dead-end at some point, where the past becomes a heavy burden that weighs it down and also acts as a filter. If this were to continue as such into many future experiences, the progress of Being would be seriously limited.
What is required then, is a dismantling of all old habits, patterns and opinions, and retaining experiences that changed the core of its Being. Therefore in a subsequent projection, what better freedom and benediction than to return to the suppleness, curiosity and wonder of a new born or toddler, where a fragment of Being is enabled to explore anew and take a different path unfettered? Without such a scheme, a hermit experience (for example) can overshadow and drown out the possibility for that Being to ever experience or understand what it means to be an athlete, an artist, a leader or a scientist. The result would be a serious evolutionary run down or inhibition for that Being - unable to experience, understand or develop its own fullness, diversity, capabilities and potential - before it returns to the ONE.
Yet, all prior experiences and memories are part and parcel of Being, and never lost at any time. These have temporarily been delegated to subconscious levels, so that the gift of a fresh exploration is offered to the personality. However, the influence of the subconscious is powerful and it can often be one’s greatest friend as well as adversary, in the sense of its contents. It colors many experiences and outlooks of the personality and does not offer it a free ride. This should necessarily be so, otherwise Being would lose a part of itself. So there is this trade-off for the personality: a fresh exploration mostly free of inhibitions, yet a subconscious coloring of those experiences and outlook which does not significantly obstruct progress. And at the level of the greater Being, all memories and experiences are assimilated and never lost.
The notions of birth, loss of memory, and retribution for past actions (we’ll use the term negative reflection to designate the latter) also bring perplexing questions as to why a personality should ‘suffer’ for something it does not remember at all. While this sounds reasonable enough, the vast majority of cases of negative reflection involves actions to others that offered no prior intimation or explanation to the ‘victim’, where the latter perceived events as coming ‘out of the blue’. Therefore it is also reasonable that the ‘victim’ of negative reflection in this case also incur similar circumstances. This state of affairs dovetails very well into the loss of memory discussed above.
There are other reasons as well. In the course of its descent into duality and the exploration of emotion, human beings have built up tremendous amounts of negative emotional charges between themselves. This amounts to a considerable obstacle and makes reconciliation and the flowering of Love quite a difficult task. Without repressing those emotions and memories into the subconscious, and allowing new experiences and positive emotions to take hold, there is little possibility that Being will be able to reconcile those conflicts. Such a reconciliation is the prime function of the family unit, where members arrive as children without invitation, and are loved and cared for. But soon enough, subconscious memories have their impact and the conflict between love and hate is played out in the family setting, yet often resulting in overall positive consequences. The backdrop of family affections coupled with the biological impulses of love are meant to compensate for and to provide an arena where conflicts may be resolved, or at least addressed and attenuated.
What we are then saying is this: the commonly found societal order, which includes family formation and its expected roles, is no accident but a well engineered and orchestrated process that helps the human race progress faster toward its goals. The family unit is geared to progressively expand one’s heart, to enable the transition from a self-centered occupation to encompass other beings into one’s heart circle. An old man or woman looking down his or her family tree of forty odd members has had the great opportunity to progressively go beyond a self-centered and self-seeking mentality, and to even learn, by extrapolation, to include all of humanity into his or her love circle. Not because this may be something nice to do or to feel, but because it is one of the most important stated purposes of the race - one that will take it along a glorious journey back to the Godhead - and one that it has been struggling hard to achieve against the backdrop of negative emotion (see chapter ‘Mountain’).
With this background the reader may now be in a better position to understand the pivotal role played by the apparent loss of memory in facilitating this evolution of the race.
In the next section we will take a look at what may be called ‘the law of striving’, why human beings must strive.