Bombay, India | 4th March 1953
The past can never be put aside. There is a watching of the past as it goes by, but not occupation with the past. So the mind is free to observe and not to choose. Where there is choice in this movement of the river of memory, there is occupation, and the moment the mind is occupied. it is caught in the past: and when the mind is occupied with the past, it is incapable of seeing something real, true, new, original, uncontaminated.
A mind that is occupied with the past - the past is the whole consciousness that says, `this is good; `that is right; `this is bad; `this is mine; `this is not mine' - can never know the Real. But the mind unoccupied can receive that which is not known, which is the unknown. This is not an extraordinary state of some yogi, some saint. Just observe your own mind; how direct and simple it is. See how your mind is occupied. And the answer, with what the mind is occupied, will give you the understanding of the past, and therefore the freedom from the past.
You cannot brush the past aside. It is there.