Memory: a Tool for Unburdening the Mind

By Amrit Sadhana who is in the management team of Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune   (This article appeared first in the Asian Age.)

Memory has been a highly important faculty of the human brain, so much so that it is believed to be equivalent to intelligence. It is amazing how the tiny brain encodes and retains every small bit of experience and reproduces it whenever needed. In neurological terms, it is the re-creation or reconstruction of past. Neurons are the cells crucial in memory formation and retention. The Lilienfield Study and Thinking Guide suggests that there are around 100 billion neurons in the brain.



Nature has created this complex and sophisticated device because memory was a great learning tool, but now with the advent of artificial intelligence, memory has taken a backseat. The computer is doing almost all of the brain’s work and with greater efficiency. It is not a bad news though because memory is mechanical, and it is time to go beyond this level and use other dormant parts of the brain.

The new thinking is that memory hampers intelligence because memory is a storage, it cannot create anything original; intelligence, on the other hand, is a creative response to “now”. So if you want to develop creativity, spontaneity, intuitive faculty you have to go beyond the memory and awaken intelligence. You have to clean the debris of your experiences, so that you can be unburdened and be available to the future. If the consciousness has to grow vertically this burden has to be discarded.

Osho had suggested a technique to unburden the mind. Start with living you lives consciously. It will never become a burden on you if you do so. Whatsoever you do consciously is lived through and is no longer a hangover. Whatever you live unconsciously becomes a hangover because you never live it totally. When something is incomplete it wants to be completed. And this becomes your memory.

Unburdening is a process that needs to be done every day. Try this Osho tactic:

“Every night for one hour, before you go to sleep, close your eyes and relive your past. By and by you will unearth many memories. You will be surprised that you were unaware that these things are there and with such vitality and freshness, as if they had just happened!  Watch these memories as you watch a movie, move slowly, so that everything is covered. A certain quality of freedom and freshness will come to you, and you will feel you have touched the source of life.”

The results of daily visits down your memory lane are stupendous. There will be a spring in your step and your touch will come alive again. As blocks disappear, your life will start flowing; anger will dissipate and love will flow in its purity. You will become more sensitive, alive and open.

This entry was posted in Discussion, Meditation/Spiritual. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Memory: a Tool for Unburdening the Mind

  1. Kavita says:

    Interesting & inspiring article.

    Memory to me has been a very strong organic quality so I use it whenever the need arises .

    • Lokesh says:

      Kavita, I am curious. Could you perhaps explain a little about what inspires you in this article and describe why you see your memory as having a very strong organic quality?

      • Kavita says:

        Lokesh, I thought this article is inspirational to me as I got some kind of encouragement regarding memory which I think to me is quite effortless and not mechanical.

        “Memory to me has been a very strong organic quality” – I meant that, mostly a fairly good memory has come naturally to me.

  2. frank says:

    The author writes: “The new thinking is that memory hampers intelligence because memory is a storage.”

    This doesn`t really gel with Osho`s little meditation at the end of the article. Following the meditation, it is clear that Osho is saying that deliberately experiencing more memory is a way of generating intelligence.

    The author also writes: “with the advent of artificial intelligence, memory has taken a backseat. The computer is doing almost all of the brain’s work and with greater efficiency.”

    This is complete nonsense in the context of Osho`s meditation. How will a computer replace your own memory on an experiential level?

  3. Lokesh says:

    I read the article yesterday and it left me with the impression that it was pedestrian at best. Amrit’s conclusion, “The results of daily visits down your memory lane are stupendous etc.” sounds pretty dopey.

    That someone who is in the management team can come away with such trite baloney and expect to be taken seriously is a big fuckin’ joke. What does he manage, apart from managing to talk a lot of bollocks?

    I mean to say, Amrit says, “The computer is doing almost all of the brain’s work and with greater efficiency.” Utter tripe. A large part of the brain’s work is managing our bodily systems and helping us see right side up and in colour…what the fuck does that have to do with a Mac doing the brain’s work? Where doe Swami Amrit live? A broom cupboard? He probably has forgotten because the consciousness has to grow vertically and the burden of memory has to be discarded.

    Memory is a fascinating subject that I can get into, therefore will post a more in-depth commentary when I find the time. Tick tock. Oh, yeah, and if I can remember, in spite of my consciousness growing vertically.

  4. swamishanti says:

    “The new thinking is that memory hampers intelligence because memory is a storage, it cannot create anything original; intelligence, on the other hand, is a creative response to “now”.”

    We all have this fantastic and incredible, yes sophisticated in its complexity in comparison with other primates and creatures , the ability to fire neurons, collects past experiences and try to put “two and two” together-

    and we identify with all these thinking.
    And we can become aware in a beautifull way what this mind is doing, with its comparisons, and projections, and its expansion.
    How it loves to compare its growth with younger heads and all the games we play.

    But it is untrue that less thinking creates more intelligence, like Amrit Sadhana suggests. More intelligence will be there in fact, with more thinking. Less thinking people will simply become vegetables.

    If they meditate, yes, they may become aware of a deeper, blissfull layer of no-thing, but this cannot really be of the same dimension as thinking.

    So, some enlightened types will simply be vegetables. Their minds will be full of the same crap, prejudices, and conditionings.

    Osho had a very intelligent, highly knowledgeable mind. But that mind would have been there without his enlightenment, too.

    I think this is something Osho failed to stress, the ordinariness of the enlightened person’s mind.
    Of course, he had to sell enlightenment.

    And Amrit Sadhana may have picked up an Osho idea that the enlightened ones mind is “much more intelligent”.
    Utter balls.

    And many sannyasins and some satsang-wallahs felt that the enlightened one is `right` about almost everything.
    One still has to use it, of course, and compute, just like everyone else.

    Unless they decide to spend the rest of their lives sitting in a mountain cave, immersed in deep Samadhi.
    Of course, they have transcended this and can slip into no-thing, but this has nothing to do with `intelligence` as such.

    Rather just to do with accessing a deeper layer of reality.

    • Arpana says:

      Might be useful to make a distinction between analytical thinking and thinking that is connected to insight.

      Insight takes the thinker out of the groove of analysis, into new places, and can go hand in glove with feeling discernment; whereas pure analysis is being in the head, is being stuck. And that sounds to me the kind of thinking Amrit Sadhana is probably, rather clumsily, referring to. (English is her second language. She may well have expressed this better in her first language).

      Osho is incredibly well-informed, but also incredibly insightful. He is not a ‘thinker’ in the purely analytical sense.

      • swamishanti says:

        I wouldn`t say that pure analysis is necessarily being in the head, ‘being stuck`. After all, people who think a lot often end up with great insights. Like Archimedes, the guy who thought a lot and then had his his “Eureka!” moment in the bathtub.

        And you don`t have to be enlightened to have insights. Everyone has them.

        We can`t really know how much energy Osho gave to thinking, no doubt he had the capacity to give you a karate kick without thinking about it in darshan, and knock you out of your box, and this all occurred in a space of `non-doing`, yet he still had the same compuhead that we all have, with one with vast amounts of knowledge, but also his personal beliefs, conditionings, and whatever other ideas he had accumulated within his lifetime.

        Whatever’s been put in is what we got.

        If Papaji states that “Osho was a pimp”, is this coming from a space of insight? Or just an idea that Papaji got into his head from somewhere else?

        Likewise, Osho made many statements that were not really coming from his own experience or personal understanding.

        • Arpana says:

          ”I wouldn`t say that pure analysis is necessarily being in the head, ‘being stuck`. After all, people who think a lot often end up with great insights. Like Archimedes, the guy who thought a lot and then had his his “Eureka!” moment in the bathtub.

          And you don`t have to be enlightened to have insights. Everyone has them.”

          That is what I said, SS.

          • satchit says:

            And what is then the need of being enlightened if everyone has insights?

            • Lokesh says:

              Satchit, that is a very uneducated question.

            • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

              Thanks for your valuable question the other day, Satchit. I´ve been using my irritation of how you formulated it, as energy for further research and meditation.

              There is a ´need´, which is a more intrinsic quality, more universal in terms of evolution of the species we are part of. It can´t be made up – the whole processing. It’s just happening and I guess any moment, if we are open for it.

              The word ´ enlightenment´ is as misused as the word ´guru´ or ´love´.
              And the word ´insight´ (?) – just a momentary flicker like a spotlight, very partially mostly, very momentary, at the best a small ´satori´ happening. Mostly leaving a memory, sometimes a haunting memory (if ever).

              There is a need to stay open for irritation though. If possible.

              I don´t have an answer to your question but I am still enjoying your question. Your question is an alive one.


              • satchit says:

                @ Madhu

                For me, enlightenment is nothing special. Just riding the bull, enjoying life.

                Anyway, I don’t know what enlightenment is, only Indians know. And I am not Indian.

      • Tan says:

        Yes, Arps, very much yes!

    • Tan says:

      SS, from what I can remember, if my memory is not disturbed, Osho very much talked about the ordinariness of enlightenment. He really hammered on it in his final phase.

      Now, from what I have gathered, enlightened people don’t think, they ‘see’, sometimes in the objective world as well.

      • swamishanti says:

        Yes, I know that Osho made a big effort to show that he was just an ordinary man, especially during the Ranch phase when we began he began speaking again publicly, we were discussing it just the other day.

        He even went so far as to say something like “If you have any intelligence, you will not be able to agree with me, because I contradict myself so much” – or something like that.

        “Now, from what I have gathered, enlightened people don’t think, they ‘see’, sometimes in the objective world, as well.”

        I think this is a misconception. Without being enlightened, I guess that enlightened people do get a lot of `seeing` things, just like you suggest, but this `seeing` is also processed by their own mind machine, their own mind, which is still there, after enlightenment.

        So sometimes, yes, they will say exactly the right thing at the right time, without thinking about it, but they can also say things which later one may realise was just nonsense, or, even, possibly better if they had not suggested at all.

        It all depends whatever is in their `bookstore`, or their own mind.

        I have some experience with several people who considered themselves enlightened, some of them I have no doubt were enlightened.

        And some of them `pushed` me into spaces beyond the mind, yet at the same time I also learned that they were still very much human, and made mistakes, which is intrinsically human, and could be absolutely wrong about things at the same time.

        And I am sure that they would agree with that.

        • Tan says:

          SS, Osho said he was an ordinary man, ordinariness is blessed, etc…What I am talking about when he was hammering about enlightenment is that that was the most ordinary ‘thing’ to happen to the human beings, etc…

          What I mean when I said the enlightened doesn’t think, he/she sees, it just means they are seers. And I don’t think they say the right thing at the right time, most of the time they are quiet.

          Anyway, I won’t speculate on that.


    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      “I think this is something Osho failed to stress, the ordinariness of the enlightened person’s mind.” (Swamishanti)

      You obviously didn´t listen, Swamishanti, to what He shared therabouts in depths. His talks about in Philosophia Perennis, Heart Sutra talks, ´Be Still And Know´talks and wherever, whatever lecture series, just to name a very few.

      But you are very right: He didn´t ´stress´it.

      Anyway and however, ´failing´ are those in my eyes who are starting a ´bugging´ game and intrigues by technical measures and are not the least interested to follow their own insight and life experiences with the topic as such.

      The last decades especially have been full of tech and dope crap offers to go for some´shortcut´ or other and more than (much) money is ´made´ with the longings of humans to belong AND become (re Human Growth issues); the latter, as far as I realise it here at my place get more and more into joint ventures and businesses of performing ´as if’´…

      If you had sat in His Presence long enough, Swamishanti, you may have gathered enough ability of discernment of the false and the true, even then if you are not able to change what you are confronted with.


    • kusum says:

      “No thought, no desire, no memory, no imagination. Just be & in this being HERE AND NOW, GOD descends.”

  5. Bong says:

    Having a photographic memory is pretty good. Trusting too much, a definite drawback. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I am angry, had a headache for three days and it is getting worse. Damn the chicken!

  6. Lokesh says:

    An idea that Papaji got into his head from somewhere else? Poonjaji met a lot of disillusioned Oshoites. He heard a lot of malicious gossip about Osho. You know how it goes. A certain kind of person needs to paint where they have been black in order to get a move on. You see this happening on many different levels. Like a neon bulb it just happens every day. I wanna see you paint it, paint it black.

    • swamishanti says:

      And what were these Oshoites complaining about to Pappaji then?
      “Ah, he got to ride around in a fucking Rolls Royce and splash around in a marble Jacuzzi, and wear diamond watches whilst I had to clean the shitty toilets all day.”

      “Shit, I wore orange every day for years, invested my life savings in Rajneeshpuram, and look what happened. Never got a penny back”.

      • kusum says:

        Even now some very rich people in India offer donation of gold & diamond jewellery & crowns to even statues of Gods in Jaina & Hindu temples.

      • Lokesh says:

        SS, I reckon it had more to do with Osho shagging his female disciples and being a drug addict.

        Believe it or not, before sannyasins showed up in Lucknow, Poonjaji had never heard anything much about Osho. I am sure he read newspapers, but more interested in the cricket scores than anything else.

        • swamishanti says:

          Now we have to be careful with what we read on the internet but I remember reading somewhere that Osho had once been shown a book of Da Free John (Adi Da), ‘The Enlightenment of the Whole Body’ in the early seventies whilst in Woodlands, Bombay, by one lady, who had asked him his opinion.

          Osho examined it and the pictures of Adi Da and then said, “If you can be with this man, you are with a true Buddha.” (Someone into Adi Da has made this claim, I have no idea whether Osho really said this or not).

          Yet later, in the eighties, Osho stated that Adi Da was “no master” – possibly after hearing about the alledged sexual exploits taking place around Adi Da in his ashram, and his apparently massive sexual appetite. I
          nvolving Adi Da regularly shagging as many women around him as possible.

          Adi Da(who at this time believed himself to be a divine incarnation , or avatar, decided to marry 14 of his female disciples in one night on New Years Eve, 1976 (some of these women were already in relationships with other men) and told one teenage girl in the mid-70s that he gave her herpes as “prasad (a divine gift) from the Guru to help her work out her bad cunt karma.”

          Some of these women later felt a bit abused by Adi Da and later there was some kind of court case.

          The scene around Adi Da sounds like it was pretty wild.

          Adi Da felt that he was going to be some kind of world teacher, and in 2000 apparently had a bit of a strop when he realised that this was unlikely to be the case.

          However, with Osho, I have not heard of any women complaining of any ‘abuse’, and who knows what, if anything, actually went down?

          • Lokesh says:

            Adi Da! Didn’t he make a lot of money selling sports shoes? Anyway, as far as scandal goes he is a lightweight compared to Osho. Have you read, ‘Behind Closed Doors’ by Ma Gita Bharti (Susanne Fromm)? She claims that Osho…
            Read the book.

            • swamishanti says:

              Couldn’t find that one listed anywhere, but I did come across ‘Legs Wide Open – Tales From An Air-Con Room’ by Ma  Prikshafta (Claire Eastman), who claims that every night ten girls were laid out on Osho’s bed in his room by Sheela and then injected with synthetic heroin – nasty stuff…I won’t say anymore.

              The most shocking revelation in the book was that the Earth is being controlled by mutant lizards from their moonbase.

              • Lokesh says:

                SS, I found ‘Legs Wide Open’ to be a gripping read. It completely changed my perception of Osho and what enlightenment really means in terms of group sex and heroin use.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Yes, quite, er, `enlightening`, isn`t it? Although I found the part where Sheela puts on the strap-on dildo a bit much.

                  There have been a couple of positive books by women on their experiences with Sai Baba and Adi Da: ‘Huffing and Puffing in the Bedroom of the Master- Finding the Buddha Inside’ was one of them.

                • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                  People indulging in – or ´feeling gripped´ by – such third-rate literature-stuff must have had (have) a very poor sex life (not to speak of missing deeply some erotic measures) themselves.


                • Lokesh says:

                  Run, lads. Nurse Prachet is on the warpath.

                • frank says:

                  We`ve got Nurse Ratchet and Swami Scratchit
                  But I prefer
                  Terry Pratchett:
                  “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

                  “It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.”

  7. satchit says:

    Certainly I know what I am talking.
    Enlightenment is an Indian concept.
    Only Indians can become enlightened, simple.

  8. shantam prem says:

    “Enlightenment is an Indian concept. Only Indians can become enlightened, simple.”

    Politically incorrect truth from new faceless blogger called Satchit! Are you an Indian Satchit or truth-loving Britisher?

    Who knows, Swamis and Mas from the West have already reserved their place for their last trip to Earth for Enlightenment via India? In that case, most probably they won´t come across their Bhagwan´s books like most of the enlightened ones in Indian villages, as another Indian Kusum has pointed.

    If I am a landlord again to do good with my undoings of this life, most probably i will offer this life´s friends a very good job to toll the land and live simple and respectful life with many many children! (lols)

    • kusum says:

      Shantam, read Meera’s bhajans, Kabir’s songs, Jesus’s sayings, Moses etc.

      They were not so-called educated people. Same type of people still exist around the world. We just need to be receptive to the vibes. Meditate…meditate…

      Education is good as well in this age of technology.