Are These The
Visitations of The Past or Some New Situation?
- Oliver Mbamara
“Man’s memory is often limited to the present, and even when he decides to remember, he often applies the false relief of selective remembrance."* -
Why Are We Here?*
A man sets off to apply what he calls “desperate measures,” in order to overcome what he calls a desperate situation. Many years down the road, he is confronted by a situation he had set in motion when he took his “desperate measures” years ago. Having forgotten how and when he set the course in motion that subsequently troubles him, he cries out at God and blames everyone that is in any way presently concerned in the troubling situation he so faces. He applies superficial measures that only temporarily takes care of the troubling situation, but because he is unable to connect to the original cause and also because he is unwilling to learn from the experience, the troubling situation comes back to him again and again in different guises like different troubling situations. From job to job, from relationship to relationship, from town to town, from institution to institution, from age to age, and even from life to life, and so on.
It is common to point fingers and blame someone when things seem to go wrong, or at best, not the way we have expected. Man’s memory is often limited to the present, and that has made it even common that we choose to forget the times we were at fault. We are quick to forget the times in the “past” when we planted the seeds (in thoughts or acts) that later grow and come back to haunt our present. So, when we come up to an unwanted situation in life, we are quick to search for the cause in the present, forgetting the root and foundation we laid in the past.
In the same vein as above, although we may not be the direct or present victims of a situation, we are quick to sympathize with such situations without realizing or caring that the victim may have brought the situation upon himself, and needed to learn the lessons involved. ‘Compassion’ is a trait to be encouraged, but it is important for one to know when he has stepped beyond the realm of sympathy, and have delved into the zone of ‘passionate’ (emotional) conclusions that are based on mere surface impressions. A prejudicial action could drag one into an unconscious cycle, or make him an effect of an unknown cause.
This piece comprehends that one’s present situation in life is a totality of his “past” experiences. It is a result of how one dealt with his future in the “past” when the “past” was the present. A seeming ‘troublesome’ situation would persist if one fails to recognize the cause and find out what improvement or correction is needed in the present. Passing the buck or ignoring the cause would only bring one to another situation where one is tested again by the same issue of life, subsequently disguised as a different situation. As the great Tibetan Monk once said: “Life is a perpetual balancing of account."
It is not in every circumstance that knowing one’s “past” ought to be encouraged. Life has a way of cutting off our memory of our past-lives in order to give us a fresh ground upon which to start a new life that would help us balance things out. Otherwise, people would carry their “past” life anger into the new life and eventually jump on every individual they meet in the street who may have offended them in a “past” life.
Besides, a present pauper for example who visits his “past” life and notices that he was once a great or wealthy man, might be carried way by his ego which tries to relive his “glorious past” which he might think was a better life than the one he is now living. A delusional problem might arise such as we sometimes notice in dual personalities. There is a reason why some people fall in love at first sight while others develop hatred for some others at first sight without any reason they can remember. Most of these can be traced to our “past” lives, and to leave such memory intact would likely lead to an abuse of it. The Law of Life is wiser.
Regardless, there are situations where the recognition of a “past” life experience could help in solving a present life situation. Understanding the reason for a difficult situation in life can make it easier for one to deal with such a situation. However, once one comprehends why he is faced with a present situation in life, he ought to move on. It may not be advisable to dwell in the past. It is in the present that we build what the future becomes.
The great Tibetan Adept tells the Seeker thus.
“…Look to the sunrise each day, for everything in the past must be forgotten and each day must be a new start upon the path of God. Keep thy vision fixed upon the future in eternity, and forget the errors of the past.”*
Having learned from the lessons of our “past,” each new day ought to be seen as an opportunity to continue anew in the journey of Soul to perfection. This is only my understanding, and I am still learning, but what do you think?
The Cause of The Present
It need not be said or repeatedly queried,
That every new night shall bow to a new dawn,
As the light of day follows the darkness of night
And the morning dawn does noon into dusk.........
IN THE NEW BOOK
*This Essay is taken from an upcoming book by Oliver Mbamara Titled “Why Are We Here?” A Collection Soul-searching
Stories, Parables, Essays, and Poems.
By The River, Paul Twitchell
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oliver Mbamara is an Administrative Law
Judge with the State of New York. He is also a filmmaker and a Published
Poet and playwright. For more on Oliver, please visit
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