“Thanks for the memories,” is a beautiful song written in 1938 by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger, and performed tirelessly on stage by Bob Hope for many years. Along with winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the song also became Bob’s signature tune. Bing Crosby recorded the song in one of his 1956 albums, and throughout the years other versions of the song were recorded by Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.
“Thanks for the memory:
Of things I can’t forget, journeys on a jet,
Our wond’rous week in Martinique and Vegas and roulette.
How lucky I was.
And thanks for the memory:
Of summers by the sea, dawn in Waikiki.
We had a pad in London but we didn’t stop for tea;
How cozy it was.
Now since our breakup I wake up
Alone on a gray morning-after.
I long for the sound of your laughter,
And then I see the laugh’s on me.
But, thanks for the memory:
Of every touch a thrill. I’ve been through the mill.
I’ve lived a lot and learned a lot, you loved me not and still;
I miss you so much.” …
Human memory is an interesting phenomenon. And it happens simply enough. We have an experience which leaves an imprinted on the mind, and becomes stored in our consciousness (Chit).
The imprint of experience can be either deep or subtle, depending upon the person’s level of consciousness. As consciousness expands the impact of experience on the mind becomes less and less, not as overshadowing as it once was.
Sometime we purposely try to recall a memory. On other occasions it may be stimulated by an outer experience that innocently reminds us of the past event. Perhaps the smell of a rose flower brings back a memory of an afternoon in the park with friends. Or the sight of a water fall reminds us of the great vacation we had last year at the beach. In either case, an impression from the past is brought up by the mind once again for consideration.
When a memory comes up it often stimulates desire. We may in turn act on the desire because as human beings we are constantly looking for fulfillment and happiness. That’s how most of our days are spent.
memory => desire => action => fulfillment => happiness
This recurring cycle clearly demonstrates one way how the past continuously creates the future.
Memories in themselves are a wonderful human happening. They are just impressions on our consciousness. Unfortunately, our egocentric judgmental view takes over and then interprets them as either being good or bad. Otherwise they just are.
Difficulty in life can come when the instrument that is charged with recalling memories, the mind, does not function properly. Ideally we would like a memory to be called up only when it is truly needed.
It then serves a useful purpose that is germane to the situation presently at hand. That’s what happens within an enlightened mind. When the small self becomes the universal SELF and bliss consciousness is an all time reality, the right thought/memory comes up at the right time. Memory becomes more constructive as consciousness expands. Nature automatically takes everything into account to serve up the appropriate thought at the appropriate time.
But when the mind is not enlightened memories can come up at any time. And they very often come up at the wrong time, leading to excessive thinking and worry. Obsessive and compulsive thinking drains life. Over time meditation remedies that situation by quieting the mind and allowing it to function in a more orderly and neat fashion.
Everyone has desires. An enlightened person also has desires. For example, an enlightened person may be working hard every day to hasten the onset of world peace. He/she may be working toward this goal for a long time, but still not be able to bring it to fruition.
But, there is a major difference between the unenlightened and enlightened person with regard to action (even if it’s the same action). When we gain bliss consciousness the goal of all desires has been captured, and we remain untouched by the fruits of desire and action.
Here is a brief summary:
Ego centric memory – memories come up at any time, even when they are not wanted, and can lead to excessive worry. The mind has failed as gatekeeper.
Ego centric desire – desire and actions are directed toward personal gain and happiness. Desires bring cravings. One remains bound by the cycle of action/reaction in the field of time and space.
Enlightened memory – memories come up only when they are relevant to the current time and situation.
Enlightened desire – with bliss consciousness the goal of all desires has been attained. Desire and action are spontaneously in accordance with the laws of nature and the current need for the time. Not influenced by fulfillment or non fulfillment of desires. One remains untouched by any fruits of action.
We want a neat and tidy mind. It should serve up what we need when we need it. Meditation is central to any strategy for calming the mind. Sitting with eyes closed and meditating even for a few minutes morning and evening will greatly advance your spiritual growth and evolution. Every day closer to enjoying eternal bliss consciousness is a blessing.
Make memories you ally, meditate every day to strengthen the mind.