5 May, 2001


The following is an excerpt from the book "Creativity" by Osho. It's an awesome book. If you get a chance, buy it and read it. This passage really touched me. It's a great explanation of a concept so many of us have trouble with: forgiveness.

Yesterday somebody insulted you. Again he comes across you today. The factual memory is that" this man insulted me yesterday." The psychological memory is that seeing that man, you start boiling up. And the man may be coming just to apologize; the man may be coming to be excused, to be forgiven. He may have realized his mistake; he may have realized his unconscious behavior. He may be coming to befriend you again, but you become boiled up. You are angry, you start shouting. You don't see his face herenow; you go on being affected by the face that was yesterday. But yesterday is yesterday! How much water has flowed down the Ganges? This man is not the same man. Twenty-four hours have brought many changes-and you are not the same man either.

The factual memory says, "This man insulted me yesterday," but that "me" has changed. This man has changed. So it is as if that incident had happened between two persons with whom you have nothing to do anymore-then you are psychologically free. You don't say, "I still feel angry." There is no lingering anger. Memory is there, but there is now psychological affectation. You meet the man again as he is now, and you meet him as you are now.

A man came and spat on Buddha's face. He was very angry. He was a Brahmin and Buddha was saying things that the priests were very angry about. Buddha wiped off his face and asked the man, "Have you anything more to say?"

His disciple, Ananda, became very angry. He was so angry that he asked Buddha, "Just give me permission to put this man right. This is too much! I cannot tolerate it."

Buddha said, " But he has not spat on your face. This is my face. Second, just look at the man! In what great trouble he is--just look at the man! Feel compassion for him. He wants to say something to me, but words are inadequate. That is my problem also, my whole life's long problem-and I see the man in the same situation! I want to relate things to you that I have come to know, but I cannot relate them because words are inadequate. This man is in the same boat: he is so angry that no word can express his anger-just as I am in so much love that no word, no act, can express it. I see this man's difficulty-just see!"

Buddha is seeing, Ananda is also seeing. Buddha is simply collecting a factual memory; Ananda is creating a psychological memory.

The man could not believe his ears, what Buddha was saying. He was very much shocked. He would not have been shocked if Buddha had hit him back, or Ananda had jumped on him. There would have been no shock; that would have been expected, that would have been natural. That's how human beings react. But Buddha feeling for the man, seeing his difficulty…The man went, could not sleep the whole night, pondered over it, meditated over it. Started feeling a great hurt, started feeling what he had done. A wound opened in his heart.

Early in the morning, he rushed to Buddha's feet, fell at Buddha's feet, kissed his feet. And Buddha said to Ananda, "Look, again the same problem! Now he is feeling so much for me, he cannot speak in words. He is touching my feet. Man is so helpless. Anything that is too much cannot be expressed, cannot be conveyed, cannot be communicated. Some gesture has to be found to symbolize it. Look!"

And the man started crying and said, "Excuse me sir. I am immensely sorry. It was absolute stupidity on my part to spit on you, a man like you."

Buddha said, "Forget about it! The man you spat upon is no more, and the man who spat is no more. You are new, I am new! Look-this sun that is rising is new. Everything is new. The yesterday is no more. Be finished with it! And now can I forgive? Because you never spat on me. You spat on somebody who has departed."

Consciousness is a continuous river.

When I say drop your memory, I mean psychological memory; I don't mean factual memory. Buddha remembers perfectly that yesterday this man had spat on him, but he also remembers that neither is this man the same nor is he the same. That chapter is closed; it is not worth carrying it your whole life. But you go on carrying. Somebody had said something to you ten years before and you are still carrying it. Your mother was angry when you were a child and you are still carrying it. Your father had slapped you when you were just small and you are still carrying it, and you may be seventy years old. These psychological memories go on burdening you. They destroy your freedom, they destroy your aliveness, they encage you.

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