Memory is Nothing but a Graveyard


Beloved Osho,
The other day someone asked me where I came from before coming to Poona and I couldn’t remember.

He started mentioning major European cities while I got more embarrassed. I said, “Just wait, it will come,” and suddenly remembered Sydney, Australia. Osho, since I’ve been with you this time I’m losing my memory. What’s happening? I ask this question in the hope that this shows something to do with meditation.

Osho speaking

Michael, you are really becoming intelligent. It is not expected from people who come from Sydney, Australia. This has never happened before! Losing your memory is of great significance. It means the energy is shifting from memory to intelligence.

Memory is mechanical; intelligence is non-mechanical. That’s why computers can have memory; they don’t have intelligence. If you ask them a question about which they have not been told before, you have to feed the information first, then you can ask the question, and without fail the answer will come. Intelligence is a totally different matter.

Your meditation is certainly going deeper. Leaving aside Sydney, Australia, and all the memories concerned with Sydney, Australia, leaving aside the past – you are entering into a new space.

Only once in a while a computer has been intelligent – only in jokes, not in reality.

A man was asking a computer, “Tell me about my father. What do you know about my father? I want all the information.”

The information came – “Your father has gone fishing just three hours ago in the ocean.”

The man laughed and he said, “You’re stupid! My father is dead and he has been dead for three years; he cannot go fishing.”

The computer laughed and said, “That was not your father, that was only the husband of your mother. Your father has gone fishing; you just go to the beach and you will find him there.”

You are not a robot. When you become silent, you start seeing your memories far away, as distant echoes. It is a very common experience that intelligent people have not very good memories, and vice versa; the people who have very good memories have never been found to be very intelligent. Sometimes idiots have great memories; because their whole energy is involved in their memory, they don’t have any intelligence.

Still, the going is good,
we are enjoying.
Who cares about
the beginning and the end?
The real thing is in-between –
the pilgrimage.

Intelligence is the power to face a new situation about which you know nothing. Memory is a reaction. You know the answer, the question is asked, you repeat the answer. But if any new question is asked the memory is impotent. A new question, a new situation, does not need your memory; it needs intelligence, because a new answer is needed, a new response is needed.

Linelli said to his daughter, “I no like-a that Irish boy taking-a you out. He’s a-rough and common and besides he’s-a big-a dumbbell.”

“No papa,” replied the girl. “Tim is the most clever fella I know. Why you say-a that? We have only been dating for nine weeks,” the daughter replied, “and already he has cured me of that little illness I used to get every month.”

Michael, don’t try to cling to memory. Here nobody is bothered about where you come from; in fact nobody knows. Everybody comes from nowhere and goes on disappearing into nowhere again. Sydney or Calcutta or Bombay or San Francisco or Rome or London are all stations between two nowheres. And the trains are becoming faster; they don’t stop on every station! There is no need to be worried.

Your memory system
is nothing but a graveyard.
Try to live without memory,
and see how life
becomes suddenly fresh.

If you forget everything that you know, you will not be a loser – because what do you know? It is not valuable at all. In fact it will be a great richness if you can forget all that you know, and suddenly enter into a state of not-knowing, fresh and young and innocent – childlike. That’s what meditation is, and that’s what brings tremendous intelligence to you: to face every moment with a totally new response not borrowed from the past.

The most important thing… if you want to remember, if you are addicted to remembering and if you find it difficult, then don’t be bothered about where you come from; then be bothered about where you are going to. That is better. At least that will keep you open, searching, hoping. Why cling to graves, and why be a digger of graves? Your memory system is nothing but a graveyard. Try to live without memory, and see how life becomes suddenly fresh. Every face looks so new… you can even fall in love with your own wife.

Be happy! And next time when somebody asks you from where you are coming, just ask him: “From where does everybody else come?” – nobody knows. And nobody knows where we are going.

Still, the going is good, we are enjoying. Who cares about the beginning and the end? The real thing is in-between – the pilgrimage.

I want to make your pilgrimage a bliss, a benediction, without any goal and without any source.

Osho, The Golden Future, Ch 28, Q 2 (excerpt)

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