Inner View · Reminders to self · Words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

Forgetting and Remembering

A new post in the series – Reminders to self

Sometimes going through one’s old writings, journals, diaries can be an incredibly learning experience. It makes one recall and perhaps even renew for oneself the insight, the wisdom of the moment that had expressed itself in those words from years ago.

Often there is a definite reason why one is led to a particular old scribbling. Perhaps it is time to remember something important, really remember. Perhaps it is time to re-dedicate oneself. Perhaps one needs a reminder. A reminder to remember.

Sometimes old scribblings take on new forms. Not necessarily because the writer has grown wiser, but more because the writer is seeking a greater clarity inside. This seeking is also a reminder. A reminder to not forget to seek.

A newer outer form also becomes a reminder. A reminder to remember and offer.


“Although his ego claims the world for its use,
Man is a dynamo for the cosmic work;
Nature does most in him, God the high rest:
Only his soul’s acceptance is his own.”

In our egoistic journeys through life, as we go through various trials and tribulations, ups and downs, we generally forget that we are constantly being protected, pushed, guided and led by powers and forces beyond us, beyond our highest intellectual capabilities that we normally use to govern our lives, our choices and decisions. We may call these higher powers or forces by any name. We may call it the Divine.

In our ignorant intellectual debates on free will and destiny, we forget that in the ultimate analysis we are only instruments of a Cosmic Plan, and though blessed with a free will we have been put here on this earth to fulfil a tiny little part of His Grand Goal. We forget that we are here to manifest in our small ways His Divine Will, to play our little part in His Lila.

“Often our thoughts are finished cosmic wares
Admitted by a silent office gate
And passed through the subconscient’s galleries,
Then issued in Time’s mart as private make.
For now they bear the living person’s stamp;
A trick, a special hue claims them his own.
All else is Nature’s craft and this too hers.
Our tasks are given, we are but instruments;
Nothing is all our own that we create:
The Power that acts in us is not our force.”

We forget, therefore we have to remember.


Because we are steeped in the Ignorance of our lower nature, enslaved by the prison of our physical-vital-mental selves, we forget that we are not really doing anything that we think we are doing. So we have to remember that even in our blind ignorance it is the Nature’s Will manifesting itself through the outward actions being done through our hands and minds. We forget that we only have a responsibility for our actions and no claim on their outcome.

“Even Nature’s ignorance is Truth’s instrument;
Our struggling ego cannot change her course:
Yet is it a conscious power that moves in us,
A seed-idea is parent of our acts
And destiny the unrecognised child of Will.
Infallibly by Truth’s directing gaze
All creatures here their secret self disclose,
Forced to become what in themselves they hide.
For He who Is grows manifest in the years
And the slow Godhead shut within the cell
Climbs from the plasm to immortality.
But hidden, but denied to mortal grasp,
Mystic, ineffable is the spirit’s truth,
Unspoken, caught only by the spirit’s eye.
When naked of ego and mind it hears the Voice;
It looks through light to ever greater light
And sees Eternity ensphering Life.”

We forget all this and that’s why we are quick to take all the credit for the success of our actions and put all the blame on to the Divine or Nature if there is failure (or cry about our Bad Luck!). So we have to remember and offer all work to the Divine with no concern whatsoever for the outcome. We know we must do this, but still we don’t, we can’t.

We don’t do it because we forget.

We forget that all this is Hers, so we have to remember to offer it all to Her. We forget that we are only children of Hers struggling in Ignorance, so we have to remember that only Her Force and Her Grace can help us crawl out of this Ignorance and show us the Light.

“All stumbled on behind a stumbling Guide,
Yet every stumble is a needed pace
On unknown routes to an unknowable goal.
All blundered and straggled towards the One Divine.”

Perhaps there is a deeper necessity for this forgetfulness because all is part of the Divine Plan.

“This world was not built with random bricks of Chance,
A blind god is not destiny’s architect;
A conscious power has drawn the plan of life,
There is meaning in each curve and line.”

We are perhaps led to this forgetfulness so we may focus on the external world and all the actions that we must pursue. It is this action in the outer world that allows us to manifest and express outwardly what we may have experienced as part of an inward growth, whatever little that may be.

“This world is God fulfilled in outwardness.”

Without the outward action we may not be able to translate any inner change into a concrete and sustained transformation. Without a reasonable dose of forgetfulness we may not be fully immersed in the outward action; without such an immersion an identification with the task may not be there and without which the task may not become a natural expression or outpouring of whatever part in us that has begun the journey of a deeper, wider and upward progress.


In the ultimate analysis, this simultaneous inner and outer journey is what helps us correct the multiple defects of the different parts of our physical-vital-mental nature. Only this can over time lead to a dynamic change of our outer nature which is essential for our evolutionary process. And for the purpose of our individual growth, this ‘back and forth’ between the outward external action and an inward redirecting of energies is what keeps us ‘testing’ for ourselves whether we are really changing. And for that we are given this experience of forgetfulness.

But we must remember that we are also given the ability to remember. We are given this because we must remember what we forget. It is this remembrance that takes us back inward. To the inner chambers where all journey is supposed to take us.

And yet we forget to remember, we forget to offer. We forget and we keep forgetting it more and more in our forgetfulness. It is as if we are lost in our own forgetfulness. The journey is long, but it begins as all journeys begin, with the first step. And that first step is remembrance.

Remember and Offer.

Verses from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo
Photos by Suhas Mehra
To see previous post in the series, Reminders to self, click here.
To see all posts in the series, click here.

6 thoughts on “Forgetting and Remembering

  1. I enjoy reminiscing because there are some great stories and lessons 🙂
    But, to stay steeped in the past without letting go is indeed harmful!

  2. Yes, Mina, I have that feeling too at times. But this old writing which took a new form for this post was different. It was something I needed to read because it had important lessons for me.

  3. Pixie, yes I agree, letting go is important. But not before we have learnt well what the past is supposed to teach us 🙂 We have to let go of the outer form of the past which is no longer useful, but hold on to the essence of that experience if it can help us move to a new future. No?

  4. What a thought-provoking post Beloo. In grief and pain, we pray for better times. But in better times, we forget to thank Her conveniently.

    We must remember not only to offer to Her, but also mankind and ourselves. After all, service to man is service to God.

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