Acharya Prashant is dedicated to building a brighter future for you
How to heal the wounds of past? || (2018)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
15 min
125 reads

Acharya Prashant (AP): You see, you are a human being. It is neither possible nor advisable for you to just give up on the past. The body is nothing but a flow of the past stretching over time. So you can't just wish away the past, it won’t happen. If the past is bothering you, why not live in a way that resolves the past? The past is shrieking, calling for attention, demanding completion. Why are you denying it the space, the attention, the completion that it deserves? You have a festering wound on your arm. You are carrying it for two weeks, and it's deteriorating by the day. What is it calling for? Treatment. But influenced by the neo-spiritual cult of living in the moment, you say that "I don't want to look at the past. All this is coming from the past. The wound belongs to the past. I don't want to look at the wound."

Why don't you want to look at the wound? Do you want to imagine that it has disappeared? Let's be practical. For you, the one who is talking, the one who is questioning and seeking solutions, does the wound not exist? Let's talk reality, does it exist or not? Then why do you want to imagine and act as if it does not?

It does, and living in the moment does not mean denying the past. Living in the moment, living in the present, to be more accurate, means living in the one who is ever-present—living in the one who is omnipresent—living in the Truth. And how can you live in the Truth and simultaneously deny the fact? To live in the Truth is to live in an unconditional acknowledgment of the fact, and the wound is the fact that you can't dismiss. The wound does exist. In the backdrop of the wound, what is it then to live in the present? What kind of action does that demand? Please.

You are a person carrying a wound from the past, and the wound is still open. Is the wound healed and closed? No, and you are someone who honestly, sincerely wants to live truthfully. Now, what should such a person do to treat the wound? That is what living in the present means, to not be oblivious of the fact. To not hide away from the fact. And facts don't just pop up in the moment. You may perceive the fact right now. But the fact belongs to a long, complicated unknowable stream of network, of causes and effects. Does it not?

The wounds come from a network of places. It does not just come from one single reason. You can never accurately pinpoint where the wound comes from. But what is certain is that reason does exist in the past that led to the appearance of the wound. So the wound does have something to do with the past, and that past is open and crying. That past is unresolved and calling for closure. That is the righteous action, that is the right thing to do.

So what then is the meaning of living in the present? Either heal the wound of the past or find something that is so very immense that you forget the wounds. Only these two possibilities, and this is so very commonsensical and practical. Is it not? If I am a fellow carrying a wound what do I do?

If I am in the company of something beautiful, something immense, something utterly important, then I let the wound wait. I say, "You are not important something else deserves my time, energy, and attention." And then you just ignore it. Don't you? We all know that right? You have a headache, but there is something more important than the headache. Don't you attend to that which is more important? Or you just hold your head and coolly relax back. You don't always do that. One does have discretion, one knows what to value over the others. Or the second right possibility is to attend to the wound and heal it. What most of the living in the momentists, that too is a cult, living in the moment, living in the now. So what do the nowists and present momentists do? The wound is there, bleeding, oozing pus, open, ready to turn into something septic, ready to turn into gangrene. But they are trying to entertain themselves with potato chips. They are trying to forget the open wounds of the past by watching the latest Friday flick. They are trying to ignore the wound of the past by engaging themselves in gossips or family or friends or kids.

Please see what is it that they are not doing. Firstly they are not honest towards the wound. They are not healing the wound. Secondly, they are not even honest towards the Truth. Do they have something so very important with them that they must ignore the wound? No, all they have is potato wafers! So what is the condition of such people? Neither are they healing their wounds, nor are they committing themselves to something valuable and immense. In fact, the kind of life that they are leading would only lead to more and more wounds, a proliferation of wounds, a body dotted with wounds.

In the name of living in the present, don't forget the facts of your life. A time bomb is ticking behind my back. Should I say, "No, it belongs to the past because it was set to explode an hour back"? An hour back it was set to explode after an hour. At 1 pm, it was set to explode at 2 pm. Right now, it is 1:58 pm and you are saying the time bomb belongs to the past. It belongs to 1 pm. It has been ticking for long. "I will not care for it. I live in the present moment. I live in the now. And right now, I have my potato chips to take care of. Don't indulge in such rhetorical foolishness. Sounds good as a lecture. Sounds good as a best seller. But it would land you in deep trouble and suffering.

Remember one golden rule, the past can't be wished away. If you had had your lunch, you must pay the bill. I said that in Bangalore as well. You can't say, "The lunch belonged to 1 pm, and right now it is 3 pm why must I pay the bill?" Sorry, this is not a spiritual argument. It is not even an honest argument. You are just using spirituality as quackery. You are trying to deceive the hotel as well as yourself. If you have unsettled bills from the past, you will have to pay them.

You can't say, "The past belongs to the past, I live only in the present". Sorry. If the past belongs to the past, then why do you accept interests on your fixed deposit? When did you deposit that money? In the past. And when is the interest accruing to you? Today. Why do you accept that interest?

There are people who talk of the great capacities of the now. You write a book praising and worshipping the now, and for ten years, you have been accepting royalties. Have you written the book just now? Then why are you accepting the royalties for something that you did in the past? When was your book published? Ten years back. And when are you accepting the royalty? Today.

Spirituality doesn't mean an absence of common sense. Spirituality is supersense. Spirituality is beyond common sense. But unfortunately, that which is beyond common sense is taken as something below common sense. There is a difference between transcending common sense and not even having common sense. Most spiritualists, in the name of spirituality, do not transcend common sense; they fall even below the common sense. Below common sense is non-sense.

If you have leftovers from the past. Clean them. In Zen, they say, "If you have had your food, clean the plate." You can't say, "I have had my food, the food was had in the past, so why should I clean the plate?" No, if you had your food, clean the plate. You can't just walk away. Neither can you walk away, nor can you walk out. Very difficult.

Settle your bills and then you are free. Or find something so big, so total that you are ready to die for it. And if you are ready to die for it then your wounds don't matter. Right? You can die with your wounds. And if you die, then your wounds too die. And we talked of death too.

Please get to the depth of the matter. If you want to live and live free, then settle your bills and heal your wounds or find something so very infinite, unlimited, beautiful, and lovely that you are prepared to instantaneously die for it. And then you can ignore your wounds because if you die, then the wounds too die.

So there are these two methods. For the ones who don't have the courage to die right now. The method is to heal the wound and settle the bills. And those who are prepared to die right now, only they can ignore the wounds. Then you can say, "I am going to behead myself". Oh! Not in a literal but spiritual way. "I am going to behead myself, and if I am going to behead myself, why do I need to take care of my wounds and debts and headaches and the stains of my shirt? All of these will die along with me. I am totally giving up on my past. I am dying to the life there was. I am dying to the life that I have so far lived. I would be born anew. I would be born as the son of god. I would reappear again as the truthful one."

"I have totally and absolutely seen that the wounds are a dream. I have totally and absolutely seen that the bills are a dream. And if the bills are a dream why settle them? If the wounds are a dream why heal them?" But don't try to act smart. Don't be dishonest. You can't say that the bills are a dream, but the food is not a dream. You can’t say that the wounds are a dream, but the body isn't a dream. It would be such an absurd thing. The wounds on the body you are claiming as dream stuff, but the same body you are very serious about. That body you are taking to be real. That you can't do. Please.

So either come to a point where you start seeing everything as unreal, obviously including yourself: your ego, body, and your entire life. When you start seeing everything as unreal and first of all yourself as unreal, then you are in a position to ignore the bills. Then you have totally and truly died. Now no obligation is valid upon you. Now no obligation chains you. Now you are going, going, disappearing, dying.

This is spiritual death and it can happen only in the face of, we said, something extremely beautiful, captivating, something Krishna like. Something so powerful, it demands the whole of you. And then you can forget the wounds, the bills, the food, the body, the Ego, the life, all your stories can be then forgotten. But if you still have not found something so very captivating, enamoring, then the way for you is to just attend the wound and heal it.

Do you get these two possibilities? Are they very clear? Look honestly at your condition and decide which of these possibilities would work for you. But do not go for the third possibility. The third possibility is to have the wounds and remain busy with potato chips. The third possibility is dishonest and dangerous.

Unfortunately, a lot of spirituality today is about that third way. I strongly advise you to reject the third way.

Questioner: As you said, I have still not found a captivating one. So my method should be the first one. But, in this first method, there is no clarity when I am trying to treat the wound. I am getting messed up in the cause and effects and what caused the wound. In a tension not to get wounded again and all this. So when you proposed, when I heard about the second method, it’s a more alluring method, but I have not found it.

AP: I would advise you to firstly try healing the wounds. You see, the second method is the more alluring method, more absolute method. To find truth and just dissolve in it—one medicine to everything, one short death full stop. You have just switched on the light, and the dreams have disappeared in a split second. All the nightmares, all the demons in the nightmares are gone, vanished.

So it is the one great recipe, but I would still not ask you to go for it. Please understand the reason. Because that recipe can't be obtained by you. That recipe comes to you as a blessing, that recipe gets showered upon you on its own as a benediction. You can't claim it or target it. It is not within your reach. It comes to you as grace. How will you try for it? How will you choose that option? That option is beyond your choice. It comes to you on its own when you are ready.

Which option is within the purview of your choice? Heal the wound. And if you are sincere in healing the wound, a time comes when the wound is healed, and you are gone. You see, ordinarily, when the wound is healed, then you live longer. In the world of the saints, when the wounds are healed, then you immediately die because this mass (Pointing towards his body) is nothing but a big wound. If it is healed fully, you will stop breathing. You will stop breathing in the way you currently breathe.

So the ordinary men of flesh and blood, they want to heal their wounds so that they may live longer, and the wise man wants to heal the inner wound. What is the inner wound? What is the psychic wound? The Ego. The Ego is the one big wound that we live with, that we live as. The wise man wants to heal that wound so that he disappears. The wound is healed, and now where is the sick one? When the wound is healed where is the wounded one, the sick one? Dead, gone (laughs).

So that is what you could do on your own. Try that. And if you say, as you have just said, that you have been unable to heal the wound, then go to a doctor, visit the non-physician. For physical wounds, one visits a physician. For non-physical wounds, one visit a non-physician. What is the way to die? Heal your wounds. ‘Jiss marne se jagg dare mero mann anand. Kab mariyo kab bhetiyo puran parmanand.’

Have you benefited from Acharya Prashant's teachings?
Only through your contribution will this mission move forward.
Donate to spread the light
View All Articles
AP Sign
Namaste 🙏🏼
How can we help?