This is an extract from ‘The Enlightened Gardener’ by Sydney Banks. It is the story of four practicing psychologist’s who are hoping to gain some new insight about the nature of the human mind that can be shared with their respective clients. The revelations they seek do not come from the “experts” at a conference they are attending, but from Andy, a wise and mysterious groundskeeper:
I asked Andy why he once made a statement that going back into the past to fix today’s problems was like psychological suicide.
Wiping his hands on his pants legs, he said, “I realize I’m not educated like you doctors, but common sense tells me that those past experiences no longer actually exist. Only in memory do they remain alive. Only in here, “he said , pointing to his head.
Tom objected, “Surely our past traumatic experiences were real?”
“Yes, Tom they were a reality when they happened. But now they only exist in our minds, as memories; they are only pictures embedded in our consciousness.
My advice Tom is:
Tread not into yesterday’s sorrows,
For they are the pathway of despair.
“Try to be more charitable and open to change,” Andy continued.
“Allow yourself to live without yesterday’s burdens on your mind and it will make today a more pleasant experience.
I realize that, at times, past experiences may appear as realistic representations, but they are not real now. They are merely memories. Don’t you see that holding on to such harmful memories and feelings – and constantly retrieving them from the archives of your mind so that you can revisit them- holds you a prisoner of your now- departed past?”
pages75,76 Chapter 9, Forgiveness,
The Enlightened Gardener,
(Many thanks to Carl for sharing)