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So why don't we remember everything?

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Expressions researched:
"So why don't we remember everything"


Philosophy Discussions

Because you are not trained. Forgetful I do not understand. What do you mean?
Philosophy Discussion on Sigmund Freud:

Śyāmasundara: His idea is that certain memories or painful experiences or frustrations or desires are sometimes repressed by forgetfulness. We forget them. They lie deep in our unconscious, but we cannot even remember them because they cause pain by their memory. This mechanism is called defense mechanism, forgetfulness.

Prabhupāda: No. That is not possible. There is the system that is yogic process, mechanical system to control the senses. Yoga (indistinct). Yoga means to control the senses. Yoga indriya saṁyama. So by this mechanical process of yogic exercises, one can (indistinct). One may artificially check, suppress, these tendencies, but we have many instances that even the greatest yogis like (indistinct) also failed. Our process is as it is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartante. You give him a better thing, he will forget it.

Śyāmasundara: Sometimes people forget experiences which cause them pain. For instance, a child may have had a very frightening experience which he does not like to recall, so that he forgets it. But the cause of his forgetting is that it causes an unhealthy state.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore we do not recommend such artificial means.

Śyāmasundara: But it's not artificial; naturally the...

Prabhupāda: Not natural. The child forgets... Our formula is bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syāt. This fearfulness is created when one is not Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is a quality of the conditioned soul. Īśād apetasya viparyayo 'smṛtiḥ. So as soon as one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, these things become almost nil. Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28). One who is God conscious doesn't fear anything. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. Such a giant, his giant father, is threatening him. He is calm and (indistinct). He doesn't care for his father's (indistinct). His father is asking, "Prahlāda, how is it that you are so proud and fearless when I am trying to chastise you?" But he replied, "The person who has given me this power is protecting me." That was his answer. "You have power because it is gifted by Kṛṣṇa. So that same personality is giving me protection." He replied that.

Śyāmasundara: You say it's artificial to forget anything?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: Forgetfulness is artificial?

Prabhupāda: Artificial.

Śyāmasundara: So why don't we remember everything?

Prabhupāda: Because you are not trained. Forgetful I do not understand. What do you mean?

Śyāmasundara: Forgetfulness means loss of memory. I can't remember what happened when I was four or five years old.

Prabhupāda: You might explain in your past life you had so many fearful incidents even, but you are not afraid of now. Why should you try to forget? There is no use of forgetting. Even if I remember I am not afraid, rather I thank Kṛṣṇa, that "Kṛṣṇa, you are so kind that You have saved me from so many misgivings. Now (indistinct) I am pure (indistinct)." So one should not be frightened by these past incidents. He rather (indistinct) afraid of all these things... (indistinct)

Śyāmasundara: What he is talking about is the natural instinct of people to forget painful experiences.

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) forget. Just like you were in the womb of your mother. It was a very painful situation. But you have forgotten. That is natural.

Śyāmasundara: So it's not artificial?

Prabhupāda: No. But when you were in the womb of your mother, that's a fact. Now when you think of it you can understand how horrible condition was that. Therefore śāstra says that even if you have forgotten, it does not mean that you have escaped the incidents. It is that you are waiting for another painful situation like that.

Śyāmasundara: His idea is that many of our present unconscious wishes and conflicts have their origin in infantile or childhood experiences.

Prabhupāda: You are going to be again (indistinct). Why you forget Kṛṣṇa? After this life, you will be put in another womb of mother, so that the same thing will again happen. You are not finishing your business, so therefore it is the duty of guru and father and mother to save him from that situation again. Pitā na sa syāt, gurur na sa syāt, na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum. So that is the opportunity of this human life. They should know that I had such-and-such bad experience. (indistinct), I will also experience the same thing again at the time of death, horrible situation. Again after, again enter, bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). You have to again take birth in the womb. The same situation is repeating. You may forget. That is another thing. Just like you had some surgical operation in your body. That was very painful. So even if you have forgotten, that does not guarantee that there will be no more (indistinct) and no more surgical operation. That is not (indistinct). It will be put again. What is the use of forgetting? Even if you do forget, what is the benefit of thereof?

Śyāmasundara: He says there is no benefit of forgetting, but it is a natural tendency.

Prabhupāda: That is natural, and everyone knows that's not a very (indistinct).

Śyāmasundara: So he says that the cure for many of our present conflicts is to try to recall these painful experiences and analyze them and try to correct them.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: Just like for instance a person may have a hatred toward a member of the opposite sex. Why is this hatred? By tracing back in his childhood we may find that there was some horrible experience with his father or with his mother which caused him to hate that particular sex.

Prabhupāda: Just like if some woman does not like to give birth to a child...

Śyāmasundara: Because she was repressed when she was a child, or beaten by her father...

Prabhupāda: Not only that. A person does not like to bear children; therefore this contraceptive method is there. It is botheration, painful. It is called pain. (indistinct) (indistinct) means pain. So nature is prohibiting that, (indistinct), child delivery, so the man is also given so much trouble. The woman is also given so much trouble. So why is the trouble there? The (indistinct) for everything is don't be implicated in this sex life. If you simply tolerating a little itching sensation, then you will not have so much pain. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham (SB 7.9.45). These ordinary men who are attached to the materialistic way of life, their only happiness is this sexual intercourse. So śāstra says this happiness derived from sexual intercourse is very, very insignificant. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham. This is not happiness. It is very (indistinct) third class or even lower than happiness. But because we have no idea of other happiness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the materialistic way of life, that is the happiness. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham. That is a very insignificant happiness. Then how is this happiness experienced? Kaṇḍūyanena karayor iva duḥkha-duḥkham. You have got itching, and if you scratch like this, so you get some happiness, but aftereffects of that happiness is very abominable. So even if you have legal sex, the mother has to undergo the labor pains and the father has to take responsibility for raising the children nicely, give them education. Of course, one who is irresponsible like cats and dogs, that is another thing. But those who are actually gentlemen, for them it is not painful. Therefore they are avoiding children by contraceptive methods, because they know to raise children is a very difficult job. So śāstra's injunction is simply to try to tolerate this itching sensation and you save so much pain. This is real psychology. That itching sensation can be tolerated if one practices this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then you will not be very much attracted by this sex life.

MadhuGopaldas +  and Rishab +
July 31, 0011 JL +
February 5, 0013 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 1 +, Conv: 0 +  and Let: 0 +