To forget that one is forgetful is to become a fool

We may know people who are notoriously forgetful. They forget scheduled meetings and when we exasperatedly call them, they reply predictably, “I forgot.” If we have to work with them, we have to stop expecting them to remember. Instead, we need to remember that they won’t remember and that we need to send them the necessary reminders. If we forget that they are forgetful, we end up becoming fools.

The mind often makes a similar fool out of us. When we are scheduled to do something important but demanding, say study or meditate, we may get on with the activity physically as per schedule. But the laggard mind just doesn’t turn up. Though we do that activity externally, nothing substantial gets done. We stare at the book for an hour, but nothing goes into the head. And we feel like a fool for having wasted our time.

Unfortunately, we don’t realize that the problem is the mind – it has stood us up, once again. Instead, we label the activity as boring or ourselves as dumb. Our misdiagnosis aggravates the problem.

Gita wisdom can protect us from such misdiagnosis. It acts as an inner torchlight for understanding how the forgetful mind makes us forgetful. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (06.25) indicates that to focus the mind, we need intelligence sustained by conviction. Such convinced intelligence is the fruit of diligent scriptural study. Equipped with an alert intelligence, we note the activities for which the mind is likely to play truant and take the effort to remind the mind. If we regularly and analytically remind ourselves of the importance of what we are doing, such intellectually reinforced reminders ensure that the mind turns up on time.

When we remember to get the mind with us, our attention translates our activity into productivity.

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