recollections. You just keep looking at the flames, and let your recollections drift by. Ha-ha-ha. This is a small trick: I am looking at the flames, while my recollections are recalling themselves, and my thoughts are thinking themselves. And I have nothing to do with them! I'm just looking…
The worst thing of all - is when you start to fight with your thoughts or recollections. You have to let them go their own way. And you must remain yourself; remain your own master, so to say.
But not all your thoughts have so far obeyed this rule. Some of them can be very painful and take hold of you. There is no appropriate English word for such thoughts. I will call them "again livings". Do you know such a thing as again and again living some event in your memory? I don't know if you understand what I'm talking about. Not all languages are equally adept at explaining such things. In the Ancient Language, which we spoke, you and me, when we were… oh, wait, what am I about!? Forget it, I get so carried away sometimes. And what was I going to say? I wanted to say that our language is young, but there were others, spoken in other worlds. For example, in ancient Persia there was a God of Evil named Angro-Mainjoo. He was also called Achree-Mann. And do you know the translation of his name? A malicious, angry spirit-person. In English it sounds like "Angry-man". You can plainly see that English has preserved some small pieces of the Ancient Language.
And in Russian, for example, there still exists a word "vedat' "- which means "to know". But the same word is used to name the most ancient books of mankind - Vedas.
This means that our modern languages still retain some pieces of the language that you once employed in writing down passwords for your recollections. It is possible to restore those records, sometimes by means of one language, sometimes with the help of another.
And these "again livings" are easier to understand through a Russian word. The Russian language has preserved a lot of magic, almost as much as Sanskrit. In Russian it sounds like "perezhivanie". What does it mean? It is a state of mind in which we are excited, worried, nervous, suffering from something. Something to that effect. And if we look at the corresponding verb "perezhivat'", we will see two stems: "pere" and "zhivat' ".
… "Zhivat' " - means "to live". And "perezhivat' " means to be able to survive after some disaster has overwhelmed you - over-live something.
And "pere" means carrying something over something, letting something pass beneath and overleaping it. "Pere" - means something like cutting out a piece of space, time or feeling.
"Pereterpet' " - ("terpet' " - to endure some pain) means to live until a time when no pain is left.
"Pereprignut' "- exactly like English overleap means to overcome some obstacle - a pit or a stone - with a jump, meaning that you don't walk on it, but in some way fly over it.
And, in just the same way, "perezhivat' " means, if you look at it closely, that you have passed as if above something that had made you feel pain. And the fact that in the base of each "again living" lies a Pain - you know that. There, inside of a recollection that we call an "again living" - lives your Pain. It is the pain that doesn't let you forget what has happened. And you keep on coming back to it in your memory, keep living through it over and over again, until you discover that you have passed through it, and have survived.
But there's one more thing you still don't see. Each time you are afraid to peer into the place where real pain lives. You pass above it; you do not pass through your pain, but go around it, you do not live, but wait till the-pain-is-over-and-over-live-it.
Why do we create these "again livings" for ourselves? And it is us who is doing it to ourselves. We are quite good at it! Because the pain and humiliation that other people often cause us is so unbearable, that if we had looked at them with our eyes open, we could've never endured it, and so would've had to die. Each time it is our defeat. And that means that a battle exists in which we were defeated… With such humiliation and such offence - it is impossible to go on living.
But we must keep living. And we find a way to survive in places where survival is impossible. Like spiders, we spin around the offensive image a membrane of our own consciousness - obscured and opaque - and hide these cocoons in the depths of our memory. And around such a cocoon we build a bridge and join together the edges of our torn life. We should live right through it, from the very beginning to the end. But our life's fabric consists of such jagged holes, with cocoons of terrible pain hanging in them and bridges of "again living" built over them.
That's because our battle is real, and every defeat was followed by death. But that is another tale.
Do you like bridges my friend? It is so pleasant to stand on a bridge for a while and look at the water flowing down below. It is pleasant both during the day and by starlight. Then tiny unknown planets can reflect in the water, the ones that you can't even see in the sky. Do you know why that happens?
It's because the waters that you are looking at from the bridges of your "again livings", my friend - they are really the flow of you life. And all this together: the paths, the gaps, the cocoons of pain, the bridges - is the fabric of your
destiny… but go on, keep sleeping, just stop staring at me like that! This is only a fairy tale. I'm telling it to you just for a nightcap. Close your eyes, sleep tight… What a restless child you are… It's all because of that damned fireplace, you shouldn't stare at it before bedtime. This fun is not for kids!