Eliot Weinberger, To Be Continued

“Memory,” says Plotinus, “is for those who have forgotten.” The gods have no memory because they know no time, have no need to fight against time, have no fragments of what has been lost to recollect, to re-collect. In India, with its vast stretches of time, with its same lives appearing and appearing again, there is no distinction between learning and remembering. You knew it in your past lives, you have always known it, to learn is to re-mind yourself, bring yourself back into the mind of universal knowledge. Says the Jaiminiya Upanishad: “It is the unknown that you should remember.” And more: It is the unknown that makes you remember, and its trigger is smell, the vasana.