The ‘normal’ mind finds intelligence repulsive || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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Speaker : My mind, this brain resists all what you say, it does not find it attractive, there is no interest it sees here. What do I do?

I am so sure that this is a question not particular to him, there are so many others here who face the same question. And if you do not face this question then you are abnormal, really. Believe me. The normal person, the normal mind will always find the truth, the reality, the action of intelligence a little repulsive. Understand this.

What does the brain want? We are going into this very, very directly, almost technically. The brain is a programmed apparatus coming from evolution and all it wants is security. All it wants is security. Security, in the sense of a continuation of its existence. A continuation of the way it already is. Now please write down, Brain versus Intelligence. Make two columns, one is Brain and other is Intelligence. Number one, the chief concern of the brain is security. Now, how does it demand security and what is the meaning of security? Understand this.

Security for the brain means that the things must be as they were in the past. You see, the brain sees that it is alive today, it exists today and it has come here after journeying such a long distance. So its logic is that the past must be good and the proof that the past is good is that ‘I still exist’. Had the past been really bad then I would have been extinct by now. Past was good and that is the reason I have survived till today. That is the brain’s logic. The past was good. Everything taken together, it was nice and hence I have come till here otherwise I would have evaporated by now. So what does it say? It says that the future must also be like the past because the past was safe and secure. That is the meaning of security for the brain. Now the brain wants security and for the sake of security, it wants to repeat all that it has experienced in the past and any attempt to move away from that is resisted by the brain, is deeply resisted by the brain. I hope you are getting the significance of all this ?

The brain exists in a particular pre-conditioned fashion and if a new course comes to you or anything happens that tries to show you that this is mechanical, this is dull, you have been a slave then the brain will try to resist it. Then the brain says, “do not tell me that I am a slave”. “I want to be like this because there is great deal of safety and security in this”. “You see, at least I am alive till today, at least I exist”. So the brain resists. Forget about finding an interest, the brain gets violent. If you really start knowing, the brain can get very,very violent.

I will give you an example. Let us take an example of a religious fanatic; a suicide bomber who has been deeply conditioned into believing that such and such is the truth. He has been conditioned into believing that hatred is justified, that killing is good, that one kind of religion or thought is the right thought or the right religion and everything else is bogus and the non-believers deserve to be killed. Suppose he has been deeply conditioned to believe in all this. Take the example of a teenager terrorist, he is your age, deeply conditioned into believing something. Now if this fellow comes in front of another fellow who tells him all your believes are bogus, you have been made a slave and you are loosing your precious life and you are not acting intelligently and you see where beliefs come from, they are not yours, others are commanding you, why should a young man like you become a slave? What do you think that teenager will do?

Listener : He will kill him.

Speaker : Yes and that is the way of the brain. Forget about not finding it interesting, it can go to another extent. Had you been conditioned a little more strongly you would have actually become violent and we have experienced this. Because we do this day in day out, so we do experience violent reactions sometime. Because, you know somebody has been living his life in a particular way and when all of a sudden he learns that it has been a waste then a great hatred arises. What he says is, “do not tell this to me…do not tell this to me”. “I do not want to listen to all this”. “At least I have been living a safe and secure life”. He does not want to hear the truth. But then in not hearing the truth, do we want to remain that teenager like? I know that’s an extreme example but anybody who is conditioned is him.

Intelligence does not demand security. Intelligence is intrinsically secure. So while the brain is deeply insecure, intelligence is always deeply secure. Because the brain is insecure it doggedly avoids the new. Will someone tell me why the brain avoids the new?

Listener : Because it is not present in the past and it is new to it.

Speaker : Yes. If something is new then surely it is not coming from the past. It is not a part of the past. What is the brain?

Listener : A collection of the past.

Speaker : Good. The brain seeks security in the past. So the moment it encounters the new, what happens to the brain? It is afraid. So the brain avoids the new whereas intelligence always lives in the new. Intelligence has nothing to do with the past. Intelligence is new, fresh and alive. It is right now just as you all exist right now. The database may be old but your existence is in this moment. Is it or is it not?

All Listeners : Yes sir.

Speaker : So intelligence is always in this moment; the present whereas the brain is always wandering in the past or in the future. So, write down brain : memories and hopes. Brain is always roaming about in memories or in the hopes. Whereas the entire act of intelligence is in the present, in this moment. The action of intelligence is in attention because this moment demands your presence and presence is attention. This moment demands your complete presence.The brain loves to be distracted, it loves to be lost. Lost in the memories, coolly in the past, that’s’ where I belong!  Life is right now and the brain loves to be in memories. It finds a safe heaven there. And by being in memories one misses out on life because life is right now. So, Intelligence: attention and Brain: distraction. Because the brain loves to be lost. It loves to be asleep, totally in dreams! Memories, hopes or dreams!

See if a man is habituated to remaining lost, to remaining intoxicated and you take away that intoxicant from him then he resists. If you have been sleeping, blissfully ignorant of the reality outside, if some one comes and wakes you up, the process of waking up is the process of intelligence, remaining asleep is the brain’s function. If you are sleeping and someone wakes you up, obviously, initially one does not find wakefulness to be interesting. You resist it, you say, “go away, let me sleep, I am peacefully sleeping”.  And you think its a great nuisance, why has somebody come over and is trying to wake me up.  “What nuisance, leave me alone, go away, let me sleep”.

But then life is when you are awake, really awake, not in your dreams but in reality and then there is joy, energy, movement, action only when you are awake. So initially you will resist it a little. Some of you may not find it interesting that why are we being told all this. Whenever you see that this type of thought is arising, just catch, Oh silly brain !, again seeking security, it is again afraid. The brain is always afraid because it is always seeking security. It just wants to be! See that is the reason why all is want is preservation of the body. That is its first concern that the body must not go away and second thing that it wants is that it you must produce a lot of kids that is why all this sexual energy is arising.

Security: a continuation of my physical existence because the brain itself is physical; a continuation of the physically existence. So this body should be safe and secure. It should do just as it has been conditioned to, programmed to and after this body is gone I should still exist in the form of offspring, kids. So that is the reason why nature wants only two things from you. Nature has no interest in your growth and development. All that nature wants is that you should preserve your body and produce a lot of kids. That is what every animal does. Have you seen the instincts of the animals? That is what they want! One, it wants to be alive, it wants to remain alive, secure and second, it reproduces a lot. That is what we all have been conditioned to do. That is what the brain wants. But you are a human being. You deserve far more than that. But the brain will not find all this interesting. Never! So next time when you do not find it interesting, you know what it is all about. Dirty old brain, playing dirty old tricks! Trying to avoid attention! Is that clear?

All Listeners : Yes sir.

Speaker : Alright!


Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: The ‘normal’ mind finds intelligence repulsive || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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