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Speaker: The question is, ‘how do I improve my decision making power?’
Probably everybody here has written down their questions. All of you have something on your notepads to ask. But many of you are still in the process of deciding which question to ask, when to ask and how to ask. They are thinking that let a few people ask, then I will be able to sense this man’s response and accordingly, I will decide whether or not to raise a question. ‘Let me play a little safe. Let me also see if Hindi is permissible, then I will ask’. Most of us are caught in decision making, stuck in decision making. Many of you would remain stuck even after the session closes, they would still be deciding. Right now they are deciding whether or not to ask, then they would be deciding was it alright not to ask or did I miss out on an opportunity.
Indecision is our disease. Why are we indecisive? Because we always need to decide. How to get rid of indecision? It is simple. No decision, no indecision. The question of indecision is, ‘ Why I am unable to decide?’ The question of indecisiveness arises only when you have a decision to make. When you do not have a decision to make, the disease of indecisiveness is no more there. Isn’t it simple? Very simple, so simple that we cannot do anything about it.
Understand this. Do you think that I am weighing everything as I speak? Am I deciding what to say to you? Does it appear that way? What if I actually have to decide and speak? What would happen if I have to decide before I utter every syllable? What would happen? I would stammer, and then what else would I do? I would pause. And then what else would I do? I would speak in a limited way. And then what would I do? I would take a lot of time. And then what would happen? I would sound monotonous. And then what will happen? I will tell you what. I will soon faint and collapse if I have to keep deciding.
Decision making is such a burden upon the mind. Why do you want to decide? Tell me, why do you want to decide? Why can’t you just be? Why should there be decision making at all? Why can’t you just be and let it flow? You want to speak. Speak, what is there to decide? You want to walk. Walk, what is there to decide? You want to sleep. Sleep, what is there to decide? How many of you are deciding as you listen to me? And those who are deciding will not be listening. Keep deciding. After all, what is this life there for? To decide. To decide what? To live or not to live. What is life there for? To decide. And what are you deciding all the time? Something about life. Life is there, what are you deciding about it? Want to drink water, drink water. You don’t want to drink water, don’t drink water. What is there to decide? To listen or not to listen.
Have you seen that poster, in which there is this kid, probably, two months or six months of age and he appears extremely worried, his forehead is wrinkled and there is a lot of tension on his face? What does the poster say? It reads, ‘To be or not to be’. That little child is carrying so many burdens.
Understand this. Decision is a symptom of confusion. Only those who are confused, need to decide, others just know. When you are confused, only then there is a need to decide otherwise, you just know. And when you just know, who needs a decision, the decision is already made. When you just know, do you need to make a decision? The decision is already made, it is obvious, who needs to decide, who needs to think? It is obvious.
We talk about decision making power and all such stuff because we are confused, because we do not really know. The one who knows does not need to decide, that knowing is a great sureness, that knowing is a great confidence. ‘I am absolutely sure, who needs to decide’. When you are absolutely sure, do you still need to decide? When you are absolutely sure, there are no confusions because there are no choices. Decision making means that there are these choices and I need to decide which one to choose, which one to go for. That is what decision making is. What if there are no choices at all? Would decision making still be relevant? What if there are no choices at all? Do you still need to decide?
You need to go out of this room, how would you go out of this room? (Addresses one of the listeners) Monica, just walk up to the door. Now, walk out and come back. Come back. Monica, why didn’t you crack open some of these windows and jump out of them? Why didn’t you fly up to that door? Why didn’t you crawl your way up to that door? Why did you take that way? Why you did not walk in a circle across the entire class ten times and then go to that door? She could have thought about it for two hours. Great problem! ‘Friends, assist me. Papa, I need to go to the door, what should I do?’ When you know, you just do. When you know, action just happens or do you need to decide. Did she need to decide that how to walk up to that door? ‘Please give me some decision making power’. ‘Alright dear, here is this tablet. Have decision making power, else get your money back’.
(Addresses another student) What is your name? Komal. So, Komal you are absolutely blind, you know nothing about this room, somebody has brought you here and kept you in this room. Remember both the conditions- first one is that you are blind and blind means absolutely blind and second condition is that you know nothing about this room. Remember both of these. Now, Komal, get out of this room. You are blind. Close your eyes. You know nothing about the room. You are blind and blind means, I cannot see, I cannot know and second, I don’t know. Yes, go out of this room.
(The listener starts walking) How do you know that you have to move towards your right? Why not to go towards left? Move towards your left. (The same listener starts walking in a confused manner. She does not know in which direction to move. She is stuck in between). Ultimately, when she gets tired of finding her way around, groping, then she will have to ask for advice, help or she will take somebody’s hand to lead her to the door. She will have to decide a lot. Somebody can come to her and tell her that the only way out of this room is to blast away this roof and then attach yourself to a rocket and fly off. Or, some other well meaning advisor can come to her, some distant relative, some counselor and he will say that you know, you need to dig a tunnel to find a way out of this room. She will have to believe because she is blind, she does not know and she will have to take all kinds of advice. Somebody may tell her that you know, you may never ever go out, it is your fate to remain a prisoner forever in this room and she will have to believe. Why does she has to believe?
Now, Komal comes to attend HIDP sessions. ‘HIDP’ opens her eyes. Now, you know. Go out of this room again and come back. (The speaker claps) Magic, absolute magic. I have given eyes to somebody who already had eyes. There can be no bigger magic than this. To give eyes to a blind person is understandable, but to give eyes to a healthy one, who already has eyes is pure magic. But that is the magic we all need. We all have eyes and yet we all are behaving as if we are blind. We keep asking for help, we keep asking for assistance in decision making. How to make choices? What to do? What is right? What is wrong? And you all are troubled by these questions. Are you not? Whether to do it or not? First of all you ask, ‘what is the right thing to do?’ When told, then you ask, ‘should I do this?’ Very intelligent question. Why did you ask that what is the right thing to do if you still have to ask that should I do it or not? Then, if I say that yes, you should do it, you ask that how to do it.
I experience this, day-in and day-out with you people. First thing- what to do? Alright, here is this answer. Now, this is the right thing to do. Second thing-whether I should do it? Yes. Alright, now tell me how to do it. The door is that way. Please. Just open your eyes and no decision is needed. Things are obvious, just obvious. Your eyes are closed because you have decided to keep them closed. Your eyes are closed not because of someone else but because of your own beliefs, your own conditioning.
You are at this young age, so deeply mired in notions and concepts and lots of beliefs that there is hardly any difference between you and an uneducated, ignorant, and superstitious person. We know his superstition as superstition, but we do not know our superstition. When the uneducated person says that do not go out of the house today because today is a solar eclipse and if you go out then the Gods will get angry at you, then we laugh at him. What do we say? He is a superstitious man, because he is just believing without knowing.
What is superstition? To just believe without knowing. But then, don’t you all carry so many beliefs and keep believing in them as if they are eternal truths.’ I must have a job’. Why, exactly? I am not saying that do not have a job. But, when you say that I must have a job, I must be an engineer, why exactly? Have you ever thought, have you ever wondered? ‘I must get married’. Why, exactly? And then, we say that fellow is superstitious. Are we not superstitious? These beliefs, these superstitions are the veil over our eyes. They are preventing us from seeing directly and that is the reason we are so indecisive.
A man with his eyes closed is bound to remain indecisive, because he does not know. He is bound to be confused. Confusion has become our way of life. Do you ever feel hundred percent confident about anything? Very few things. Even when you are feeling utmost confidence, somebody can come and say a few things to you and the confidence will be dented. If two more come and say the same thing, then this confidence will altogether vanish. Am I right? Does that happen?
Listeners (Everyone): Yes, Sir.
Speaker: That is because we are living with a mind that is closed by our beliefs. Where are those beliefs coming from? What is the source of that belief?
Listeners (Everyone): Society.
Speaker: What does society mean? All the people around us, Education, TV, magazines, newspapers, friends, movies. All that you keep taking about day-in and day-out becomes your belief system, and there are too many things coming to you. How can you decide? How do you decide? One force is telling you to go in a particular direction, another force is telling you to go in another direction, now you are confused. Now, you say that I want to make a decision. You want to make a decision because so many forces are dominating your mind. Each of these forces is a belief and is external, it is coming from outside. But, you have allowed it to dominate your mind. You do not say that give me information, I will look at it with my own eyes, I just not take it in, I will just not start believing it. Do not ask for decision making; ask for clarity in seeing. The one who sees clearly does not really need to decide, seeing is enough, seeing is sufficient. You do not really need to decide. See it clearly, watch in attention. Ask yourself, ‘is this just a belief? When did I get it? From where did I borrow it?’ And then you will find that the fog is gone and things are obvious. Absolutely obvious.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Just see clearly, and there would be no need for decisions || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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