Does experience give intelligence? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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Question: Doesn’t even intelligence require experiences from the past or does intelligence operate in a vacuum?

Shri Prashant: No, it does not. Obviously, it does not.

Let’s take this example. Even right now, we are using a particular language which is coming from the past. Right? But what is happening right now is beyond language. Every single word that we are using is coming from the dictionary, but what is happening right now is beyond the dictionary.

(Pointing at the camera placed in front of the speaker) Now let’s look at this camera. The same waves are falling on this camera, as are falling on your retina and your ears. In fact, it is gathering all the information more diligently than you ever can.

You are gathering something and leaving out something, but this camera is gathering everything, and all that comes from the past: sound, sight, all that is the product of the past.

This body is the product of the past, and all that it is recording is the body. All that it is hearing, is the words that are anyway mentioned in the dictionary, but there is something happening there, in ‘you’ which simply cannot happen here (pointing again at the camera). That is intelligence. It (the camera) keeps on getting what I say, it keeps on recording what I say, but it never gets anything.

The same words that your ears are receiving, this (camera) too is receiving, but something is happening there (pointing at the audience), which cannot happen here (pointing at the camera). That is what intelligence is.

And if that is not happening there (again pointing at the audience), then the fellow is as good or as dead as this camera. Purely mechanical. Are you getting it now?

So, yes the words will come from the past, but what is happening right now is beyond the words. Had it been just words, then this camera would have been a wise man by now! Because it takes all the words in. It keeps accumulating all the words. 100 GBs of words and sights, yet it never gains anything. 100 Gb and no gain, no understanding!

Listener: Till now in our life we haven’t tried to understand what life is, and we have been doing quite well in our lives. We have cleared JEE, are studying in the top most university. At this stage of life, what’s the point of understanding mind?

SP: Suman, how do you know you have done well.

Listener: I am not telling this. People around me tell me that.

SP: Right!

Do you even know that you have done well?

Somebody else is coming and telling you that you have done well. That’s the entire point!

That you are so dependent on space, other people are space, you are so dependent on that ‘other’ that you don’t exist. Others come and give you a certificate, and you feel that you must have done something good in life. Others come and tell you that you are brilliant and you start feeling that you are brilliant.

And that means Suman is always afraid. Do you see why?

Because if people can tell him he is brilliant, then people can also tell him that he is stupid. And then you have to believe that as well. You can’t be selective in your beliefs. Can you?

If you have opened the gates for compliments to come in, then you have also opened the same gate for abuses to come in.

See, how you know that you are successful? It is only when when someone comes and says that Suman you are successful. And Suman translates that to ‘I am successful’, and hence you are bound to be insecure. Do you see this?

We said that the brain is forever afraid, do you see why?

Because the brain has no intelligence, it depends completely on experiences. Whatsoever is happening to it, it just takes in and also identifies with what is happening. So, someone else comes and says, ‘this is your religion’. And Suman starts saying that, ‘I am a Hindu’.

Now, how you are a Hindu?

Time gave it to you and hence your religion has no strength, no conviction behind it. You never chose your religion. Did you? It was not coming out from your freewill and whatsoever that will not come from your freewill, your own intelligence, will not have any energy, any conviction, any power, and any response behind it. It will be a completely dead affair, and that is the reason why you are so insecure, it’s about most of us; we are so insecure about others.

Whatsoever we may be doing, we are always looking at our shoulders. What others are saying about us? We depend on some other fellow.

Even right now, you feel elated in thinking that you are an IITian. But your being an IITian is so dependent on others. You certify that you cleared JEE. What if, that other, had made a mistake? And that happens. In any process errors are the part of it. What if, your paper had been incorrectly checked? What if, there was some kind of computational error or anything else?

Then all your self esteem would all be lost, because you depend so much on space and time, and you rely on all your past laurels. That‘s what keep you inflated, afloat. Take away the badge of an IITiian and he collapses because intelligence is not in operation, because you are so dependent on experiences, the external.

Do you see all that experiences come from outside, they all are external? And to be dependent on your experiences, which is brain driven, is to be a slave, really a slave. A slave never enjoys anything. A slave is perpetually afraid. In a slave’s life there is no real freedom. He is always looking at his masters. ‘What to do? What is next? You tell me this, I will do this’.

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

Watch the session video: Does experience give intelligence? || Acharya Prashant (2013)

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