Why can’t I stop cheating myself? || Acharya Prashant (2015)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

Questioner: Sir, I know somewhere I am cheating myself but I am still doing, what I am doing. Why?

Speaker: (Jokingly) You want to get beaten up, that’s it, nothing else.

(everyone laughs)

Mind has several diseases out of which one is this one as well. There are people who take pleasure in getting beaten up. Have you heard of such people?

(Jokingly) You want to get beaten up and there is immense pleasure in getting spanked. There are tools available in the market. Some people do not even get sexually aroused unless you beat them black, blue and red.

(everyone laughs)

That is it. According to his conditioning, one demands pleasure out of various things in life. There is nothing in existence which is not a source of pleasure to somebody or the other.

For you your excreta is a waste, for the pig it is pleasure; for you your wound is just pus, for the fly it is pleasure; for you the deep see is death, for the fish it is pleasure. There are certain bacteria that are found in the boiling volcanoes. The lava that flows, even that contains living material, and that living material will surely will not be in pain otherwise why would it be found there? There is nothing in existence that cannot please something or the other, somebody or the other. So getting beaten up pleases us, its direct.

And there is nothing wrong with that; not any more wrong than finding pleasure in praise or in food or in entertainment, it’s just that same old search for pleasure. However you may look at yourself and ask, “How did I reach here?” That is the valid question to ask. And that is valid not only for you but for everybody, irrespective of what the object of your pleasure is. We all are pleasure-seeking beings, right? We all seek pleasure albeit in different objects. So we need to ask that “How did I come to this point where this object became the source of my pleasure. How did it happen that I got stuck with this habit or this place or this person?”  You need to ask that very honestly. How is it happening that you are stuck? What are you deriving out of it?

Stop and LookPleasure thrives only when you do not understand it. It gets its sustenance from darkness. You don’t want to kill it; you just want to know it. And to know it, you throw some light upon it and you find that the pleasure is gone. Try that! Next time when you are drawing pleasure from something or somebody or some action, stop and look at it. No, you don’t have to condemn it, nor justify it. Just look at it.  Look at it and you may find that pleasure is no more.

That is why is it often helps to be drunk in your moments of pleasure. The consciousness must be abated; it must be brought down, for your pleasure to increase. That is why the lights must be switched off or at least be dimmed. That’s why you need loud music. That’s why pleasure is not possible in a meditative environment.

Incidentally that also makes pain impossible.

Listener: Sir, if that is so then what is it all about the whole tantra school that tries to bring in pleasure and awareness together in one action?

Speaker: No, it does not try to bring in pleasure. It says, be aware of your pleasure seeking tendency. It does not want to accentuate your pleasures. It doesn’t want you to leap into pleasures. It says that pleasure is possible only in absence of awareness and next time when there is the opportunity for pleasure, be aware and just see what happens. Pleasure will be gone. Well yes, it might make way for something bigger, higher and more sublime but pleasure will no more be there.

See, tantra originated among those who were barred from the Vedic system. Not only were they barred from the Vedic system but they were also mostly engaged in menial jobs and because they were not within the fold of the wisdom literature, they had become victims to a different kind of conditioning, a different set of habits. Tantra denotes it by the various ‘ma’;  ‘mad’ (alcohol) so they would drink a lot , ‘maithun’ (indiscriminate sex) and the like. So tantra says watch your habits, all of this are just to get a high. In your moment of high, watch it. It doesn’t say that you start drinking for the sake of it. It says because you are habituated to getting drunk, the next time you are drunk, just watch yourself. It doesn’t say start drinking, it doesn’t say that get into indiscriminate sex. It is because you are habituated to it, so if it happens the next time, be cautious. And it was primarily for those who are victims of their habits.

Also remember, that going right is as much of a habit as going left.

Tantra is for those who go left. It is called the ‘Vaam Marg‘, the left-handed method. If your habit is to go towards the left then tantra is for you but if you are habituated to go towards the right even then you require tantra.

What is it to go towards the right?

(mockingly) “I am afraid of drinking”.

Tantra says that if you are habituated to drinking watch yourself, you are in danger. See how you gain pleasure out of drinking but what tantra does not say but you must understand is that not drinking also is an equally deep source of pleasure.

So five people are sitting. Four are deriving pleasure out of drinking and there is one, pristine white, holier than everybody else, “I do not drink”. Out of these five the one who requires tantra more is the fifth one because for the four, the habit is apparent, in fact right now in their hands. They can watch it, it is so gross. For the fifth one, the habit is in the mind, he may not even know what deep pleasure he derives out of not drinking.

Gurdjieff had this method, in fact he would use tantra. If you do not drink, he would make it a point that you must drink. And all hell breaks loose when somebody who does not drink, drinks for the first time. All the rubbish comes out, in fact that is his very fear, that is the reason why he doesn’t drink. There is so much to hide. He knows very well that all the suppression will erupt, the moment liquor goes in. Liquor in, rubbish out. He has been carrying a nice face, “I am a gentleman. I don’t get angry. I don’t shout. I can’t displease anybody” and all the anger is stored because given what you are how is it possible that you won’t be frustrated, you won’t be angry. It is just that your conditioning has told you to not vent out that anger. Now that anger is compressed and stored. Liquor will release the compression and that is what you are afraid of. And all your urges, all your desires, all your sexuality bottled up within, liquor will release that and that’s why you are so afraid.

~ Excerpts from a Shabd-Yog session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at : Prashant Tripathi: Why can’t I stop cheating myself?

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