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Question: Sir, how can we control the internalization of thoughts which we get from society and other people?
Speaker: When you get them, are they external? Or are they already internalized?
Listener: Most of them are external only.
Speaker: A thing is external or internal depending on whether it is external to you or internal to you, right? Do you have thoughts floating about in the thin air? Or is the thought already in the mind? When you say, there is a thought, where is the thought?
Listener: In the mind.
Speaker: So, has it not already been internalized? The moment somebody is able to provoke you into thinking, he has already taken a slice of you. He has already occupied a part of you. Your well-wishers will not provoke you into thinking. They will bring you to peace. So, if you are thinking hard, and thinking hard is confusion and disturbance and frustration; if you are thinking hard and you come across a well-wisher, his presence will be able to calm you down. Your thoughts will subside.
When do thoughts subside? When you know that there is nothing to think about. Thoughts arise as a defence against an attack. If there is a problem, only then you need to think of the solution. If there is no problem, there is no need to think. And remember there is nothing that is de-facto a problem. You call something a problem only when you do not understand it. The moment somebody is able to disturb your composure, he has already become your master. Now, there is no point talking of internalizing or external thoughts. He has already entered you, he is already sitting in your head, and that’s too bad, right?
You go to watch a movie and somebody comes and sits on your lap, how do you feel? Too bad. Somebody steps on your feet, how do you feel? ‘Oh! Mind your step!’ And here we have crowds sitting in our head. That’s why our heads are so heavy. That’s why we sink in water. One man, with 20,000 others in his head, the fellow is bound to sink. And that is why a dead man floats. Now he is alone.
Don’t let them disturb you. Remain present; that is one thing. Remain present to whatever is happening around you. But to let that effect your central peace is to lose everything. And also let me say, you can never get the right answers if you have been compelled into doubt and confusion. Because to doubt is to already move away from the right state, the state of settlement, the state of peace. You are walking and people say, “What kind of dress are you wearing?”, and you start thinking about your dress. You already lost the game. You are sitting here peacefully, comfortably and somebody whispers in your ears, “Have you thought about your job prospect?” And from this silent state, you move to think about what will happen two years later. You have already lost the game. You must have an inner sureness.
See what happens is, our education system has been such that all the right answers have always been provided by somebody else, right? You take a mathematics book, and I remember the books that we used to have in class 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, there would be questions and if you want to check whether you have done the sum rightly, the answers would be there at the back, right? So, you solve the problem, and then what do you do? You flip the pages, go to the back and then you match your answer. Now, there is nothing within that can certify that the answer is right. You have been told that your answer is right only if it matches with the answer provided by somebody else. Are you getting it?
And that is alright. In things that involve external knowledge and skill, it is alright to benchmark your stuff with somebody else’s, but not in the essential matters of life. But everything that has been given by others has become essential. For example, today if somebody asks you, “What is it that you stand on? What is it that makes the ground beneath your feet?” you will say, ‘My family background’, you will say, ‘The marks that I got in class 10th’, you will say, ‘The degree that I am going to now obtain’. And all of these depend on your answers being verified and certified by somebody else, with the result that we have lost all internal sureness. Whatever answers we come up with at any instance in life, we want to cross check it. There is no internal certainty. We want to ask somebody, “Am I right?” just like flipping the pages of that mathematics book. You may have solved it correctly but nothing is done if your answer does not match accurately. Are you getting it? And that becomes a deep habit. You are always looking at other’s faces, always looking back over your shoulder; your eyes are always waiting for approval. “Am I right? Can you please come and stamp your authority”. And when you are not sure of yourself then, anybody can disturb you, anybody can shake you up. Does that happen or not?
Sureness is missing. And one cannot live peacefully without that inner sureness. Anybody can prove to you that all your choices are wrong. Now how does that feel. You may argue with him but you will be internally shaken, right? In fact, you may prove to him that, “No, no. All my choices are right.” But deep within you will know that you have been left uncertain and wounded. That’s bad. Let the presence of others not be too much upon you. Are you getting it?
Listener: Sir, is it wrong to expect something in return from others? For example, in a trade if I lend hundred rupees to a person I love, is it wrong to expect at least ten in return?
Speaker: Nine is alright. And under some circumstances, one can go till twelve. (Laughingly)
Where will you draw the line? And how will you draw the line? Why not hundred and twelve? All integers! I love you but still you know you can give me back a little.
Listener: Sir, if for an instance, I am helpless right now and he is the only person who can help. Then should I expect a little help from him?
Speaker: What kind of help, in what kind of situation?
Listener: In any situation, especially when I am alone.
Speaker: So, that’s upon that person, right? You are not asking for help, right?
Listener: But I am wanting help.
Speaker: But your wanting does not reach him. It cannot really affect him. It’s upon him. He may come over and do whatever he wants to.
Without a freewill, can there be help? Can there be mandated help? Can I order somebody to help somebody?
If your relationship is really solid, you won’t need to expect. You will get more than you can ever expect.
A friend is not a helpline- aloneness helpline or a boredom helpline or a gossip helpline. In fact, if the fellow is really a friend, he will refuse to take your calls if you wish to gossip.
~Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi: Do not let the world occupy your mind
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