Eagerness to conclude is a barrier to learning || Acharya Prashant (2015)

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Question: Every time I come across a video, the conclusion is, that there is nothing to worry about. We already have something precious. Is that precious thing Love, Truth, Freedom, or something else?

Speaker: Dhirendra has asked three questions, of which this is the first one. “Every time I am with a video of yours, the conclusion is that there is nothing to worry, because what is precious is already with us.” Next he is asking, “Is that precious entity Love, Truth, Freedom, or something else?”

(Addressing the questioner) Dhirendra, the nature of conclusions is to change. No conclusion is ever final. If not worrying is a conclusion with you, then you will soon find yourself worrying. It happens with so many people here – they come, they talk, and they feel that their issues have settled down nicely. They conclude that they have come to a solution of their problems. And then after a few days, they find that it is back to their usual ways.

It had to be that way. Because what you tried to take away was – a conclusion. And no conclusion is ever going to stay with you, because as we said, “The nature of conclusions is to change.” Even the most final and the seemingly most secure conclusion, is bound to come apart.

Yes, conclusions can give you a feeling of happiness. Conclusions can make you feel good about yourself, and the universe. Conclusions can give you a feeling which resembles peace. But soon you will find that what you had, has evaporated. And every time that will happen you will become more and more desperate and faithless. You will feel that you got it, and you lost it. You will feel kind of cheated. You will feel that something was promised to you, but it was not what it appeared.

You will feel as if somebody has gone back on his word. You will feel that the heaven that was demonstrated to you, of which you got a fleeting glimpse, was a false heaven. And so the next time when you listen to me, it will become harder for you to listen.

What will you do then? You will try and come to a different conclusion. You will try to apply more of your mind, so that you can come to a better conclusion. You will try to be more alert, more thoughtful, so that this time what you conclude is more solid, more permanent. But the nature of conclusions is to change.

After all, conclusion is just a thought, like any other thought. You will be betrayed again, and you will not look inwards. You will not say, “I concluded, I built the statement. I wanted to come very quickly to a result, to an end point. And that is the reason why now, I am receiving this shock.” You will say that the conclusion was given to you by the speaker, or by the scripture, and you will doubt them.

When I speak, I do not intend to give you conclusions, because there are no conclusions. I intend to give you Silence. But conclusions are a good way to avoid Silence, and conclusions are a good way to feel that you know, that you understand, that you have laid your hands upon the Truth. Conclusions are a good way to feel secure, so that when you go back, when you walk out of this room, you feel that you are taking away something, so that you have ‘something’ that you can tell others about, so that the question, “What did you learn?” can be answered by you.

You want something, and if you do not have it, then you build it up in a very dream-like way. Now again you are asking, “Every time I listen to you, I conclude that there is nothing to worry about, there is something very precious already with me,” and then you are asking, “Is that precious thing Love, Truth, Freedom, or something else?”

At every point in your question, there are dangers. When you are really free of worrying, then not-worrying also loses its charm. When you are totally free of the fear of worrying, then you find that there is no more attraction left, in not having to worry, which, amusingly means that – now you are free to worry, because you don’t have a fear of worrying. Now you are free to worry. And being delighted at not worrying, only indicates, that worrying, is still a concern with you.

You come here with a particular state of mind. If you walk away with an opposite state, not much has happened. In fact, what has happened, is quiet deceptive. You came here thinking that there is a lot to worry about. You go back thinking, there is nothing to worry about. ‘Worrying’ still, is important to you. Are you able to see this?

Firstly, you said, “There is a lot to worry about.” Now you are saying, “There is nothing to worry about.” At the centre of both these statements, ‘worry’ is sitting. Nothing much has changed. It is just that some kind of anaesthesia, pain-reliever, has been given.

Is that not how the world functions? There are spots, agencies, situations, that make you feel worried. And there are other people, situations, that tell you, “Well, these worries can be taken care of. They do not mean much. You do not need to worry.”  There are some who say, “Worrying is important.” There are others who say, “No you don’t need to worry.” Essentially the second man, is also saying the same thing, that the first man is saying. The second man is saying, “Worrying is important, but you do not need to worry.” The first man is saying, “Worrying is important, and you need to worry.” None of them are deleting this word from you mind. This is how the world operates.

There is no way I am saying to you, “There is nothing to worry,” that does not mean that I am saying to you, “There is something to worry.” What I am saying is that, this game of worrying and not-worrying, is small. It’s a small game keeps on happening. It just keeps going on and on.

Sometimes you worry, sometimes you don’t worry. Sometimes you are asleep, sometimes you are awake. Sometimes it is day, sometimes it is night. What I am saying to you is that – when you are worrying, even then the game is small. And when you are not worrying, even then the game is small. There is an immensity behind the game – untouched by worrying and untouched by not-worrying.

Can you be there? That is the question. And you cannot conclude to be there. You have to be there, continuously. It is not a take-away. It is a presence. It is not a matter of a statement, it is not something that you can just write down as a quote, and benefit from it. You have to be present into it. Most of us come so far away from it, that it becomes very difficult for us to be present in it. My attempt is to give you a flavour of it, so that it does not remain totally unbelievable for you.

For most people, it is so very unbelievable, that they won’t even consider it. Or they’ll say that this is just verbiage. If you speak more, they will say, “You are preaching, this is pontification. It doesn’t happen. These things look good only in the scriptures. They don’t really happen in practical life.”

My attempt is to bring you to a point, where you can be with it, even if for a short while, so that elsewhere, when it is about to come to you, you are able to let it come to you. So that Faith does not become totally impossible for you. So that you may say, “No, no, this is not just a mirage. This is not impossible. I have had a glimpse, a flavour of it. I have been through it, and I am sure that I have been through it. So, it’s okay. I can trust.”

What do you mean by, “Is this precious thing Love, Truth, Freedom”? There is nothing called ‘Love’, there is nothing called ‘Truth’, there is nothing called ‘Freedom’ – these are not concepts. When you say ‘Love’, all you have with you is a concept. When you say ‘Truth’, ‘Freedom’, again what you have is a concept. And it is very easy to go on parroting the concepts. Because concepts are always small, and it is no big deal to prove that they are small; even experience will prove that to you. So sooner or later, you will come upon the small-ness of concepts; the smallness of your ‘Love’, ‘Truth’, ‘Freedom’. And then you will not say, “My concept was small.” Then you will say, “O! Love, Truth and Freedom are small.” You will not say, “What I thought Love to be, was faulty.” You will say, “Love is faulty.”

Have you not seeing people say, “O, Love does not exist”? They will not admit that what they thought as ‘Love’ does not exist. They will say, “Love does not exist.” That is what happens when you take your conclusions and your concepts to be the reality.

And if you are coming here to conclude, or to take away concepts, you will also find that in a short period of time you will be fed up with me. Because you will feel, that whatever I speak about, you already have it. You will say, “He speaks about Love. I know the definition of Love. He speaks about Truth, I know what Truth is. And all the time he is talking about these only. So why do I need to go to him again and again? All the time he is saying, “Love, Truth, Joy, Freedom, Peace,” and I have all the five definitions with me. In fact, now I have multiple definitions with me. So why should I go there on a hot evening? What is the need?”

After all, you have your conclusions with you. What does it mean to conclude? To conclude means –to come to an end. If you have already come to an end, what is the point in coming anymore? You’ll say, “Whatever the shop had to offer, I have already taken it, and there is nothing more left in the shop.” You will say, “I have seen the movie ten times already. Why should I have a look at it the eleventh time?”

I have no ‘definition’ of Love to give you, I have Love to give you. I have no ‘definition’ of Truth to give you, I have Truth to give you. If you can take it, welcome. And if you want definitions, we can mail them to you, you need not come. If you want conclusions, we can Whatsapp them to you, you need not come. Why take so much pain? Somebody will write down all the key points, and you will get them on your mobile phone, if ‘conclusions’ is all that you want.

You do not come here for anything. Anybody who comes here for something, will soon find that he has obtained that thing. And then, he will have no purpose left to come here. Because whatever you want, if it is a ‘thing’, it can be obtained. It will be limited, it will come to an end, it can be taken away. You can easily take it away. What ‘thing do you want? We have some bottles here, a few containers here, a few chairs here – all these are just things. Take them away.

Truth is not a thing. Truth is not an object to be concluded. All your conclusions are petty. All your conclusions are fickle. And then when your conclusions will change, you will accuse me of being paradoxical. You will say, “You know, in that particular session, he gave me that conclusion. Today he has given me an opposite conclusion. This man contradicts himself.” Did I give you conclusions? When did I do that? When did I do that? You conclude, you compare, you contradict, and then you put it upon me.

But you must be smart. You must feel that you have sorted it out. You must feel that you are on top of the whole thing. In the break, when you go out, and you stand there, you must be able to say with conviction, “You know, all that he was saying, was nothing but this,” and then you can make a very smart, pithy statement, that sums it up. And now you are the champ of the game. Now you know all that has been said. Have you not heard statements like this? “See, all that he says is just this.” And one nice, sucking statement would come, and there would be nothing wrong with the statement. It’s just that the statement is lifeless.

saying love-001 (1)Words don’t breathe, words don’t love. Keep saying, “Love, Love, Love…,” one thousand times, you will come no closer to loving. Keep parroting, “Truth, Truth, Truth, Truth,” you will still be sitting in your lies.

Catch yourself, how desperately you want to say, “I know. I know what he is doing, what he is saying, who he is, what his attempts are, what his purposes are. I know.”

Let me assure you of one thing, conclude, if you must,  come to this conclusion – all your conclusions are rubbish. You know nothing. You know nothing. If it hurts you, I am glad it hurts you. You know nothing. Nobody ever knows anything. All your knowledge is about ‘things’, that anyway are equal to nothing. All your knowledge is about ‘things’, whose value is nothing. About That which is important and valuable, anyway you know nothing. Nothing can be known, not that you are particularly at fault.

Listener: Sir, I really have the feeling that I know anything.

Speaker: But you don’t have the feeling that you can ‘never’ know any of these things. In fact, you are feeling guilty that – “It is knowable, but I do not know.” Your feeling is, “It is knowable, it is in the province of knowledge, but somehow only I have failed. And there must be something wrong with me.” You have this guilt.

Listener: Yes.

Speaker: This is arrogance. You’re saying, “Sooner than later, I will conquer you. Today I may have failed. But how long will you escape me? Truth, I am coming to mount you.”

(Satirically) “I will understand the Truth, and keep it in my left pocket. And then I will gift it to my girlfriend, nicely wrapped.”

~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi: Eagerness to conclude is a barrier to learning

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