Question: Sir, could there be an alternative to fear? Like I see in my life that I have been running after something and I realized that this thing is not fulfilling. But, I was so much influenced by the society that I ran after some other thing and again found only deception. But, like whenever I go somewhere, something is being given to the mind. At that time, I was totally ignorant that I took so much of it, but, I am not sure that I am still ignorant or not because anywhere we go, something is there, some information is coming. From where it comes, we don’t even know. How can we be absolutely free of all illusions?
Acharya Prashant: Let it come. When the eye is healthy, it looks at different things and knows them to be different. That is the function of the eye, to look at differences and know them to be different.
So, these different situations, these different voices and these different influences will keep coming to you; simply look at them with an open eye. When the eye shows you black, you don’t really have to think and decide that it is black.
There is a black board and there is a white background, you don’t have to come to a decision that these two are different. Even if you don’t name them, or name them differently, yet you know that the two are not the same, that’s the function of the healthy eye, right? It helps you see differences even without memory.
So, ‘see differences — without memory.’ You may not have been trained in something, it might be coming in front of you for the first time; then you may not know its name, then you may not know its history, but still you will know that the thing ‘is’. Similarly, let the mind be such that it is able to perceive without memory, perceive without labels.
Even if something comes to it, that it has not encountered before, yet it is able to quickly know what that thing is. A new voice comes to you, a new argument comes to you, a new proposal comes to you; a new situation comes to you, a new person comes to you; you have not heard them before, and you really don’t have the need to go and acquire second-hand knowledge about them from somebody else.
Let the eye be such that – it really knows black from white and knows that quickly; knows the difference without any reason. Yes, if you are asked to justify later-on, you can invent some argument. Later on, you can say — “You know, such is such because of such reason.” But, actually when you know, then there is no reason.
You just know!
And that faculty to just know is not to be acquired; that simple knowing is your simple nature. Just don’t let it be covered with dirt; don’t let things block your eye. If you don’t let things block your eye, then you have no responsibility to specially develop an eye. It is there already.
Seeing is your nature!
Next thing – When you see, trust the seeing. The very force and clarity of seeing brings sureness along with it. But it is possible that the remnant tendency within you may question it, may doubt it. Even if you are seeing something clearly, your tendencies may raise some suspicion. They you may say — “Are you sure what you are seeing is right? You know, why not refer the matter? Why not consult a few people? Why not ask a few specialists or a few experienced people?” No!
If you feel you have the casting vote, the deciding vote or the right to veto, exercise it! Say — “No, I want to trust. I am in favor of trusting.”
I am not asking you to trust somebody else; I am asking you to trust your own seeing.
The more you trust it, the more clearly it talks to you.
The more you trust it, the more it enables you to trust it.
The less you trust it, the lesser reasons you find to trust it.
So we have said two things: Realizing or knowing is your intrinsic nature. You will know. Know without reason, without background, without memory.
The extent to which this faculty of knowing serves you depends on the extent to which you back it. You have to support it, stand behind it, trust it.
Listener 1: Mind is already so much trained, it firstly put labels, then observes anything. Is it now really possible to observe something without putting memory, without putting labels? It is already trained.
AP: Had that possibility not been there, you wouldn’t have hoped to gain something from my response. Had you felt so very dejected then you would have said — “If I ask a question, and whatever be the answer, I will not be able to listen to it because I would label it before listening to it.” Just see what is happening, you are asking a question, with the expectation that when the answer comes, you would really be able to listen to the answer. So, you still have faith in your ability to listen without labeling. Otherwise, why would you ask this question? Is it alright?
L1: There seems to be no way out.
AP: Had there been no way out, why would you be trying for a way out?
L1: It seems that there is no way out.
AP: It seems that there is no way out, right? Yet you are struggling to find a way out?
AP: Have you ever seen the way out? Do you have any experience of it?
AP: So, don’t you see that there is some tremendous hope that you have in your heart. Darkness is what you see all around you; light is what you have never really seen. Yet, surrounded by all the darkness, you are searching for light and you have no experience of light; at-least that’s what you claim. So, there is surely something alluring about light; surely there is something beyond experience that connects you to light. You may not have had any experience of light. But, maybe your relationship with light is not determined by experience.
L1: Maybe that is because I have heard a lot about it or I have read about it in scriptures.
AP: Yes, and of-course the light you have heard about or read about is the same as darkness. But, you are not looking for that because had you been looking for that, you would have been satisfied by now. You have already enough darkness with you. You are not looking for darkness, are you?
L1: No, there is some concept about light.
AP: There is some concept about light. And when you talk of these concepts about light, these concepts have been achieved many a times. You have had moments of success, have you not had? You have had moments of happiness and pleasure. You have received all these, right? You have received moments of so-called love, appreciation, respect. There have been moments when you have felt so empowered and free. Have there not been such moments? Yet, your craving has continued. So, surely what you have experienced doesn’t qualify to be called light.
None of that has really been able to give you that ‘something special’. You continue to look for it! You continue to look for it, without ever having got it, without ever having experienced it.
So, you are quiet somebody. You are looking for a thing; it’s substitutes are available, it’s namesakes are available and you do get them, they are within your arm’s reach. Every week, every day you do get some kind of success, it doesn’t give you that.
L1: Is it possible that the craving is also coming from outside?
AP: Had that craving been coming from outside, then what fulfils that craving, would also come from outside. And it has come to you so many times. What can satisfy you potentially, or at-least nominally, has been given to you so many times from outside. And it has had some effect upon you; you have felt happy. So, outside has done what outside can do. But, you are still looking.
The light from the electric bulb has been coming to you from so long, and it has it’s own utility. But, you are looking for some other Light. Such is your darkness that the light from the electric bulb is insufficient.
It is just a co-incidence that you use the word ‘light’ for both the lights. So, at a personal level, just for yourself, coin a new name, or — a new silence.
L1: It becomes a concept. Everything becomes a concept.
AP: Yes, that’s the thing with coining a new name. So, if you have to coin a new name, coin a very absurd and meaningless name. There, concept formation then becomes a little difficult.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: That Blissful Solitude is your nature
Article 3: With all your imperfections, you are Perfect