Acharya Prashant: Why do you think I would always insist that the audience comes closer to me? (referring to the physical distance between the Speaker and the listeners)
Listener 1: So that we can gain more, as there is no separation and distance.
AP: That’s well said, symbolically. But, really in that situation why is it important that the physical distance is reduced?
L2: If I am closer to you then I am engaged and I am less likely to be disturbed by other things. Sitting at the back, there will be café staff walking around, shuffling around, and people moving in and out. And, it’s going to break the flow of our talk.
AP: Yes, and did it take you too much effort to figure this out, or is it kind of obvious?
L2: I have been doing it since second grade. If there is someone distracting me at the back, I will come to the front.
AP: Which means we all know; which means it’s not something very new or very original. And still, if you remember, we used to find it difficult to convince people to come to the front. Do you remember?
AP: It would require some persuasion, and some people would even walk away. So, what does that tell us?
L2: People are somewhat unclear of the basics.
AP: Or, are they actually clear. They very well know why they are sitting at the back.
L2: They come into this situation of having ‘fear of surrender’ to come into a connection. As soon as something confronts their belief system or model or patterns, it’s easier at the back, you can kind of sneak your way out very easily. But, at the front, you are stuck!
AP: Do you see how we support our internal conspiracy? There is something within us which wants us to fail; which is our own enemy and we support it. I think it was on your facebook page that I read the story about the two wolves. Which wolf wins? The one we feed. Do you see, how we keep feeding the wrong wolf most of the times? In fact, there is one thing I am gaining clarity on, that there is nothing called as ‘ignorance’. We all fully well know. We all fully well know why we are hiding at the back; why we refuse to come in the front.
You closed the matter by saying that you know it since class two that the ones who are the back-benchers, they are back-benchers precisely because they want to avoid the teacher. Now, in school you have a certain compulsion; here, you are ostensibly coming by your free-will. Did you see what kind of misnomer this thing called free-will is? On one hand, you are coming there; on the other hand, you are committed not to come.
And again, just to relate it to the thing we were talking of, all so that you aren’t dislodged from your comfortable cushions. And when you fear that, you already have an image of the resultant happening in mind; and you already have a fear associated with that happening. If I come close, this may happen, and if that happens, I may suffer a lot. And, what is suffering? Something very bad! So, all that entire inner story is already on; and we don’t even know whether that story has any factualness to it.
And you know what is common in all these stories? One thing, you know what is common? “I am not strong enough to bear the pain. I am not strong enough.” Have you ever tested how strong you really are? Yes, your assumption that some loss may come to you may indeed be factual. Your assumption may come true. But, next to this assumption, sits another assumption; that assumption is: “If I bear loss, then I will crumble.”
Have you ever tested that assumption? Yes, loss you will bear. Will that necessarily be the end of you? I keep saying, test that, you will find it a false assumption.
The loss will hurt, but you will emerge a survivor, you will live through it.
It will pinch, grind, wrinkle, but not finish you.
Mind you, not finish you.
Nothing can finish you off.
Why must this simple statement be so hard to accept? I don’t know. If you are convinced that you won’t be finished off, then why will you avoid sorrow so much?
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: If you are not syncing with the Teacher, you are sinking
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