How to break mental patterns? || Acharya Prashant (2016)


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Question: Whenever I try to come out of the pattern, there is a very strong force that pulls me back to it. Afterwards, my mind itself plans to go back to patterns. Why is it so?

Acharya Prashant: Would you have asked this question had you not disliked the way the patterns pull you in? You dislike those patterns, right?

Now, you would probably expect that I would say that you know that the patterns are false and hence, you dislike them and hence, you must abhor them. I am not going to say that.

It is your dislike of the patterns that shows that you do not know the patterns.

Had you known the patterns, the patterns wouldn’t have dominated you.

Right now, the very fact that you are asking this question means that the patterns are troubling you. You do not like that the patterns are able to suck you in and yet you find that they have a hold over you. And you find yourself in conflict and hence you ask this question. This question comes only because you don’t know the patterns.

Whenever you will know something, you will know it only as the Truth.

To know a pattern as pattern is to know a pattern as Truth.

To know the false as false, is to know the false as Truth.

To know a pattern as pattern is to know the pattern as Truth and hence to be free from pattern, because Truth is freedom.

Till the time you keep calling a pattern a pattern, it will have a strange control over you. On one hand, you will dislike it, on the other hand, you will be pulled towards it. When you realize what the pattern really is, then it becomes a play thing. Now, you can have fun with it. Now, it is a harmless joke.

Yes, the pattern calls. What else will the pattern do?

Yes, the magnet attracts the nails. What else will the magnet do?

Now am I to shiver and tremble because the magnet attracts the nails? I will shiver and tremble only if I am carrying a lot of nails with me. The moment you know that pattern exists only for the patterned, that the magnet attracts only the nails, you will get rid of the nails. Or you will have fun by allowing yourself to be drifted into the pattern.

You will say, “Alright! Yes, you are calling me.”

“Yes, I am coming.”

Now, you are not succumbing to the pattern as a slave. Now, you are walking boldly into the trap as a King. You are saying, “Yes, I know you are setting a trap for me. I know what all that trap is. Here I am.”

When you walk boldly into the trap, you have destroyed all the power that the trap had.

Somebody wants to insult you by making you go towards the left. You will be insulted only if you first resist going towards the left. He comes to you and says, “I order you to go to the left.” You are humiliated only if you first resist him.

He says, “Go to the left.”

And you laugh and you go to the left. Now, he will be frustrated.

It is your resistance that indicates your ignorance.

It is your resistance that indicates your identification with your tormentor.

Only when you are in the same dimension as the one wanting to inflict humiliation upon you, that you will experience humiliation.

I repeat, a child tells another child, “I am your master, bow down. I will ride over you like a horse.” The another child may feel offended because they exist in the same mental plane. They both are just kids. But when the same child goes to his grandfather and says, “Today, you will play the horse for me. Now, bow down and I will ride.”

The grandfather laughs; willingly becomes the horse for grandson. There is no humiliation because they are in different dimensions. The grandfather does not resist. Your resistance shows that you identify with that which you resist. Had you been above that which comes to ensnare you, trap you, enslave you, you would not have resisted. Then, you would have just laughed like the grandfather and said, “Yes, I am bowing down. What next?”

Take the pattern like a kid, a baby. And the baby tells you, “Become a horse for me.” You don’t feel offended. You may accept his request, his invitation or let’s say his order, or you may reject it. But in no case does it become a trouble for you. In no case does it become a psychological matter; in no case does it become a spiritual problem. You don’t go to someone asking what do I do, my grandson keeps asking me for a ride, is it a problem? No, it is not a problem because you are now in a different dimension. You are the grandfather and he, just a small kid.

You must be the grandfather to all patterns, all problems. That does not mean that problems will be destroyed. That means that you will not take them seriously. That also means that now you will not take them with violence. Even if the grandfather refuses the request of the kid, he does not become violent. He does not say that I have taken a sword and shredded Maya into pieces – that is very violent language. He just says, “Maya sent me an invitation, today I could not accept it. Maybe, tomorrow I would.” That is very different from saying that I have conquered Maya or that Maya is my enemy.

When you are at the same level as Maya, then you want to fight Maya—you resist.

When you have gone past Maya, then you take Maya as the play thing.

Don’t be afraid of patterns.

Be with the Truth; you will not be afraid.

And when you are not afraid of patterns then you can toy around with them. And it won’t matter whether you fall into the pattern, whether you break the pattern; whether you play by the rules, whether you disregard them — nothing will matter. Only thing that matters is: are you in the same dimension as the pattern, or are you in another dimension? That is the only difference.

There is one mind that fights problems and never succeeds, and there is another mind that goes past problems and goes past success and defeat.

The mind that wants to fight problems or solve problems will always find itself getting more and more problems.

It will forever be stuck in the game of success and defeat against the problem. And there is another mind which says, “I have left the problem far behind. I have not conquered the problem. I do not know how the problem is doing. I did not destroy the problem, I just left it far behind. The problem might still be there, but I don’t see it. I don’t care for it.”

Watch the session:Acharya Prashant: How to break mental patterns? The transcription has been edited for clarity.

Editor’s Note: 

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