How to really love a human being? || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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Questioner: “Acharya Ji, if to love a human being, as Osho says, has become an utter hell, then whom to love?”

Acharya Prashant: If to love a human being, as Osho says, has become an utter hell then whom to love? What do you mean by loving a human being? All of us are human beings here. Would you love any of these so called human beings if they are dead? Suppose the people here are freshly dead, just five seconds back they give up the ghost, would you love them? Why not? The body is still warm, they look exactly the same as they looked while they were alive, they are wearing the clothes, they are not stinking and if they are stinking they are stinking only as much as they always do. Nothing has changed in the body, why won’t you love them? Why do you go and bury or burn even your loved ones, the moment they are dead? Why?

Your question is… Whom to love? We are going into that. If you really love the body would you continue being with your loved ones if ways to preserve the body after death are found? Some people do that. They are called psychopaths. Sometimes you do get the news of such happenings, the wife died and the person has been preserving the body. How healthy does that sound? What do you mean by loving a human being? I want to understand.

L1: Maybe, if she is alive, she has a life.

Acharya Prashant: What do you mean by life? For sure you are not going to love a dead body. You’ll have to be exceptionally adventurous to do that. Some people try that. When nothing else stimulates them, excites them, then they try this kind of carnal adventure. If it is not the body that you love, what do you love? What do you mean by a living human being? You said that one loves the other person when he has life, what do you mean by a living person?

L2: Living person can help us in day to day work.

Acharya Prashant: You say you love a living person because he can help you in day to day work. How can your one month baby help you in your day to day work? And don’t you love the baby? So, does the baby come to buy groceries with you? Does he clean up the house for you, one month old baby? Does he drive your car? In no conceivable way does he help you, but you still love him, don’t you? So this can’t be a matter of getting help from someone.

You love the other person while he is conscious, right? Even if the body is alive and he loses consciousness or his consciousness is distorted, does your love remains the same? Because consciousness is the entire personality of the other one, if it gets disfigured does your love remains the same? So, it’s less about the body and more about the consciousness. There is something about consciousness that attracts you. You want to call it the life force, you want to call it the Prana.

Whatever you might call it, that is what you are attracted to & that is why you often say, “I love the liveliness in your eyes.” You love the way consciousness peeps out of somebody’s eyes. If the eyes are dead or if the eyes are that of the mad man with no ordered consciousness behind them then you don’t feel like loving. You might feel pity, you might feel compassion but that greatness called love is no more there, right?

Do you love the flesh called the eyes or do you love the sparkle in the eyes? Do you love these hollows called the eyes or do you love the light that shines through these hollows? Do you love the window or do you love the sun shining through the window? Do you love the window or do you love the sky that shows through the window? So, even when you say that Darling! I love your eyes, you are actually loving the Sun and the sky behind the eyes. The eyes are just the windows, right?

So, it’s not so much about the body, the flesh, the eyes. It’s about something behind the eyes. And when that something behind is not there, when there is death or unconsciousness or madness, then you don’t feel that magnetism that charm anymore, right?

Now, what is this consciousness? What is this force behind the eyes which pulls you? What is that? That is the subject matter of all the spiritual inquiry. When the poet, saint, when the seer, when the Guru, when the Rishi, when the Prophet meditates, exactly & only this is what he wants to know – Who is the one behind the eyes? Who is the one behind the body? Who is the one who is sitting at the heart? What is this thing called Prana? What makes the body tick? Is the body just the machine? Are you getting it? That is what every wise man wants to know. What is Consciousness?

The answer for sure has never quite arrived because the answer is to a question that is itself in consciousness. Only in your consciousness do you ask what is consciousness, and you ask “What is consciousness?” so that your consciousness may feel a little relaxed. Every question is like a pinprick, every question is like a hurt, every question is a bit of  a wound. You try to get an answer so that wound might be healed.

So, the question is in consciousness & the question is there so that the consciousness may relax. Do you see this? The question is in consciousness, the question is itself in the form of a disturbance of consciousness and the disturbance exists so that the disturbance may relax. The question exists so that the answer may solve the problem. The answer doesn’t quite arrive but if one is little meditative, if one is attentive, one gets to see that if all that I want is relaxation and freedom from the question then why don’t be directly free, why not just ask to be free rather than ask for an answer?

So, one then gets to know that just as one discovered that one likes the consciousness behind the body, similarly, what consciousness itself likes is its own relaxation. Higher than the body’s consciousness & higher than consciousness is the relaxation of consciousness. Those who love body must discover that they actually love consciousness and those who are in love with consciousness and to be in love with consciousness means to be in love with the mind. And those who love consciousness must discover what they actually love is deep stillness, a silence behind consciousness.

Finally, it is that silence that is the most lovable. Finally it is that silence that enamors you. You are madly in love with that final stillness but because you are not penetrative enough so you keep thinking that you are in love with a superficial body. If you’ll look at it closely it will be easy to discover that it is not the body that you love and if you love thoughts, intellect, consciousness then too you must be little penetrative & you will find that it is not even somebody’s intellect, or thoughts, or sharpness or mental agility that you love, it is only his stillness you are crazily in love with. Are you getting it?

That stillness, that silence is the finality. Body is alright as long as it is a manifestation of consciousness. As long as you love the body because the body is a physical manifestation of the mind it is alright. The body is lovable if you can see that body is nothing but the mind in expansion, the mind as material, then body is lovable. And the mind is lovable as long as you can see the mind is nothing but the center, the stillness, the silence in expression, in manifestation. The mind is an expression of the source & the body is the expression of the mind, then the mind & the body both are lovable.

When you are in love with the source then the mind is lovely and when the mind is lovely, the body is lovely. But if you are a body lover without knowing consciousness then life is hell and if you are a mind lover without knowing the base, the source of mind then again life is hell. That is why the author is saying that to love a human being is utter hell, because when we say we love a human being, what we mean is that we love the other’s body. I repeat,

The body is sacred when it is an expression of the mind, when it is understood as an expression of the mind. And the mind is sacred when the mind is an expansion, a manifestation of the center of stillness, of silence, of nothingness. Starting from the start, everything is wonderful but if you are crazy after the fruit with no reverence for the root then the life is hell.

Is that clear?

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

Watch the session video: Acharya Prashant: How to really love a human being?

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