Question: What is meant by dropping the doer?
Acharya Prashant: Dropping the doer means not supporting the doer. The doer is a helpless, powerless, parasitic being. The doer can survive only as long as somebody else supports him. The doer has no life of its own. The doer is survived, maintained and furthered by your belief in the doer. So, it’s simple, doubt the doer. Do not stand behind him. Do not keep supporting him. Do not be his friends; for the parasite has no friends. The parasite only has a host.
Whenever a thought arises within you, immediately an alarm must go off – Another Trap. Whenever you feel that you are sure of something, immediately an alarm must go off – Another Failure. Whenever you are sure of something, absolutely sure, that is when you must be absolutely sure that you are being fooled. Of that which you are totally certain in life, that is what your curse and your bane. That is what is meant by getting rid of the doer.
The doer only knows to act. He is identified by his doing, by his activities. Do not give energy to those activities. The doer will say, “I am interpreting what this speaker is saying.” Immediately you must know that your interpretation is a foolish interpretation. The doer will say, “I will decide what to do next.” Immediately you must know that your decision is a self-defeating decision. Whatever the doer does or thinks, you must know that it is stupid and wrong. In fact, that is the very definition of wrong action – that which comes from the doer.
But you have known only the doer. You have known only the doer. Of the real doer, of the immense, you only have thoughts or at best a faint ancient remembrance. Otherwise, your life is totally full of only the doer. Which practically then means that you will have to doubt everything, which practically then means that you will have to reject your ways totally.
But this will be so difficult when the world around you is constantly teaching you to be confident and motivated. This will be very difficult when there are teachers and gurus who are constantly egging you on to achieve your goals. The real seeker knows fully well that his goals are bound to be stupid. But there are so many so-called well-wishers who want you to keep moving, who want you to realize your dreams. All dreams are whose dreams, the doer’s dreams. So, if you are really sincere then you will have the guts for total self-annihilation. And without that, there is no freedom from your predicament.
Start with the little things of the day. Start with all that which you do automatically, habitually. Do you know what this automatic doing implies? This automatic doing implies that you have such a deep belief in that action that you do not even think it fit to inquire it. You are saying, “This must be right so I can do it automatically. Why do I need to pass it through the scanner? Because I have heard of it so much because I have seen it so much and because I have been doing it so repeatedly, this must be right. Everybody is doing it so I can do it without any consideration.”
That is where you must immediately pause. That which you have been constantly doing without any consciousness, under the strong and terrible assumption that it must be right, that is what you must immediately question. I repeat, look at all that which is a certainty with you, that is where your demons lie. What is a certainty with you? Come to this very instance. It is a certainty that you will get up from here and go into a particular direction. Won’t you? And, why don’t you want to look into that? Why don’t you want to question that? Why not?
Is it not a certainty with you that you will behave and react only in particular ways and patterns? Why must it happen that way? Is it not a certainty with you that you will be found next to only a particular set of people, only next to a particular man or a particular woman? Why must that be a certainty? Whatever is a certainty with you is an act of the doer and the more certain it is, the more deeply embedded it is in your psyche.
Question: Sir, this regular questioning of whatever we are doing or thinking creates a situation where one realizes that life is all the time asking for an affirmation and action that you have to keep affirming, that you constantly question then action becomes a…
Acharya Prashant: Do not talk about this because you have not done this. You have never done this. It is dishonesty to talk of something which you have never really done with sincerity. You have never really sincerely questioned yourself and you are narrating a whole story to me as if you have been through it and seen the beginning and the end of it.
First of all, go into it only then you can talk about it. Don’t you see that if actions become difficult, immediately you are inclined to act rather than continue with the questioning? You question something and that impedes action. Immediately which side do you choose? You say, “Action must continue, the questioning must drop.” When such is your bias, then why are you describing such a long tale?
Have you ever really dropped action? Have you ever really said that “Fine, let the action go and it is going without a substitute. I do not know what to do now, but I am pretty sure that I will not do what I was doing hitherto. That I will not do. What next to do? Well, no idea.” You do not tolerate that vacuum. You are so afraid that you cannot live in uncertainty. One action is going then it must be substituted with another action. Otherwise, I cannot displace it.
The real seeker must learn to live in that vacuum, in that state of having nothing. The old has gone, the new doesn’t seem to arrive and if it has arrived then I cannot yet identify it. Maybe it has already arrived. Maybe without its arrival preempting the departure of the false, the false could never have departed. So, maybe the new is already here but because I am still accustomed to the old patterns so I cannot put my finger on it. So, I cannot say that the new is here. So, what do I feel? That, there is a vacuum? One must have the courage to live in this vacuum.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Connect to Acharya Prashant:
1. Advait Learning Camps (ALC): Advait Learning Camps are monthly 4-day retreats under the guidance of Acharya Prashant in the Himalayas. To participate in the camps, Contact Sh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998
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