Suffering and Courage || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: Acharya Ji, as you said that the realisation, the understanding, or seeing, frees us as a spontaneous action. How does it arise? Whatever I understand through my thinking, analysis, knowledge, I understand a bit. But that understanding does not free me of my habits.

So, my question is: How is ‘my understanding’ is different from ‘the understanding’ that you are talking about? Is it also born out of knowledge?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

It is born out of suffering.

There is no other transformative force.

You do not need to transform, if you are not suffering. If you are already alright, do you need to change? So, all Spirituality springs from there.

Wisdom, and Realisation, and Understanding are needed, because man is not alright.

So you have to come face-to-face with the fact of your inner disquiet.

And that requires courage.

That requires a dedication to Peace.

Why does it require courage? Because disquiet does not live within us carrying the name of ‘disquiet’. ‘Disquiet’ lives within us carrying very lovely, and sacred names; names in which in which we have made a lot of investment. Therefore, to call disquiet as ‘disquiet’, is a courageous decision. It means mentally writing-off a lot of your investments. Giving up on a lot of your assumed receivables.

Hence, courage is needed.

Disquiet hides within us as love. And it requires courage to confront the fact that, that which you have been calling as ‘love’, is not love at all; it is just noise. And why does that require courage? I repeat, because in that so-called ‘love’, we have already invested a lot. So when you acknowledge that love has not been ‘love’ at all, you are mentally writing-off all the resources that you have so-far invested in ‘love’.

And mind is greedy, it doesn’t want to easily write-off any money. Do we want to write-off things easily? We want to cling to hope. We want to keep hoping that an investment will come good, that some money that others owe to us, would be returned to us, sooner than later.

It requires courage to firmly write something off. It requires courage to realise that hope is useless, that you have invested in the wrong places. And that by sticking to hope, you are only turning the condition worse.

Sometimes the situations force us to confront the facts. Mostly we do not allow the situations to go so bad, specially in the modern-age. There is so much money, and so much technology, and so much entertainment, one can remain gladly absorbed in one thing or the other. Science, and economics, and social security, all are there to serve us. So they act as a buffer against sudden shocks of realisation.

All the security that we have built around us, acts as a shock-absorber. It doesn’t allow the shocks of reality to reach us. So we remain comfortably insulated. This gives us an even more allowance to continue in our dream world.

We never face the full consequences of our actions. And even if we face them, we don’t face them in one go. We never get to see a big wound in the chest. Instead of the big wound, our security systems ensure that we have hundred little cuts.

Now, hundred little cuts can never all be seen together in one go, so we live under the delusion that there is only a little bit of bleeding. Had there been a single big wound on the chest, then we would have been forced to realise the extent of our suffering. But we don’t have that one big wound. We have arranged to turn that one big wound into several small ones. And even those several small ones don’t occur to us parallely, they come to us in installments.

And that gives us enough allowance to keep deceiving ourselves, and keep telling ourselves, that all is alright. It’s the credit-card age you see. If you don’t want to know, you will never come to know the full face of your indebtedness, you just keep paying the monthly dues. You will never realise that you are neck-deep in trouble.

One has to then sit down, and say, “I want to know. I want to know the facts of it. I want to know the Mathematics of it. Give me the right number. I really want to know how deep the trouble is. I can’t shy away from the facts any longer. I want to know what the thing is really like. I will ask the right questions. I must begin the right conversations. The facts must be exposed, even if they are highly inconvenient.”

But this is the age of convenience you see, you can shy away from anything that is not convenient.

Questioner: I don’t work towards it. I just get stuck. I just realise that this is where I am. What should I do next then? I don’t get that courage to let it go.

Acharya Prashant Ji:

Be in the company of somebody courageous.

Sometimes it happens that a little, initial push is needed from the outside, and then the power of your self-observation is enough to keep propelling you.

If you are continuously in an environment, in the company of people, who would not move towards, or for the sake of Realisation or Liberation, then you too would find movement difficult.

But such difficulty is only initial.

Once you move a little bit, then you will start finding the movement natural, spontaneous.

To begin the movement, just seek a little help from outside. A little help. Not too much.

Don’t become dependent.

Watch the session video: Suffering and courage || Acharya Prashant (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.

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