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Question: Given that all our relationships seem to be arising purely out of a sense of imagined need, is it possible to have any other kind of relationship?
Acharya Prashant Ji:
Those who are free of the world, are free to relate with the world in a healthy way.
And those who are dominated by the world, have no real relationship with the world.
Given that all our relationships seem to be arising purely out of a sense of imagined need, is it possible to have any other kind of relationship?
Given what we are, we would probably, quickly, want to say, “No, if I do not need the other, why would the other have a place in my life?” Because that is what we see all around.
“The other has to serve some utility; he has to provide me financial security or physical pleasure, or has to be related to me by way of memory. And if neither of these are applicable, then why at all would I bother to have a relationship?”
Yes, you are right. Our relationships are just a bother. If the things that I mentioned do not hold, then you would not bother to have a relationship, then you would not really be constrained by your relationship.
It is possible to relate without having the need to relate.
It is possible to have a totally purposeless and aimless relationship.
We are trained in usefulness, we pride ourselves on deriving uses out of even seemingly useless things. That is what we call as ‘innovation’. That we also call as ‘human creativity’.
“You see, this was just sand and we made a nuclear bomb out of it. Look at our creativity.”
But unless one learns the art of uselessness, his life will remain a perennial search; and that is not a good life to lead.
When one is not related to the other by way of habit or expectations, then there is complete Freedom in the relationship.
Then one does not accept limitations or obligations, and nor does one impose obligations on the other.
It is really a healthy relationship, because then it is real, and present, moment-to-moment.
You are not obliged to carry forward the past, you can really know who the person standing in front of you is. You can really talk, you can really relate.
Once I told somebody, “Let’s say a stranger knocks at your door, and after opening the door, you look at him. You at least pay some attention. You want to see what that person looks like, what his eyes are saying, what his purpose might be. But when the knock on the door is by your father, or by your friend, or by your husband, you don’t even bother to look at the face of the person, because you are carrying forward a lot of past.”
You say that you already know. How can there really be a relationship now? One can look sharply at the faces that appear in the magazines and in newspapers, but one hardly ever looks sharply at the faces and the eyes of the so-called ‘loved-ones’. For that matter, one does not look sharply even at his own face.
Only the man free of others can have loving relationship with the others.
It is only when you do not really need the other, that there is a possibility of really relating with the other.
You want to know the health quotient of your relationships? It’s easy! Just investigate your relationships for dependency. Are you dependent on the other in any way – physical, psychological, material, immaterial? Is the other dependent on you?
Where there is dependency, there would only be violence – not Love.
You need something, you are dependent on it, would you bother for its Freedom? The thing says, “I want to go away,” but you need it. Would you allow it to go away? And dependencies can be very subtle.
Good news is: it is possible to relate totally and freely without being dependent.
Spirituality or Wisdom is not about cutting off your links from the world, rather it is about relating completely and fully.
However, the main objective is never to relate with the other, the main objective is to remain centered in oneself. Relationship with the other comes as a by-product, as a surprise gift.
“I am immersed within myself. And strangely, surprisingly, pleasantly, I find that the whole universe is a friend. The universe was never my pre-occupation, I was not thinking about the universe, I was not so bothered about the universe.”
“And if I am very bothered about the universe even if in a so-called ‘well-meaning’ way, the universe would not be good towards me and I would not be good for the universe.”
Excerpted from an article published in one of the leading newspaper website on 5th Dec, 2018. Read here.
Edited for clarity.
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