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Question: Acharya Ji, how to get rid of boredom?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Boredom comes only when you have an idea of what would not bore you. I feel that the only exciting things in life are ‘achievement’, ‘video games’, and ‘sex’, and situations have gotten me where I neither have achievement, nor video games, nor sex. Now what would I feel?
Questioner 1: Bored.
Acharya Prashant Ji:
You feel bored only because you have an image of what would not bore you. You decide in advance that if you can have exciting food, then it will not bore you. Now you cannot always have exciting food.
The result is boredom.
Before you say that you are bored, find out whether you have ideas about what does not bore you.
Anybody here who will keep silent when asked what is it that he finds exciting?
And if you can list what you can find exciting, why don’t you see that you have already listed what you find boring? Everything that you do not find exciting is something you will find boring. But you will never ask, “Sir, why am I excited?” Rather, you will always ask, “Why am I bored?”
You are bored because you are excited. If you are excited, then your excitement is going to vanish at some moment. And then, what will you be left with?
Question 2: Acharya Ji, then how to not be excited?
Acharya Prashant Ji: By seeing that the excitement is not just excitement. It is excitement plus…..
Questioner 1: There is another side to it too.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Yes, boredom is not just ‘boredom’, boredom is preparation for excitement. When you get bored, obviously you jump into excitement. Now, as long as you feel like playing this game, go ahead, play this game.
But if you are even semi-intelligent, there comes a point when you want to drop out, when you say, “I cannot allow these two to affect me. May be I can just let them continue in their way, let them do what they want to do. But I cannot allow them to affect me deeply. I cannot allow them to become statements of my state or my self-worth.”
“Yes, of course the movie is interesting, exciting, let the excitement be there. But I cannot allow myself to become the excited one. Even in the middle of excitement, let me just remain alright, because the movie is going to get over. And then I will be bored. Why do I want to invite that? Why do I want to inflict that upon me?”
Question 3: Acharya Ji, does that mean that boredom is not ‘boredom’ if I can see it, and excitement is not ‘excitement’ if I can see it?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Yes.
Question 4: Acharya Ji, you just said that let the states of mind do what they want to. So, does it mean that I let all this happen?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously you let this happen. And in this statement ‘letting this happen’ there are two things. The wise man exists parallely at both these levels.
Letting things happen – now there is ‘ the happening’ contained in this, and there is ‘the letting’ contained in this.
The one who lets, is the ‘Atman’.
Where all the ‘happening’ is, that is the body, the mind, prakriti apparatus.
Both of these must be there parallely together, concurrently.
The Center and the periphery, both.
The Witness and the world, both.
So, there is the game of excitement and boredom going on, and then there is the ‘letting’ also happening. Pay attention.
‘Letting things happen’.
Things ‘happen’ in the world, in the mind – that’s where all the movement is.
And ‘letting’ is the thing of non-movement.
Both these be together.
Are you getting it?
Is ‘letting’ an action, is ‘letting’ an activity? What does ‘letting’ mean? Does ‘letting’ mean that you are doing something? And when things happen, then there are things ‘happening’, moving. And ‘letting’ is?
Questioner 4: Opening the doors.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Not even opening the doors. Let the doors open, if they have to.
So – “I am letting myself dance.” Now there is beauty in this dance. Dancing is hardly a thing of beauty, but letting yourself dance is so beautiful. Do you understand the difference between making yourself dance, and letting yourself dance?
Questioner 4: Making is mental, and letting is…..
Acharya Prashant Ji: Natural.
There is nothing good or bad about dancing, what matters is whether you are letting yourself dance or making yourself dance. When you make yourself dance, then dance is nothing but thought.
Question 5: Acharya Ji, when we are in utmost excitement, in the excited mental state, then how to let that natural thing happen?
Acharya Prashant Ji:
There is no method of – letting things happen.
‘Letting things happen’ means – not doing anything.
And ‘method’ means – doing something.
So there is no method involved in letting.
‘Letting’ simply means – cessation of all control.
“Ah! You are free and I am free. You are free to happen and I am free to let.”
“You are free to happen, and I am free to let you happen.”
“I am not obsessed with interfering, blocking, doing, and you don’t have to worry about somebody suppressing you, policing you, or energising you. You want to dance, Mr. legs, Mr. hands. You want to dance, you dance. You don’t have to worry about anybody sitting on top of you. You are free to dance. Both legs are free to dance.”
Are our legs free to dance? No, they are supervised by the mind.
“Are the steps following rightly? Are the hands moving rhythmically?”
“O! Is he not watching me?”
“What is she thinking of me?”
“Am I synchronised with music?”
Now you are ‘making’ yourself dance.
“How can I quit? Everybody else is still dancing. No the time to leave the floor.”
Now you are making yourself dance.
Let the body dance.
When you let the body dance, this ‘letting’ is total Freedom – for the body and for the mind.
This ‘letting’ is both movement and non-movement together.
Questioner 5: Acharya Ji, does it mean that if I let myself be excited, then I will have to let myself be bored.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Let yourself be bored.
Questioner 5: In excitement, there are chances that there are no thoughts, but in boredom there are thoughts. So, how can letting happen in thought?
Acharya Prashant Ji: When you are excited, then may be there are no thoughts but a tendency deeper than thought.
In boredom, there might be thought.
Yes, there are times when you do not know why you are bored, and you also do not know why you are excited, you cannot place your finger on the exact cause. That however does not mean that the cause is not there. May be you cannot however think of the cause. You cannot think of the cause because the cause is deeper than thought, then the cause is ‘a tendency’.
A young man looks at a young woman and feels excited. Is there a thought involved in this? It is just the deep tendency. So even if the thought is not there, it is still the same mental thing, may be deeper than thought.
Similarly, if you are bored, it is not necessarily because of thought. It may be a tendency deeper than thought.
Question 4: Seeing a woman, if there is excitement, so when I let things happen, does it mean that I let the tendency do what it does?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Of course.
When the tendency is totally free, then the tendency gets totally suffocated due to absence of resistance.
You need to come close to this.
All tendencies are sicknesses, they exist and continue as victims. You give them a touch of Health, they go away. You allow Freedom to the tendency, you give the tendency freedom to exist, the tendency will die of suffocation, because the tendency exists only as the un-free one.
Having touched it with Freedom, having given it the total Freedom to exist, the tendency will have nothing to complain about. It cannot now continue as a victim.
She has come to assault me saying, “I want to kill you because you never let me do what I want to do. I have come to kill you because you never let me do what I want to do.” And what do I say? “Come, kill me.”
She will not kill me. Why?
Because I let her do what she wants to do. Now her complaint cannot survive. She is gone! But what do we normally do?
Questioner 4: We resist.
Acharya Prashant Ji: We say, “No, no, you cannot kill me.” And by saying, “You cannot kill me,” you have only validated her stand. And what has she been saying? “You never allow me to do what I want to do.” And in this moment what does she want to do? She wants to kill.
And you have not allowed her to kill you. She says, “See this is exactly what I have been saying. You never allow me to do what I want to do.” When she comes to kill you, just say, “Okay fine, all yours. Kill me.”
Questioner 5: Acharya Ji, but it can also become a cycle. For example there is a tendency, and I allow that tendency to fulfilled. Tendency is like a desire only, an un-fulfilled deire. And if I allow that desire to get fulfilled, the cycle continues.
Acharya Prashant Ji: No, no. Don’t allow. ‘Allowing’ is not same as ‘letting’. Allowing means – “I stand as a gatekeeper. Show me your admit card. Now you are allowed in.” That isn’t quite nice. Is that?
“I stand as a policeman, show me the money. Now you are allowed to walk past.” Is that nice? Allowing?
‘Letting’ is something totally different.
‘Letting’ means – “I do not exist. I am out of your way. Let things happen.”
Questioner 3: Is it like that the more we let things happen, the more we will be more natural?
Acharya Prashant Ji:
Blocking is something that one acquires.
Letting is not something that you can get used to, or learn progressively.
Letting is your nature.
You don’t cultivate it.
Questioner 4: If I let myself to do something which is anti-social, then?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Not in just thought. Give yourself total Freedom to indulge in what you want to, and then see. Without resisting it, without even ‘allowing’ it.
Questioner 4: So, it shouldn’t be just in mind?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Just see whether the energy to still do it remains.
All tendencies exist to get Freedom.
Having gotten Freedom, they disappear.
Ego exists because it loves the Truth, having been touched by the Truth it disappears.
Tendencies that are there, they are nothing but un-fulfillments, all incompletenesses that are there.
Freedom is total completion.
When you let the tendency be free to do it’s thing, then the tendency loses it’s justification to exist.
It’s very rationale for existing was that – “I don’t have freedom. I don’t have freedom, so I exist.” You said, “Now you have total freedom. You are totally free to do whatever you want to do.”
It disappears. It disappears.
Question 5: There are times when we let things happen, but suddenly it changes to making things happen. And then there is lot of confusion.
Acharya Prashant Ji: The answer always is – Love.
Remember that whatever troubles you essentially is in need of Love.
And between lovers, force and methods do not work.
You just have to trust that you won’t be harmed by the other.
When the lover is angry, you do not respond by defending yourself. And if you do that, that makes the other one even more angry.
That’s why I said, “When she comes to kill you, allow yourself to be killed.” That is the only way of surviving.
If you do not know that, then you won’t have any relationships.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Acharya Prashant: How to let things happen?
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