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Question: Acharya Ji, we keep experiencing highs and lows in life. I have been facing this problem that my ‘lows’ become very low. How to ensure that the ‘lows’ in life do not become very low?
I remember you have explained this very beautifully in one of the sessions with the help of a curve, a diagram, and that image has stuck in my mind. You said that such ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ would exist, but the actual movement must be upwards and not downwards.
Please throw some more light it.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Are you talking of the spiritual journey?
Questioner: I am asking about life in general.
Acharya Prashant Ji: My response would only be in context of spiritual movement.
Questioner: Yes, yes, Acharya Ji.
If you could please speak more on this, it will be helpful.
Acharya Prashant Ji: This is the super imposition of two curves.
This is the curve Y= sin (X). It never really attains any height. It moves centered on the Y-axis. The ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ are pre-determined, and dualistic in a sense. You know of the Sine Curve, Y=sin(X). Now add to this the Curve Y=X. How does the curve Y=X, look like? It is the straight line passing through the origin, at forty five degrees to both the X-axis and Y-axis.
These two when added, give the curve that you are talking of.
Y = X + sin(X).
What does the addition of these two curves mean? Man is both prakriti (nature) and something else. Prakriti is Y=Sin(X). You are confined within duality. Ups and downs, ups and downs leading to nothing. The ‘Up’ will not remain up forever, the ‘down’ will not remain down forever. Crests and troughs, crests and troughs – that is prakriti.
In a state of endless movement – day and night, summer and winter, dry wand wet, here and there, yesterday and tomorrow. That is Y=Sin(X). Man is usually just prakriti. So his life too remains confined within the limits of that curve.
A lot seems to be happening, nothing really happens. The curve of life seems to be going up, going up, going up, and then it comes down. Goes down, goes down, goes down. And when there is a great apprehension that it will go down into an endless pit, then suddenly there is a revival, and there is celebration.
The curve has taken some inflection. So instead of going forever down, what does the curve do? It starts going up. “Celebration, celebration, the economy has revived.” And now it goes up. What happens as it goes up? Now it is going up and your hopes are soaring, suddenly tragedy strikes, and the curve suddenly takes again a downward turn. And you remain interested.
It’s all so gripping.
You are never allowed to lose interest, because always something is happening, something is changing.
Either hope beckons you, or tragedy threatens you.
But all in all, what is happening?
You are not allowed to rise beyond a point.
Worse still, you are not allowed to fall beyond a point.
(Acharya Ji, moving the hand in the movement of sine curve displaying crests and troughs).
Life just keeps moving, moving, moving, like this, like this, like this. Do you see this? Now this will keep happening because you are identified with the body. Even to ask this question, there has to be body.
But life is life, only if there is another curve as well. That I am calling as Y=X. A curve that takes you upwards. It’s a very separate thing. It is a curve of consciousness, that is not satisfied with merely being prakriti – merely eating, excreting, sweating, reproducing.
What is there in it?
All the time you are inhaling, exhaling, blinking your eyes, moving your hands and limbs, combing your hair, brushing your teeth. Is that what you are living for? And then sometimes you have diarrhea. That’s what life is. Right?
Anybody who has never had diarrhea? Anybody who has never had measles or chicken-pox? That’s life. That’s life as a body. Is there anything more to life as a body? Anything more? May be. A running nose. And if you don’t have all the vaccinations done, then the bacteria and virus will tell you what it means to be a body. Every part of your body is infested by some pathogen.
That is Y= sin(X).
“O! I am healthy, healthy, healthy.” Then disease strikes. But most diseases are self-limiting. So even as your condition is deteriorating, after a point you find that the fever is ebbing-off. Doesn’t that happen with most fevers? Let’s say, malaria. There is a time duration. Health keeps falling, falling, falling, the fever keeps rising, rising, rising. And then one day you find that the fever is gone. So you are not even allowed to just keep falling indefinitely.
That’s life as a body – things come and go, nothing really happens.
And then there is a curve of consciousness.
The curve of ‘consciousness’.
It is not satisfied lying flat in the X-dimension.
It wants to rise up.
It wants to have a Y movement.
But it is helpless and constrained, because our consciousness cannot operate free of the body. Ours is a body-dependent consciousness. Even our consciousness depends on the brain. Does it not? Hit the brain hard and where is consciousness. That’s such a debilitating thing with being human – even the consciousness depends on the body. So the body cannot be just kept away or thrown away. So the two must go together.
Hence your life curve must be Y= sin X + X.
Then the curve be? Ups and downs would be there, but those ups would keep getting progressively higher. And even the lows would keep progressively higher. So the body will keep doing it’s own thing, but you will find that all in all you are rising.
You are not merely Y=sin X.
You are now Y=X+Sin X.
Make it X².
Make it Y= sin X + X².
And if you can make it Y=sin X + X raised to the power n, n → ∞ (n tends to infinity), you are done right now, irrespective of the body. Depends on your intent. Depends on the strength of your determination and desperation.
Never think that the bodily curve will let you free. The bodily curve will remain. You just have to superimpose another curve on that.
“Let the body do it’s thing, I will do my thing. I cannot stop the body, but I won’t let the body stop me either.”
“If you won’t listen to me, am I going to listen to you.”
The curve of body will be there, that is the curve of prakriti.
And the curve of consciousness is also there.
Just ensure that the curve of consciousness is steep enough to carry, and rather override the curve of the prakriti, the body.
Watch the session video: y = x + sin(x) || Acharya Prashant (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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