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Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji, while reading through ‘The Fountainhead’ I found that Howard Roark (the protagonist in Ayn Rand’s novel ‘The Fountainhead’) does not pay much attention to his past actions, and is rather attentive to what’s going on in the present with him. It is clearly evident in his conversations with others.
My mind always tries to always introspect the actions that have been done in the past, and tries to analyse and draw some conclusions from them. Why does the mind do it? Is it because it was not attentive to the incident when it first occurred, and hence it feels incomplete in it’s response and hence wants to revisit it?
Most of the times I find that my mind wants to dwell in concepts and ideology it framed and does not want to be attentive to what is happening in real life.
Acharya Ji please hep me understand the introspective character of mind and how one can bring can bring attentiveness to the present.
Acharya Prashant Ji:
Attentiveness can only be to that which is present.
The past is a filler, do not blame the past.
If you have nothing right now with you, then as a filler ‘past’ and ‘future’ would flow in.
Do you want to blame them?
Do you want to blame them?
A bowl has water. And when it does not have water, then what does it have? The air. Do you want to blame the air? The bowl is supposed to have water, that is what it is mandated to have. Why did the bowl empty itself of water? Now the bowl is not talking of water. The bowl is saying, “Acharya Ji, my problem is I am so full of air.”
Air is the default filler. If you do not have which you must have, then you will have air. Why don’t have that which you must have? That’s the question.
The present is not merely engagement in some activities that you are currently doing.
The present refers to the One center that you must always have.
Being in the present does not mean being concentrated on whatever rubbish you might have undertaken. That is not called ‘being in the present’
‘Being in the present’ means being centered in the Truth, being centered in the One thing.
If you are centered in that One thing, how will rubbish come to you?
You are occupied.
And if you are not centered, why blame rubbish?
The mind wants to have something, the mind is a vacancy.
If you will not give it the Right thing, then it will have anything.
You are sage enough to know what the Right thing is.
Do not deviate from it.
All the nonsense will keep away on it’s own.
And if you focus on nonsense and try to keep it away, you will just gather more frustration.
Watch the session video: Without the right thing, the mind will wander out || Acharya Prashant, on ‘The Fountainhead’ (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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