Acharya Prashant: There is fundamentally no difference between the five senses and the sixth sense.
Just as the five senses constitute who we are, similarly the sixth sense too is but a product of the five senses. It is just that the ego sense is identified more with the mind than with the hands, or eyes, or tongue, or ears. Hence, it wants to give more weightage to the so-called sixth sense (which is nothing but the mind).
We often hear people speaking in these terms – such as, “The sixth sense is intuitive, the sixth sense is metaphysical.” We even hear of things such as “women have a more advanced sixth sense”.
Just as the five senses are external and dualistic, similarly the sixth sense too is not what one is.
You see, we have a fascination for the paranormal. The eyes are so ordinary . . . you see how they are functioning. We have a fascination for the paranormal because we want to prove that we, as we are, are still something beyond the material.
The body appears so limited, and so weak. So, one likes to claim and attribute those powers to the body which the body doesn’t have and cannot have. So we talk of things like intuition and conscience and sixth sense, as if they are coming from somewhere beyond the body-mind.
Don’t you see people paying a lot of respect to what they call as their ‘intuition’ . . . people relying a lot on their tendency about something –their inclination, proclivity towards something, and calling it as sixth sense; or attributing their deep seated conditioning to what they call as their conscience?
If you say, “This is my decision,” it doesn’t sound too grand, too much, or very respectable because you are not respectable. If you go to someone and say, “I am withdrawing from you and it is my decision,” then that person will fight you, contest you, argue with you, because you have just said that it is your decision and you are known to be little and weak and prone to mistakes. But if you go to the same person and say, “You know, it is the call of my conscience, it is not my decision,” then the same decision is given more respect, the fellow takes you more seriously. Why? Because now you have said that it is not coming from you, rather it is coming from some other center.
Don’t we see that happening? Man wants to claim that his ego itself has two centers. The ego wants to claim that the true center lies within it and it tries to give the true center various deceptive names. Of course, it is the false-true center that the ego is referring to. So, it gives it names like ‘conscience,’ ‘love,’ or ‘understanding’. Have you not heard people using these phrases? “You know it is my own personal understanding that what you are doing is wrong.” If the fellow just says that it is my opinion, then it won’t be taken with any gravity. People would say, “Just as you are, so would be your opinion, why should we listen to you?” But when he says, “It is my understanding,” then suddenly some kind of weightage is attracted to his statement.
If you just say, “What I am saying is what I have absorbed from my five senses, this is what I have seen in the T.V., and what I have seen and gathered from the T.V. has now become my mental stuff and now I am just recycling it, regurgitating it,” then this would appear so mean. So, you cannot attribute your statements to your five senses. You cannot say, “I just ‘saw’ this. I just ‘heard’ two people talking about this; and I used one of my five senses for that.” You say, “It is coming from my sixth sense.” Brilliant! Now it’s coming from the beyond; now, you have staked your claim to the transcendental. Now you are saying, “Take me seriously, it is coming from the beyond.”
Just as you cannot tell a woman that nothing but lust attracts you to her. If you just go and tell her, “You know it is your body, and especially your sexual organs that attract me to you, then the whole game will be spoiled.” So, what do you go and tell her? “Mine is divine love. When I look at you all the goodness and the divinity of the cosmos appears personified in your shape.”
You have heard so many songs. In any of these songs do you really hear the fact of a man-woman relationship? Is the man ever saying, “Nothing but your naked body is what I want”? He is talking of so many other things. At the most, he will talk about her hair and her eyes – that is the limit. Whereas, the fact is – he is least interested in the eyes. The moment you say, “love,” you sound more mature, more deep, more sincere, isn’t it?
One politician wants to switch sides and moves to the other party, he never says that he is doing it out of his greedy calculations. What does he say? “It is the voice of my conscience.” And he will not admit that his conscience is nothing but a product of his conditioning.
The ego uses all means to be taken seriously. Deep within it has a deep inferiority complex. It knows that it doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. So, it masquerades as something else. It is only when you know that you have nothing that can be given any weightage that you want to disguise as somebody else. One of the first elements in spirituality is to have this honesty, to see black as black and white as white – to not to name deceptively.
If you have a doubt, you call it a doubt; you don’t call it a submission. If you are taking sides you clearly mention that you are a partisan; you don’t say that you want to understand the matter from a neutral perspective. You very well know there is nothing called neutral perspective; all perspectives are biased, this way or that way. But have you not seen the sophisticated ones, the ultra-civilized ones use this kind of language?
“You know, I want to understand your statement from a neutral perspective.”
“Why are you bullshitting? Come the point! Just say that you do not like what you hear from me. Just say that something within you cries out to oppose me.”
Won’t that be honest? Why does your morality prevent you from expressing the fact of your mind? And does it not? You hate somebody and what do you tell him?
“You know I was just a little disappointed to hear what you said because I expected a little better from you.” If situations allow, you would gauge out that person’s eyes, slash his face using the sharpest blade possible, and what are you saying: “I was a little disappointed because I thought you are capable of doing much better.”
See things as they are!
And don’t feel guilty when you see your mind full of biases, or hatred, or patterns. What is the point in judging the judgment . . . in judging the judge, especially when the judge that you are judging, is the same judge that is judging.
Who is judging? The mind is judging itself.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: The sixth sense is the conditioned mind trying to take a more acceptable name
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: The normal mind finds intelligence repulsive
Article 2: Do not discard particular opinions, discard the opinionated mind
Article 3: When there is innocence in the Heart only then there is intelligence in the mind
Books by Acharya Prashant: