You, I and the mind

Question: What is the difference between ‘You’, ‘I’ and ‘the mind’?

Speaker: Good. What is the difference between ‘You’, ‘I’ and ‘the mind’? Simple.

Whatever is personal is mind.

We all exist as persons. Right? Right now if I have to speak to you, I cannot look somewhere else and speak. You will feel awkward if I do that. You exist as a person. You are looking at me. Even though you do not look at me you would still be able to hear me, but it’s our common practice. The entire world does this. We exist as persons having a definite form, a definite name, a definite shape, and some characteristics that appear as permanent. Whatever this person is characterized by, is the mind. Whatever is personal, is mind. So the person is the mind and the person refers to himself as ‘I’. Wherever there is an ‘I’ there would be a reciprocal…?

Listeners (everyone): You!

Speaker: Yes. So the mind creates the ‘I’, first thing, and then the ‘I’ depends on all the different ‘yous’ for its sustenance. And that is a ‘person’.  For ‘me’ to exist, there has to be a limit to the ‘me’. You can call this wall as a ‘wall’ only because this wall ends somewhere. In a similar way you can call yourself ‘I’ only by restricting yourself as a person.

‘This is me, I end here and where ‘I’ ends, ‘you’ starts.’ Where I end, something else starts. Where this wall ends, something else starts. If there is something that never ends, you’ll not be able to sense it. If there is something that never ends, you will not be able to sense it at all. To be able to sense something, to perceive it, it has to be limited, that it ends. That is the mind, the I and the you. All one.

‘I’ and ‘you’ are two ends of the duality, which is mind. And in mind everything is dual.

What is duality?

Listener 1: Doubleness?

Speaker: Not really.

Listener 2: It has something do with the electron. It is both a wave and a particle.

Speaker: No.

Listener 3: Duality means replica.

Speaker: Not quite.

Listener 4: Duality is two ends of something.

Speaker: Right. Let’s look at this. Duality is when any two things, or concepts or words are such that:

1. One depends on the other.

2. One appears as opposite of the other.

3. One cannot survive without the other.

It’s a bit like every day love. One depends on the other, one appears as opposite of the other and one cannot be without the other, like the two faces of the coin. The two faces of the coin appear as opposites of each other looking in opposite directions, but you cannot have a coin with one face. Wherever there is one face, there would be a corresponding opposite face. And they are always together, they always exist as opposites. Now this mind that you just talked of is always composed of dualities. You cannot perceive anything which is non-dual. It’s quite amusing.

For the mind to perceive anything, its opposite must exist.

For you to sense happiness, sadness must exist. Day is ‘day’ only because there comes ‘night’. There is ‘life’ only because you know there is something called ‘death’. So in the world of the mind anything that you pick up always has a dual opposite. If the dual opposite is not there, you cannot sense that thing.

There is this whiteboard behind me. If I write with white on it, you will not be able to perceive it. For black to be perceived, white has to be there. For excitement to be perceived, boredom has to be there. So if you feel very excited on watching a weekend movie, it only proves that the week has been boring, otherwise the excitement would not have come.

It goes far, very far. That’s why I said that is duality a mere theory or does it relate very-very deeply to the essence of our lives. Is duality clear?

Listener 2: Clear but not very clear.

Speaker: No? Not clear? Alright let’s put it this way. If I have fever right now, how will I perceive that I have fever?

Listener 1: By using a thermometer.

Speaker: Yes, by using a thermometer. Only because I know that there is a benchmark, a standard point in the thermometer which I call as ‘health’, I come to know that I have fever. If there were someone who always had a headache, were someone born with a headache, never, never relieved of the headache, he would not feel the headache.

Listener 4: But how is this conflict duality?

Speaker: This is duality. That for a thing to be sensed, to be perceived, its opposite must be there. Its opposite must be there. For black, white must be there. You pick up anything that can be there in the mind, any word, any concept. It is simple, quite simple to understand.

People who are color blind, it’s not that they are color-blind in a single color. They are color-blind in pairs. It’s not that they cannot not perceive just one color. They do not perceive one color, as well as its contrast. So the color is gone and its contrast is also gone. And this has deep, deep ramifications in our lives.

For example, we want to put fear away from our lives. There is nobody who likes fear. We all like to be fearless. But we forget that fearlessness and confidence are the two ends of the same duality. Now we are asking for the impossible. We say, ‘I do not want fear, but I want confidence.’ The fact is confidence can be there only as long as fear is there. If fear goes, confidence also goes. You just become simple.

Listener 5: But Sir when we overcome the fear, then confidence will come.

Speaker: Let’s inquire into that. When do you require confidence? Do you require confidence when you perform your routine work? Let’s say you go home and talk to your siblings or to your parents, do you require confidence to speak to them? No. But when you are in the interview room, facing the recruiter, then you require confidence.

Listeners (everyone): Yes, Sir.

Speaker: So when do you require confidence? When there is fear! Where there is no fear, there can be no confidence either. Confidence is a sign of fear. And people who appear confident are actually very afraid, that’s why they need so much of confidence.

The one who is not afraid, would be simple, flowing, like a child. He would not need confidence. But then you see how we ask for the impossible. We say, ‘Give me confidence but don’t give me fear.’ That is the practical application of duality in our life.

The one who understands duality would not ask for the impossible. He would just understand the mechanics of the mind.

– Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

View the session at: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=WOnBGGF6HGw

2 thoughts on “You, I and the mind

    1. Acharya Prashant (आचार्य प्रशांत) Post author

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