Listener: How to deal with society and the conditioning it brings along with it?
Acharya Prashant: You talk a lot about society, but ultimately our visa expires and we have to return to the same society. What do we do? Do we go to some forest? Do we go to Mars? What do we do? What do you mean by society? If you look at the contact list of your phone, is that list the same as the list in her phone (signaling towards another lady). How many numbers are there in your phone directory? How many? How many?
This is not a mystical question please. (Everyone laughs)
How many contacts?
Listener 1: Minimum 200.
And how many people are there in the world? 8 Billion. What is society? The miniscule number of people, that you gather around yourself. You have gathered a very small number of people around yourself and you call it ‘the society’. An infinite number of societies exist. You are the center of society, you gather people around yourself, when you change, your contact list also changes. Society changes completely and dramatically but you act as if, ‘no I have to go back to the same society’. Throw away your mobile phone, get a new mobile and save new numbers. Society has changed, the whole universe has changed, now what is the problem. ‘Oh! such a great problem- society.’
These 200-300 people are all that you know. The universe is giving you 8 billion choices, why are you rejecting all of them, why must you stick to these 300 people, and why must you discard all 300. There would be few worth keeping, keep them, the others would naturally drop off. ‘No we have to go back to the same society’. If you are going to the same society then you are the same person then why have you spend so much time and money in India? To remain the same person? To go back with the same luggage?
Only the same person maintains the same society. When the person has changed, his relationship will change.
But you don’t want to do that, right? You want to be nice. You want to go back, enter the same place; meet the same people, say, “oh ya nice, i brought this mala for you.” Why? “A little spidey for you”. What makes you so afraid of the new? Why don’t you have faith that the world is not a hostile place, that the new is beautiful? And remember, when the inner changes, the outer changes parallely, if you will not allow the outer to change even the inner change will be blocked. And that is why so many of us are frustrated in our so called ‘spiritual pursuit’. Something changes within but we do not allow the inner change to reflect in our external environment. And then you do not allow the external to change, even the inner get frustrated after a while. So let the external change fully, without inhibition, without fear.
You are not born to carry dead wood. Remember what Jesus said, ‘‘let the dead bury the dead, you come with me. Let bygones be bygones, you come with me.’’ Why are you obliged to carry all your memories and past and this and that with you?
What deserves to come with you will come with you in love, not as relationships. As love, it will come. It cannot be dropped even if you try to drop it. So don’t be afraid, the real will anyway not go away, what does go away is not real anyway. So let it drop.
One mark of the real is that it cannot be destroyed howsoever hard you try. So don’t be afraid of attacking it. That is why truth can be questioned mercilessly. And beliefs are so insecure, they cannot be questioned. You question somebody’s beliefs, they start retaliating. Truth is cool about being questioned, “Yes come on let’s toggle to know.” The believer gets panicky so quickly. He says, “No! No! Such questions cannot be asked, a few things are outside the purview of questioning.”
Have faith in love, have faith in truth. You would never lose the real. If you are really in loving relationship with someone, that relationship would sustain all tests. So put everything to tests, only the real would pass through.
You know why you are afraid? You are afraid because you know that nothing would pass through. You already know the result of the test, so you don’t want to take the test. That is all the more reason why you must take that test. Just to see nakedly that nothing is passing through. That would be like a rebirth. You are reformatting your phone, an entirely new contact list. Now you are free even to have a new name. So what did you get from India, a new life-not a method of meditation, not some guru, Life; not some yoga posture, life, not some book, life. Life. There is no custom duty on that, you can carry back as much as you can. Tons of life.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 3: Love is not about creating boundaries
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