Question: How to overcome hesitation?
Acharya Prashant: Anurag (Name of the questionnaire), you see this fan, the moment I switch it ON, it has no hesitation at all in starting, no hesitation at all. Its life is very very hesitation free. Here you press the button, and there it goes. A flash of a second. You take a stone and you throw in whichever direction you want to, and it will just go. You pick up a gun, and with that gun shoot whosoever you want to, the gun will not hesitate, the gun will not come and say that this is right or wrong or improper. That is the lowest level of mind.
You have said, “Why is there Hesitation?” I am starting it by saying that absence if hesitation is not necessarily good, the gun never hesitates, the fan never hesitates. When you are not at all conscious, completely mechanical, then everything is totally automatic. There is no conflict, there is no confusion, there is no conflict, there is no confusion. You are operating from the bottommost level of mind, which is purely mechanical.
Then, there is a higher state – Level 2. Here you are semi-conscious, you are not completely like a machine, but you are also not fully human. You do have a glimpse of free will, yet it is only a glimpse, just a little bit, you are still a slave to many others. So, you need to take a decision and what happens? There are so many others that are dominating your mind that the moment you move in one direction, some other thought prevails. And all of these thoughts are of course external, others, just as the master of the fan is external.
So, you want to move in one direction, you can’t. Because then the opposing thought will arise and you give credence to that thought, you move in some other direction, you can’t go long. You go a little distance, and something arrests your feet, you can’t move. There are ten thousand voices, that are filling your mind and that are all pulling you or pushing you in different directions, this is called hesitation. I want to do something, the moment I get up, the moment it comes to act, an impeding thought comes. This is hesitation.
Hesitation is there because there are too many masters. Hesitation is there because there are too many pulls and all of these pulls are in conflict with each other. There are too many voices and none of them are mine, my own voice is missing, all external voices are dominating my mind.
So I am better off than the fan, even though I am hesitating yet I am better off than the fan because at least now I am aware of the pain of hesitation. The fan is completely a slave but does not even know that it is a slave. In the second stage, I am dominated by others, that is why hesitation is there, but I also feel the suffering. That’s why you are asking this question, Anurag. Had you been very comfortable with your hesitation, you would not have asked this question.
You are asking this question because you do not like hesitation. Right? You do not like hesitation so you are complaining. Will the fan ever complain? You are complaining because slavery is not your nature. You want to be free. You want your decisions to be your decisions, so you do not like it when there is a clutter of external voices here (head). This fan is such a poor thing, it can’t even complain. You might be committing a murder under the same fan but the fan will still keep moving. Have you ever seen a fan that says “I am Protesting?” “Right under me, you are committing a murder, I am protesting, I will stop moving.” Have you ever seen such a fan? The fan is such a poor thing.
But remember it has no hesitation. Switch it on, ON; switch it Off, gone. Hesitation is not necessarily bad. When it is arising and you are not liking it, and of course no one likes it, then it is a proof that you are alive. Only an alive being would feel the conflict and in feeling the conflict, you want freedom from the conflict.
You are asking this question because you want to be free from hesitation, Right? Or are you asking hesitation because you want hesitation to continue? You want freedom from hesitation, is that so? Now, beyond this level, One where one is totally mechanical and beyond this level two, where there are too many masters, is also a level three, where I am my own master.I have a voice and it’s a clear voice and all my actions happen out of my clarity. There is no conflict. I know what is to be done, so what is the question of hesitating? I know where I have to go, How can I hesitate?
Anurag, just get up, walk up to that door, now come back, come back, come back, keep standing. Now you do not know this room, and you also don’t have eyes, close your eyes, Now you do not know this room. Now walk up to the door, Why are you turning back, you don’t know this room. You don’t know this room, you know nothing.
L1: Sir but I have felt it.
AP: What have you felt? You could have gone anywhere. All the directions are open.
L1: Sir, I know the directions.
AP: You don’t know anything. You are blind. Keep your eyes closed, walk up to the door.
L1: Sir, I can’t do this.
AP: You can’t do this. But you can still do this because there are others. Alright? Now others will guide you. And all others have different voices. So, this is voice no. 1 that is coming to you, “Anurag, blast the roof and shootout, that is the only way out of this room.” Keep your eyes closed. This is voice 1. “There are no doors, You can only go out by creating a hole in the roof.” Do that, you have to do that, you have no clarity of your own. You are so dependent on others and others can give whatever advice they want to. Voice 2 will come from Kundan. Yes Kundan, guide him.
Kundan: Take right, then take a step, then again take a right.
AP: Anurag, follow him. You have no option. Listen to him and keep your eyes closed. No Anurag blast the roof. Now, there is a third voice as well coming from Rohit, Yes.
Rohit: Step back.
AP: No Anurag, blast the roof.
Rohit: Step back.
AP: No Anurag, drill a hole in the floor, create a tunnel.
AP: No Anurag, Forwards.
AP: Anurag, forwards.
AP: Bad, too bad. Now, HIDP, open your eyes, now do you need me, or him, or him?
L1: Sir, I was confused.
AP: You were confused, to the point your eyes are?
AP: Open your eyes, Now are you confused anymore? This is the genesis and the process of hesitation.
You hesitate, only till the point, you keep your eyes close. Then you will have to be dependent upon several others and these several others do not speak in one voice. That is conflict. Here (head). You cannot do anything, you are torn apart. Ten forces, all pulling you in different directions.
The third stage is when the mind is free of the influence of others. When you have taken care to pay attention, to understand. Now, your life is yours, now your decisions are wise. Now you can really see, so there is no question of hesitation.
Are you hesitating in nodding your head? Are you? You are just nodding. There is no hesitation because you understand. Am I hesitating in saying something to you? But had I been confused, you understand the word ‘Confusion’? Two different things coming together and fusing. Then I can’t speak with clarity.
In hesitation, you need a lot of roadblocks and your movement is random, zigzag. Sometimes you go this way and then this way. In clarity, which is the third stage that we talked about, in clarity, there is smooth spontaneous flow, if you want to say something, you just say it. If you don’t want to say, you know that you don’t want to say and you will sit quietly. If you want to act, you just act. You don’t keep thinking and mulling over. “Should I act?” “Should I not act?”
Have you seen those pics that the girl carrying a flower in her hand and she is picking off the petals one after the other, “He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not.” Now, surely this girl does not know whether he loves her. If I really know whether he or she loves me, will I do this? “He loves me, He loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not.” When you really really know, when you are really clear, then there is no question of hesitation.
You don’t hesitate because there is something wrong with you, you hesitate only because you think that you must be dependent. This thought is the root of hesitation. Remove this thought. You are young, you are capable, you are an adult. There is no need to be dependent. By all means take information from others, by all means, take guidance from others, but do not be dependent, dependency is an altogether different animal, its a disease.
Let information and knowledge come to you from all sides, but not your decisions. They must be born out of your own clarity. Are you getting it? Is this clear? When it is clear, see, look at the conviction with which you are saying, “Yes, it is clear”. Yes, of course, it is clear. Now if the entire world says that Anurag it is not clear to you, you will say, chuck off, who cares, “I know, I am clear, I know that this is it. Now let the entire world come and say, I am not going to believe.”
But this knowing is not arrogance, it is not stubbornness. Zid nhi hai ye. This is real knowing. Coming out of understanding, coming out of attention, coming out of your presence, when you are totally present here, then there is that clarity, which has this smooth musical flow. Getting it? Clear?
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How to overcome hesitation?
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