Listeners: I was reading a book of yours, Personality. It was written that whatever you liked from your heart, the same thing you should do in the outer world. But if we talk about it ina practical aspect, maybe in a professional or personal life point of view, that is something other, that people expect from you and mostly it is considered failure. What to do to connect the internal as well as the external world?
Acharya Prashant: Two things, firstly, what we usually call as our heartfelt liking, has not much to do with the heart. It is just another part of the conditioned mind. The heart is no particular entity. It does not have any set likes and dislikes. It is not in favor, or in opposition, of anything. It does not like activities. It does not have expectation from activities. And, what the heart might suggest is never knowable in advance.
One cannot come up and say that this is what my mind wants, and this is what my heart wants, and there is a conflict. The ways of the hearts are very very subtle, not comprehensible, not knowable, purposeless, indeterministic. Just because one has a sharp like for something, and that likeness might be mixed with some emotionality. It does not mean that the liking is arising from the heart.
The heart stands for spontaneous understanding. When one is submitted to the heart, then one does not really bother about what others are saying, and whether it results in some kind of success or failure. In fact, one of the proofs that one is not working from the heart is that he would be concerned about the results of the action. When one is concerned about the results of the action, including a gain in prestige, material welfare, social standing and such things, it is certain that one is operating from the desirous mind.
Now, it is quite interesting because we want to have both. We say, “We will fulfill our desires, we will have the gratification associated with fulfillment of desires and parallelly we also want to live in the feeling that we are living by the heart. “I will live by my love and I also want the world to praise me for it,” That’s the stand that we take. I will live by the Truth and I also want social approval for it.
The heart, the Truth are complete in themselves. If you are living with them, then you do not need anything else. And if you are still desirous of anything else, it is proof enough that you are not working in love, or heart, or Truth. People come up and say “This is where my heart lies, this is where my love is. But you know what I am facing such and such difficulties. What to do?” The moment they say, “What to do?” I say, “Ask the heart.”
If you are actually living by the heart, why are you bothering about the problems? The more you bother about the consequences and problems, the more it is certain, that you are still operating from a point of incompleteness. You still want something as a result of your action. You have not started out from fullness. You have started out to achieve fullness.
Even when you are acting, you have one eye on the others, on the results, many people, many happenings. You are wondering what is it that you are going to get next, you are wondering what is it that you might lose. To act from the heart is to be free of the fear of consequences. If consequences still matter so much to you, then it is the consequences that you are working for. You are not working for the Truth. And it is nothing but the usual greed of the mind, to want this and that and that as well.
The mind just wants to accumulate everything. Because it has a never-ending appetite for accumulation. You want to enter into a business, where you would be called the most charitable worker. You would be praised for your altruism. Where the world would say look at this man’s selflessness. And, parallelly you would also want that the work, the business keeps filling your coffers. To you, should have both, material gain as well as gain in reputation, in self-worth.
The heart is always enough. Full stop. The heart is always enough and if the heart is enough, why don’t you give up on your reputation, you don’t need it. If the heart is enough, why don’t you give up on your worries and concerns? You don’t need them, the heart is enough, you already have the total. You are already complete even as you start your action. Now, why don’t you give up everything else that comes along with the action? This, that, effort, result, why don’t you give it up? Because you already are full. When you already are full do you still wish to consume more?
The very desire to have more must suggest to you where you are coming from?
If you really work from the center of love, then your work is characterized by a certain indifference to consequences. Not that you do not know the consequences, not that you do not bear the consequences. It’s just that the consequences do not matter to you in the same way as it matters to someone who would work for the consequences. You know what is happening. It is not as if the intellect goes dump. Not only do you know, you can probably even foresee. But even as you can foresee, you are alright.
Even as you can foresee, you do not start repenting if the consequences include loss. You know that loss is happening. But you do not internally quite feel that loss. You have not gone mad. You can know, calculate, assess the loss. But the loss is no more linked to your self. You would say, “The business has suffered loss.” You would not say, “I have suffered loss.” You would say, “The business is going down,” you would not say, “I am going down.” You would say, “The effort has failed.” You would not say, “I have failed.”
And when you have not failed, then the failure of this and that is hardly of any concern. But, when you work in order to add something to your self, then the failure of the business is your own personal failure. Then it is not as if a particular effort has failed, then the ego has failed. And when the ego fails, it pinches.
Just because you feel like doing something emotionally, it does not mean that it has something to do with the heart. The heart is not the center of emotions. Though emotions have a tendency to introduce themselves as something very pure arising from a place very deep, emotions are emotions. They too arise from the same place as any other mental activity. Thoughts, instincts, intuitions, emotions, they all belong to the same dimension. Some are a little shallow, others are a little deeper. But, fundamentally they arise from the same space.
The heart is a different sky altogether. You would not be able to talk of the heart, just as you talk of the mind.
With the mind, there are business deals, “I do this, I get that.” With the heart, there is only surrender. You let yourself be possessed. You simply become a servant. And when you become a servant, you forfeit your right to judge and complain, you forfeit your right to choose. Now, who are you to ask what am I getting out of this? You have given up your right to get anything, you are totally sold out. Now, what are you asking? You are a servant. You have given up all rights over yourself. Your welfare now no more your personal responsibility. The master will take care. You have surrendered. So, why are wondering about your welfare now if you are indeed operating from the heart?
The mind is insecure. The mind feels that it must take care of itself. The heart is not insecure. The heart says, “I have done the one right thing, I must always do. And after this one right thing, whatever wrongs fall on me are all gladly acceptable. This one right thing is a million times more valuable than whatever losses may befall.”
It’s like having earned a trillion rupees. Now, do you bother about the gain or loss of 100 or 1000? You are done, you are saturated. You are finished, you are exhausted. Your craving, your appetite, your desire to seek more, to want more is gone. You are over odd, inundated, overwhelmed, flooded, where are you now to cry and compare? You have been swept away. You cannot make sense of even yourself, how will you make sense of what other people are saying?
Yours is a position of such fulfillment that the mind is stunned, awestruck like the position of a beggar who has been blessed with a palace and more riches he can ever assume, or imagine. The unimaginable has happened. The force, the shock of the unimaginable changes the usual functioning of the mind machine. The machine can now no more operate in its usual ways. It still does what it is conditioned to do, calculate, predict, want, imagine, desire. But something irrevocable has been added to its apparatus, or, you could say something has been irreversibly removed from its apparatus. Either way, something has changed there.
It is as if someone was all the time walking in darkness. And now he is walking in the light. The instruments of walking are still the same – the eyes, the legs, the intellect. The road is also still the same. So, you are the same, your storehouse of memory is the same. Your intellect is the same and your senses are the same and the world too is the same yet the way you go about your business, the way you walk on the road has totally changed, now there is light. Now, there is light. And you cannot do anything about the light, you walk in the light.
The light is bigger than you. The light is falling upon you. It is not the light of a pocket-sized torch. This light is inexhaustable, it’s like a thousand suns shining upon you. So clear and so bright that you cannot miss anything even if the mind wants to deceive itself. It cannot. For the mind too needs arguments and justifications. Arguments and justifications are no more forthcoming. Something has been clarified to you with such total certainty that you cannot deny it anymore. You don’t want to deny it.
You may want to still claim that results are very very important. You may want to still claim that if you lose an argument or money or reputation then it is calamitous. But you cannot claim that way. The light is just too strong for you to act in a deliberate way.
One works from the heart when one is committed to himself. When one knows that each lost day is gone forever. When one knows that the future is a great deception and hence one’s welfare cannot be postponed to the future. And there is no point deceiving oneself. When one comes to that point where one sees the futility of all illusions, then one has to directly look at the Truth and prostate in front of it.
Till you have your fancy worlds, till you have belief in your manipulations, you’ll not live by the heart. To live by the heart is to discard everything except that which is pure, innocent and central. You will not look at the central, till you have many priorities. The periphery of life is full of objects one can potentially be concerned with. Unless you see that they are nothing but distractions, that you are being bled out through various cuts in your body, you will keep being concerned about a thousand miscellaneous things.
Walking on the road you would be worried that even a stranger might be thinking about you. The most trivial and the most inconsequential will hold value for you and the really valuable would keep getting lost in the stupid dint. When you are ceased by a direct honesty when you are blessed enough to no more be able to deny the obvious, then it is the heart; only then.
You would still experience suffering. But suffering would not mean so much to you. At least not enough to deter you from your position, from your past. It is a good trick for the mind to gain legitimacy and respectability. Mask as the heart. If the mind acknowledges, that it is the same old trickster then who will respect it? So, take a new name. Wear a new mask. Introduce yourself as Mr.Heart now. And, with that new name, you get the sanction to earn more, benefit more, hold more, along with respectability. Don’t fall in the trap.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: The Heart is enough
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