Acharya Prashant: Can intelligence be wrong sometimes?
Tell me, all of you, “What is right and what is wrong?” How do you know what is right? And how do you know what is wrong? Someone told you what is right and someone told you what is wrong and not only that, someone also told you that there is something called right, and something called Wrong. And you have started believing in it so deeply, you have been made a fool of.
What do you mean by right? What do you mean by wrong? All our sense of right and wrong is a borrowed sense of right and wrong. All this ethics, morality, they are coming from outside, we never found it on our own. You are this old and mamma says, “Don’t hurt others, be respected to elders, speak the truth, be a loving person.” And all this is right. And the opposite of this happens to be wrong. But if you are a smart kid, you turn around and ask “Mamma why should I speak the truth always?” But mamma doesn’t know because her own mamma told that to her, and her mamma got it from her own mamma and nobody really knows. But a mantra is being repeated, “Speak the truth” And the world is now full of liars. Would have all been told in the childhood, “speak the truth”.
All have been told, “Respect others, don’t hurt others, don’t be violent.” But the world is entirely full of rapists. Have you not wondered why that happens? That happens because nothing comes out in our lives from our intelligence, all comes from outside. And when it comes from outside, that’s what we get, a botched up human being, a caricature of a human being, not a really healthy intelligent man.
All these rights and wrongs that you soak it like a sponge, from here, from there, have you ever paid attention, you would have discovered how incomplete and false they are. What is wrong in one country is right in another country, what is wrong in one house is considered right in other house, what is wrong in one age is right at another age, what is wrong in one religion is right in another religion, what is wrong in one’s viewpoint is right in other’s viewpoint.
One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
What do you mean by right and wrong? The only wrong if you are insistent on asking “What is wrong?” The only wrong is to be stupid. That is the only wrong. Don’t be stupid. This course that you are undergoing is essentially aimed at making you foolproof. You understand this? Not being stupid. Not being foolish, so foolproof.
The only wrong is to be stupid, and what does stupidity mean? Being distracted, not being attentive, not understanding, not exercising one’s own intelligence. And just taking things as they come. And we have only taken things.
We have taken so many beliefs, we have taken religions from outside, we have taken a sense of patriotism from outside. We have taken a sense of purpose from outside. All our life is nothing but the garbage bin and everyone keeps on throwing his rubbish into it. Nothing is our own. That what really is your own, your own intelligence, you are afraid of it. You are insecure about that, that how I dare be intelligent? That’s your right. you are intelligent, you must act intelligently. Don’t be afraid of that. Right? There is nothing wrong.
You know why you are asking this question that Sir, what is right? Because the moment you act intelligently, the first time you are afraid. Because till date what is right has come from others and that makes you feel secure. You know, I am happy and I am feeling safe that I am doing the right thing. Why? Because so and so told me that this is the right thing to do.
And everybody does it, so it must be the right thing to do. When you act on your own, like an individual, like an intelligent being, then you are afraid. Face that fear. Face that fear, don’t run away. The only wrong is to not be your own man. To not to be an individual, that is the only wrong. And the only right is to act intelligently. Nothing else is right.
When you will act in your intelligence, let the society say that you are wrong, let them keep on saying, let them keep declaring you a fool or a criminal, but still you will know, you will know deep within that you are right. You will know it so deeply that nobody will be able to convince you that you are wrong. Are you getting it? But that will require some guts. And that will require a great deal of understanding which I am so sure that you are capable of. You are surely capable of that. Yes. I know, it is a little scary, but don’t you want a life that is totally your life, not a dictated life. Yes, don’t you want that?
“Sir we want that but there is a too heavier price to pay. We have to give up these luxuries and comforts and we have become so attached to them. What to do? Our false sense of security. We have become too attached to it, Sir what to do? This course threatens us.”
If Truth threatens you, then surely you are living in lies. And I repeat, You are capable of understanding. You surely are capable of understanding and you have to a particular age when you must understand. You must act intelligently. You are no more six years old.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Knowing right and wrong
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