Question: Acharya ji, does spirituality enable one to predict the future?
Acharya Prashant: In this issue, there is no jewel, and no hidden diamond that carries any value. Doctors predict reasonably well that this fellow has two or three months to live. In that there is application of intellect, not the promise of freedom.
And if you are watching, a thousand people die, over the course of your career, a lot many of them, fifty or hundred, will be able to, reasonably, accurately predict, how many days or weeks, they have left with them. All this is: numbers, statistics, chance. None of this, is in the ambit of spirituality. None of this knowledge, will help you in liberation. This is sheer curiosity.
When you say that your grandfather was able to accurately predict, that he would die, ten days hence, you should also go and collect more representative data. Let me collect it right now.
Anybody sitting here, who has not ever had premonition, that he is going to die? Over the course of your life, have you ever not felt that you would not live for long? It happens. And with many people, it happens, multiple times, right? At some point or the other, you feel as if, you will die.
And obviously, all these speculations, premonitions, instincts, are proven false. In a thousand such cases, one or two, are going to be proven accurate, merely by chance. That is just statistical randomness.
So, when you quote one person as having succeeded in his speculation, you should also quote first of all, how many people failed in that speculation. Nine hundred failed, nine succeeded. Simple randomness. Don’t draw conclusions from there. And even if you draw conclusions from there, I am asking you, “How many conclusions help you with your liberation?” These things will not help you.
There is nothing of value in these things. Nothing at all! You also mentioned that your grandfather had a particular kind of shift in his consciousness, he became nice and such things.
Consciousness in itself is something, which can never be still. It is always shifting. Right now, it is still the same, as it was an hour back?
Shift – thy name is consciousness.
Consciousness – thy name is movement.
Consciousness is changing constantly, so what’s the great surprise if it changed ten days before the physical demise? It is anyway always changing.
Every piece of knowledge, or experience, or instinct, or conclusion,
causes a shift in consciousness.
So, if someone has become assured that he has only week or two, left to live, you would find his behaviour definitely changing. Obviously! You are standing outside this door, and this happens to be a doctor’s cabin. You are in a particular frame of consciousness, are you not? Now, you enter this room, and the doctor tells you that you are terminally ill, and you have only three months to live. Within five minutes, your consciousness has undergone a sea change. Has it not? You are no more the same person at all.
Outside the door, you are one person, inside the door, you are suddenly another person. One piece of knowledge, has changed your consciousness so much. So, all that is alright. My question to you, again is: does all this information, help you with your liberation? It does not. So, let’s rather come to the core questions.
The really important questions of our life, let’s come to them!
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
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