Pleasure is a forced concept

Question:  Both pain and pleasures are unreal. But why is pain more sought after than pleasure?

Acharya Prashant: Because pain gives the hope of pleasure, because pleasure is always a hope. And that hope is called pain.

You see, can you feel pain except in comparison with an imagined pleasure? You say that you are deficient in something. How do you know that you are deficient? How do you know that you are deficient except with an imagined fullness?

You have two units of a resource. You say, you know what, it is so less. How do you know it is less? Only by comparison of time with an imagined state in which you have ten units. That ten units you defined as pleasure. These two units, you defined as pain. Both of these have been put as quantities by the mind.  To go to ten units is to prepare to feel bad when you come down to two. To be at two is to keep crying till you have ten.

When you are at ten, you are shivering in apprehension that you may now fall to two. Look at the conditions of those who have the riches. They are so eager about protecting them. The fear that this may go away keeps assaulting them. So their hope lies in securing them what they already have.

And look at those who have two. Their desperation lies in having only two and then they live in ambition, the ambition of one day reaching up to ten. Ten does not give them security. Ten only gives them the additional responsibility of securing the ten that they have now got. They fully well know that time can take away this ten.  This ten does not belong to them. This ten is just accidental. Something may snatch it away. So even if you have ten, you still cannot have pleasure. Whereas, when you were at two, you said that ten will give me pleasure. Having come to ten, you find that ten cannot give you pleasure because the ten is temporary. Now what do you want to do? You want to secure ten. And no security is ever be permanent. You know that.

You very well know that all your attempts to secure something will fail. You cannot secure even your own body. How will you secure your riches? You do not know even whether the next breath would be there, How do you know whether the next moment all your stuff in the bank would be there?

That is why you keep still shivering. Both pain and pleasure are pain. Both pain and pleasure are suffering. It is not as if spirituality is about moving away from pain. Spirituality is about moving away from both pain and pleasure. And having returned to your innate fullness is the point of joy. That point where pain and pleasures are just visitors – they come, they go, I live in my house. The house is named joy.

L: So, pleasure is actually a concept.

AP: Of course!

L: It is not a reality.

AP: No, not at all.

L: It is a forced concept.

AP: Of course! Pleasure is a forced concept.

You know what! One of the biggest instruments of pleasure — you will be surprised to know this — even sex is just a concept.

All those things that you associate with pleasure, with pain, with hurt are all concepts that we have been indoctrinated into. Remove those concepts and then show me where is pleasure and where is pain? Then there is just life. Just life! Simple, total and joyful.



Read Complete Article: What is meant by living totally?

What is meant by living totally?

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Acharya Prashant: The question is that both of these statements appear to be imperative.

First, “Whatever you do, do it totally.”

Second, “Whatever you do, you remain unaffected by the doing.”

How are these two to be put together? Is there a contradiction? If yes, how is to be reconciled? What is meant by doing something totally?

We need to go into this to understand this.

Usually, when we say that something is to be done totally, we equate that with an expanse in time, an expanse in energy, instead of investing five units of resources in it, I invested fifty units of resources because I wanted to do it totally. Instead of going one mile, I went all the way for ten miles because I wanted to do it totally. So we equate this total-ness with a stretch, with an expanse. In other words, what we say is “doing something totally” means going as far as our desire, our motivation wants us to go, right?

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How to relate better to one’s wife?

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Question: If there is a fight going on with my wife, and she gets angry, and I too get angry. Won’t that create more friction?

Acharya Prashant: You know what, you don’t get angry when fighting with your spouse, because you assume that she is not as strong as you. Do you see that? You say, “She is the weak one, so let her be angry. I am the more responsible one, so it is upon me to not to get angry.” Is that not what the assumption is? Now see what is actually happening. You are assuming her to be weak and she is controlling you. So, who are you? Weaker than the weak. Do you see this? Continue reading

Living in inferiority complex.

If I really know that I am beautiful, you cannot make me feel ugly — but I must then be in total sureness.
I cannot be in total sureness if I am worrying a lot about my business, if it means a lot to me, because in worrying a lot about the state of my business, I am actually worrying a lot about my capacity to handle my business, which means I am not very sure of my own capacity to live with the business, to manage it, to come out unharmed, untouched by it. I take business now as a challenge, as something that can really overpower me or dominate me. It now becomes something very meaningful. Now, I have given it a place that it does not deserve. Now, I have made it some kind of an equivalent of Truth and when something becomes an equivalent of Truth, you become too small in front of it.
That is called living in inferiority complex.
When you are feeling inferior, then even an innocuous touch can hurt you. The other one had no intention to rub you the wrong way but you find that you have been bruised for no reason. It has nothing to do with the intention of the other person. It has much more to do with your own self-concept.
At the risk of sounding impractical, let me suggest that one must treat all business with a little contempt. All business! Even the business of life and death. When you can treat all business with a little contempt, then the business is not bigger than you, then the business is not your God or Truth. Now you are bigger and bigger you indeed are.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

In fooling others, first of all, you fool yourself

Honestly, directly, simply, without pretense know where you stand. And wherever we stand, we stand at a point that is distant from the home. We all are lonely. We all are loving beings. Loneliness is not a blemish. Loneliness is not an insult. Loneliness and desire are very close. To desire is not a humiliation, but in many spiritual circles it is. So, what do you do? You turn to hypocrisy. With desires still burning in your mind, you say, “Well you know, I have no desires.” Or you seek backdoor entries to forbidden places to satisfy your desires. “It should not be seen that I am still desirous.” Because all that matters is whether you are being seen. So, ultimately, all propaganda is for others. All the masks are for others.
Don’t be so clever. In fooling others, first of all, you fool yourself. In deceiving others, first of all, you are deceiving yourself. You may do something that nobody else is able to see, but kindly tell me, how would you do something that even you are not able to see? You may cut off everybody else from knowing what you do or who you are, but there would still be one entity that would know what you do and who you are.
Which entity?
Yourself.
So, in deceiving others, you’ll have to inevitably deceive yourself first. Don’t try that smartness. At least to yourself, honestly, simply confess. There may be no need to sing about it in the markets. There may be no need to wear a banner proclaiming your loneliness or a car sticker or a hat or a t-shirt or a Facebook status. I don’t know if they have that option, “Feeling lonely” Do they have that option?
That should have been a default option!
You are not reduced if you are lonely. You are not belittled. I repeat: it is not an insult, not an offence to be wanting, to be desirous, to be lonely, to be seeking, to be searching. It only shows that you are still human, that you have not been taken away totally by machines, that you are not yet totally programmed, that something of the mystical still lives in your heart. You do not need to act macho. You do not need to act superhuman. We all are little fragile beings and in that lies our glory. We are already glorious but by rejecting our littleness, we subject ourselves to ignobility. By rejecting ourselves, we act as if something is offensive about our very existence, as if ‘to be’ is crime.
You may be down in the dumps, and there is nothing wrong about it. But to pretend that you are flying when you are actually being flayed—that is hypocrisy. And that would perpetuate your suffering.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

Everybody is lonely, and that is great news!

There is nobody who is at any given point too far away from crying. There is nobody who is too far away from breaking down. Oh! we have trained our tears to not to be disobedient. So, they don’t make unrequited appearances. We are social beings you see. We very well know the right place where to discharge any of the bodily fluids, including tears! One should not discharge in the open, even from the eyes; we are cultivated people, you know!

But look at your face. Look at the face of your neighbour, look at the face of your child, or husband, or wife. And if you have not trained yourself to be totally insensitive, you will know what the entire misery of this world is about. And that’s not something to feel bad about. That only shows that we are not totally dead yet. That only shows that which is calling us has not yet given up upon us.

If that which calls us would give up upon us, you would not feel what you feel. You would become accustomed to suffering. The very fact that we dislike suffering, that we suffer in suffering is proof that something beyond suffering is constantly calling us. That is proof that suffering is not our nature. And that is proof that one need not get adjusted to living a lukewarm life.

Nothing less than the total, the final, the ultimate beckons us. So, there is no need to compromise. And if you compromise, that would be such a pathetic compromise because it would give you nothing. You were distraught before the compromise, and you would remain distraught after the compromise. What’s the point of this compromise? So, don’t compromise, and keep moving. And when I say keep moving I mean keep in touch with your loneliness.

Those who suppress there loneliness become victim of suppression, those who keep in touch with their loneliness come up with great creativity. Beautiful songs have risen out of human melancholy. People talk of songs written in joy. I say that all songs that have any truth in them have actually risen from the honest depth of man’s suffering.

One who has never suffered can never write a song.
One who has never wept can never sing a song.
All art arises from the artist’s inner turmoil.
If you shelve that turmoil, if you lock it away, there would be no art in your life.
There will be nothing fluid, and real in your life.

And one of the worst culprits in this dimension are the so-called ‘spiritual people’. They have been told that to suffer is weakness. They have been told that suffering is sin. So, they wear a rotten mask of joyful appearance. You go to so many of these so-called spiritual places, and you will find people walking around with smiles because they have been told that unless you are smiling, you have reached nowhere in your spiritual pursuit. They have been told that Joy is akin to pleasure.

Poor are they, because they have no experience of Joy that lies in the total depths of despair. They do not know the Truth that shines when you are in total darkness. They do not know the realization that occurs when you have been beaten, bruised, cheated, deceived, totally and badly. They do not know the great fun that lies in tears.

Do not wear those masks!


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

That which you do to solve your problem becomes the problem

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Question: I suffer a lot because I do not know my child has an incident, I suffer, I cry. What can I do then?

AP: Whatever you do, if you do, knowing that you are going to do it, are you doing it or is the thought doing it?

Listener 1: It is the thought.

AP: And we have just discovered that you need not have thought before the doing.  You really do not need to have thought before the action. Thoughtless action is possible and it is not as bad as the popular culture makes it out to be. We use thoughtlessness almost as an abuse.

We say, ‘What a thoughtless man!’ Don’t we? When someone acted in a stupid way then, we say what a thoughtless action. First of all, that is not a thoughtless action, secondly, if it indeed happens to be thoughtless actions, it is something of the highest quality.

That which we want to do in order to solve our problems, only feeds our problems.

My request is, for a moment stop resisting your problems.

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