Forecasting future is one thing and desiring future is totally another

We all have the ability to forecast. Forecasting is one thing and desiring from the future is another thing. Based on how economy is going, the economist can forecast how the economy will grow in the next year, that is also looking into the future but that is not the same as being future-oriented.

If I have the capacity to project the future, that is one thing, but to be obsessed with the future is the entirely different thing. To make the future the centre of your action is totally different.

There can be two ways of acting: one is that I am acting right now and the other is that I already have the image in the mind and based on that image I am working for the future. Unfortunately, ninety nine percent of us work according to the second order.

See, the first model says that, “I am in love with my books and studies in the present and because I study well in the present, so I will do well in the examination, which is in future.”

The second model says that, “When the examination will be announced, when the exam date-sheet will be put up, then to do well, I will start studying. To do well in the future, I will start studying. Future comes first for all.” That is our model. That is the way of life for ninety-nine percent of the people.

Future comes first for you and then the present comes. You are reversing the flow of time. In our minds, future comes first. “I want to succeed in that examination, so today I must study”. The appropriate sequence is, “Because I am studying, hence I will naturally do well in the exam. I am not studying for the sake of exam; I am studying because I love to study.”

Would it not be beautiful if you live this way? Then marks would be a by-product. Marks will not matter, what will matter is the time that you spend with your books; the joy, the fun with the books, that is more important.

Feel free, let it come. Fearlessly, let it come. Let there be faith that, “I am capable of handling whatever will come. I can take it. I will not be scared. I will not shiver. I will not be afraid. Just bring it on. I have a way to respond to it. My intelligence is adequate. There is a challenge, I will respond. The world is not a threatening place.

Existence has given all this to you, how can existence be hostile towards you? The past was not hostile, the present is not hostile. How can future be hostile?

Essentially, all planning for the future is planning of the present.

~ Excerpts from the article, Plans of future come from fears of past


Sleepwalking through life

Speaker:  If somebody asks, “Tell me about yourself”, then how will you talk in the language of ‘We’? You see, this is what it is. I do not know myself and I claim to know everybody else as well.  It is already dangerous to claim self-knowledge, and I am claiming knowledge of others as well. Yes, so ‘I’…?

Listener 1: But Sir, I am not getting you actually.

Speaker: “I am not getting you”, right? Not “We are not getting you”. What did you say? “I am not getting you”. Correct? So, ‘I’! Yes?

Listener 1: Sir, I was saying, up to now, it was just a growth. But now I am here for development. Growth plus progress.

Speaker: Alright Sir. Now how do you differentiate between growth, progress and development?

Listener 1: Sir, according to me growth + progress = development.

Speaker: What is growth? What is progress? When you say X + Y = Z, you must first know ‘X’ and ‘Y’ in order to come to ‘Z’. What is growth? What is progress?

Listener 1: Growth is just increase in size and when some progress is included in that, it becomes development.

Speaker: When some…?

Listener 1: Progress is added to it.

Speaker: What is progress?

Listener 1: Progress means enhancing your views, observations and all the things.

Speaker: When you say increase in size, increase in whose size? Your body’s size. Is that what an educational institution is for? What do you mean by increase in size?

Listener 1: Sir, knowledge, mindset. It is a part of development.

Speaker: Growth. Let’s first focus on one thing. What do you mean by growth? We will then come to progress so that we can come to development. What is growth?

Listener 1: Simply as you have told that…

Speaker: Why should what I have told? I am nobody.

Listener 1: You were saying one thing…

Speaker: (Interrupting) You tell me, what do you mean by growth because it is your life, not mine. Right? It is your life. Not mine. So you tell me, what do you mean by growth.

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A life free of incompleteness and inferiority

Question: Sir, we have learned that we should not have ego, as it is conditioning. Ego arises because I feel incomplete within. But to fill this incompleteness is what I want in life. It gives me satisfaction in life. So, shouldn’t we be egoistic?

Speaker: What exactly is the logic? That we should be egoistic so that we continue feeling incomplete? Is that the argument?

Questioner: No sir. If ego is giving us completeness, shouldn’t we have an ego?

Speaker: It’s like saying that disease is giving me health. Is ego giving you completeness? Or is ego itself a continuous feeling of being unwell, of being incomplete and lacking and small and unworthy? How can a feeling of unworthiness give you worthiness? How can a feeling of incompleteness give you completeness?

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Live fully, die fully, and then come alive, again, and again…

Listener: Can we do music, study and exercise together, successfully?

Speaker: Sagar is asking, can I be into music, studies and exercising simultaneously.

No, never simultaneously! Never simultaneously. I would not really enjoy if you are exercising right now? Or if you are singing right now. Right now there can be only one music and only one exercise. Simultaneity in that sense, is not possible, and not welcome either; should not even be attempted. One thing at one go.

A Zen monk has said that, “When I eat, I eat; when I walk, I walk; when sleep, I sleep.”

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Even when you are lost, you are already Home

“The significance of a man is not in what he attains,

but rather what he longs to attain.”

-Khalil Gibran, ‘Sand and Foam’

Question: Once during a discourse on the Bible, you too have said, “The more you know the Truth, the more you want to know; such is the expanse of the Truth, infinite.” If this be so, then what is coming back to Home? What is this whole thing about coming back Home? Can one ever really be Home? Khalil Gibran seems to say that more than arriving at Home, it is the longing for Home which is important.

Acharya Prashant: Listen again to what Khalil Gibran says. He says, “The significance of a man is not in what he attains, but rather what he longs to attain.”

Man is a constant search, man is a restlessness; that is how man is constituted. That is the basic definition of man. Owing to this, often the religious mind builds a mental model that there surely exists a point at which this restlessness is extinguished. In this mental model there exists a problem statement. The problem statement is – the restlessness of man. And finally there exists a full stop to the story, a solution, and the solution is – coming Home.

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A confidence independent of knowledge

Question: Sir, how to get confidence that is not based on knowledge?

Speaker: (Laughingly) Just say that even if knowledge is not there, no harm will be done. Simple!

How did you associate confidence with knowledge? You did that, right? By unnecessarily saying a few things to yourself, over and over, again and again. You repeated falseness like a mantra. You repeated lies like a mantra and it came to a point where you started believing in your own lies. That is the simple story.

All that you are carrying in your head, you were not carrying it 15 years back. You acquired it during the journey and you kept acquiring and kept acquiring and you kept preserving it, you kept safe-guarding it, with the result that now you feel that it is really something precious.

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Immersed in life, you will not ask how to spend your life

Questioner: Sir, how should I spend my time?

Speaker: Whatever you have in imagination, can be spent only in imagination. Do you really have time? If you have time, show me where is time? You are talking about spending life. I am asking you, do you have it? How will you spend it? How will you spend it? Where is it? Where is time?

Yes, we all are living in the illusion that we have time to spend. But where is that time? Where exactly is the time to spend? Do you have even one second with you? One second? Forget about time as a large quantity. Do you have even one second to spend?

What do you have, to spend? What is it that you really have with you?

Listener 1: Sir, the present moment.

Life Vs. TimeSpeaker: And that present moment is so small, that you cannot say anything about it. By the time you say anything about it, it is already gone. So, how will you spend it? By the time you pull it out from your pocket and try to spend it, that moment is already gone. How will you spend it? Are you getting, what I am trying to say?

Where is time? Except in the head, except in the imagination; where is time? You don’t really have time. You have Life, but not time. You have the opportunity to live, but you don’t have time. Living is possible, but spending time is not possible.

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