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Confusion arises from choice; choices from ignorance || Acharya Prashant at IIT-Delhi (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Listener : Why is there confusion in the mind?

Speaker : What is confusion? Confusion is conflict. Confusion is the presence of many options and your inability to know. Confused, there are so many things and they are tangled together, they are fused together. That’s what confusion is.

We said that brain is nothing but external influences and remember that it is not only one external influence that enslaves the brain. The brain is a slave to a thousand masters. Brain is a highly fragmented entity and each fragment is ruled by a different influence. So there is one part of your brain which is ruled by family, papa and mummy, one by friends, one by media, one by teachers, one by religion, one by ideologies, one by corporations and so on and so forth. So your brain is a battle ground where all these influences are fighting with each other. It’s like a man who has been pulled in hundred different directions by hundred different influences. You see what confusion is? Where to go, which way to go? The tragedy is whichever way you go will not be your own way. There are ten people pulling me in ten different directions, even one of them succeeds in taking me in one direction, still it is not my direction, it is an external direction. In confusion you have ten choices in your mind, that’s what happens. The funny part is not even a single one of those choices is really your choice.

Listener : Then, what is our choice?

Speaker : You have to find that out. Your choice can be presently only described in the negativa which is, that your choice is that choice which is not anybody’s else’s choice. So, first find out how much of my life is dominated by others, that is the first step. You cannot start directly by asking what is my choice because you are already full of choices, others’ choices.

Listener : We are depending on others’ choices because we think ourselves to be incapable of making our choice.

Speaker : You don’t even think of that. The moment you see that freedom has already begun. We don’t even see that. We are caught in an illusion that those choices that have been given by others to us are actually our choices. The one who starts seeing that these are not my choices, for him the process of freedom has already begun in some sense, faintly it has already begun. So, first of all you look at your life and see that whatever you do throughout the day, what aims, aspirations, ambitions you have for your life and how much of that has been driven by external masters. Influences of the media, the society and the rest of it. Family, education, religion, tradition, convention, general trends, of much of that is driven by all that. You’ll always remain confused till the time you are not proceeding with your own intelligence . And let me drop a hint, whenever you see options, know that you are a slave. If you always have lots of options in front of you, then it is slavery.

An intelligent man never has any options. He just knows the right thing, just knows. He doesn’t wonder out of these options which one to choose. He just knows the right thing. He’s never confused, he knows. If you are someone who always has options and is in fact looking for more and more options then that means that you are just…

Listeners : Confused

Speaker : An intelligent man is choiceless, he sees only one road which is his road and he knows that this is it. He does not have any botheration about the rest of it.

Listener : Sir, how he knows? Is it intuition?

Speaker : No, it is not intuition. It is just knowing, direct realization. When you say how he knows, you are asking for some kind of method of knowing. There is no real method of knowing. This knowing is a complete contact. This knowing in that sense is being. See, when you have external knowledge, there is a difference between you and the knowledge. There is you who is getting the knowledge and there is knowledge that is coming to you.

For an intelligent man there is no separation between him and the knowledge, there is a complete contact. He is the knowing, it is his nature to know, just know. We are not talking of information here, we are not talking of knowledge here. Knowledge and information will always come from outside, from Google, encyclopedia and other rest of the places. We’re not talking of that. We’re talking of the movement of life. He knows that fully well. He doesn’t have to depend on anybody else. He has no choices, no choices at all. If you are confused it might just be a good step to reject all the choices. If four choices make you confused, it might be a good step to reject all four of them because had they been really your thing, you could not have been confused. Get rid of all of them. They are not your thing.

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

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