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How to deal with hurt in life?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
20 min
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Do not fear the thorns in your path, for they draw only the corrupt blood.

~ Kahil Gibran

Acharya Prashant: That is a surprise how in the movement of hurt we see only that which has been hurt and we totally ignore that which has been not and both are always there. That's the thing about humanness.

Never would come a time when a thorn would fail to prick you. Even your most impenetrable armors are vulnerable to be at least scratched by the impact of thorns and such things. Man will always be susceptible to hurt, always.

Prakriti wants you to react to stuff. Prakriti wants you to take care of your physical and psychological self. And taking care includes in Prakriti’s language getting hurt and reacting to hurt. As long as the body is there, there is bound to be at least a remnant, the faintest shadow of the psychological self as well. They are actually one, for the sake of discussion we may call them two. Whether one or two, What is certain is that they do get hurt. Prick a thorn the body bleeds, prick the ego and the mental body bleeds. So, that happens.

Why do we look at happening

Why don't you look at changes?

Why don’t we look at that which hasn't changed, even after billions of awful and billions of awesome experiences?

But there is something about our apparatus of perception. It is designed to perceive only change. So, you were feeling alright about yourself before you stumbled and injured your knee. Your apparatus of perception register that, you’re feeling alright about yourself, till you saw something on social media and you got agitated. Again, your apparatus of perception would register the change in your mental state. These would be registered, acknowledged, seen as happening, something happened and all happening is a change. Something happened.

Equally, there was a tremendous something that did not happen, we fail to register that. And then we say, something bad has happened to me, I got hurt. Only the outermost flimsiest skin of yours got hurt, the rest of you didn’t. And beneath the thin skin, you are deep and deep and deep and unfathomably deep, all of that never gets hurt. But since we look as the skin all that we look at is the skin. So, skin gets hurt, you feel as if only hurt prevails. In your eyes, hurt becomes all-pervasive. This is nothing but hurt, there is nothing but hurt.

It's almost as if a small blade of grass has been plugged from the soil of one of the Himalayan mountains and the Himalayas start hollering. We have been brought down. We have been brought down.

Now, what is the real extent of the damage?

When a great mountain loses a blade of grass, “there is no damage whatsoever.” But great damage happens when the mountain starts claiming, I'm done with, I am gone. I'm so badly damaged.

Nothing has happened to you. Look at your worth. Look at your might. Your claim is self-deprecating.

You're humiliating yourself by saying that you are wounded or reduced or damaged. And this is not sensitivity to be so concerned with the tiniest blade of grass, it is sheer stupidity.

This is stupidity and self-ignorance and lack of gratitude. Self-ignorance because you do not know who you really are. So, the loss of that little thing bothers you know the end. And in gratitude, because you are not at all thankful for all that you actually and totally are. So that little loss becomes too heavy on you.

That's a punishment of the ungrateful man, you know. Because he does not know that he has been blessed with immensity. So, all the little losses and shocks of life totally ruffle him up.

Like a billionaire who would not acknowledge his billions. And start beating his chest at the loss of every two dollars. Acknowledging the billions, he has been blessed with is dangerous.

We say there is pride in wealth, but there is greater vanity in destitution. We say there is pride in the strength, but there is greater vanity in acting as a sorry loser or victim of circumstances.

I do not know whether strength inflates a man, but what is certain is? That weaknesses do the ego a great service. And therefore, we love to ignore that about us which is never, never hurt.

I began by acknowledging that hurt is inevitable. That has to be acknowledged and therefore put aside that issue settled. Hurt is there, it’s a part and parcel of living as a human being, hurt happens.

Acknowledging hurt is akin to acknowledging that the mountain did lose the blade of grass that happens, yes, of course. As long as there are mountains, there are cattle grazing. And as long as there are cattle grazing, there are blades of grass continuously being lost. All that is part and parcel of mountain hood, that happens. Not only are blades of grass lost plants and trees are also lost. And when you think of the Himalayas, you also think of your hill slides, don't you? Relatively, big chunks of rocks, soil, land are also lost, all that happens.

And still, the Himalayas stand tall. What do you want to look at? The landslides or that which stands tall pointing at the skies. I'm not denying that so-called bad stuff doesn't happen in life. It does happen. Cows graze.

Why don't you admit that you are unshakable, invincible?

Why do you want to pretend that you are pretty childish, wimpish, raw, worthless, why?

What's the fun?

Nothing bad ever really happens to you. Nothing good ever really happens to you. Deep within you are the one to whom nothing ever happens. All the happening is so superficial.

If it were a game to entertain oneself, it would have been fine. Now and then it is all right to regale oneself a little.

To act as if things are happening to oneself, to act as if they're a reason for celebration, to act as if there is a reason to the moon. But we stretch the damn drama too far. It might just be possible that we are such accomplished actors that after a while we forget that we are acting. We actually start feeling as if things are happening to us good things bad things, good things bad things.

Yes, things are happening but only to the most worthless part of you. Now you see what Khalil Gibran is saying, “Do not fear the thorns in your path, for they draw only the corrupt blood.”

Yes, thorns are hurting you. Thorns are happening to you. ‘But to which part of you are the thorns happening?’, to the corrupt part of you. Do not fear the thorns in your path, for they draw either corrupt blood.

I do not deny that thorn exists. I do not deny that you have been thorned. Thorns are actually happening.

But to whom are they happening?

To the corrupt part of you, to the peripheral part of you. To your skin that is anyway constantly getting peeled off.

Do you want to focus so much on all that?

You want to totally ignore your interiority?

If there is skin, there must be something within the skin, right?

You totally want to discount that?

There has to be some proportion in your dealings. There has to be a sense of restraint and balance.

One in hundred occasions, maybe twice in a hundred occasions, maybe five times out of a hundred it is alright to cry horse. I've been hurt and deprived and cheated and you know all the bad things. But if you do that five out of a hundred times, doesn't a sense of fairness, justice, a sense of proportion demand that ninety-five times, you must also acknowledge that nothing is happening to you. You are never really being hurt and I'm not demanding the impossible. I'm not saying that a hundred out of a hundred times you must stand like the Rock of Gibraltar and look down upon the changeable world.

You are a ‘Product of Prakriti’. You are a ‘Product of change’. So, things do happen to you to that extent. But much more than Prakriti, you are something else and nothing happens to you there. I'm amazed! Why nobody comes up and says, you know, really bad things apparently happen to me today. But nothing seems to have happened, I feel as if nothing has happened.

All the stuff was happening. And I even tried to feel it but I couldn't really bring myself to accept that all that was happening to me. All that was happening, alright. And I even tried to convince myself that all that is happening to me, but you know what, I failed. There was no surge of passion. There was no identification with the happening, the happening kept happening. It didn’t happen to me, it just didn’t happen to me. Was nothing happening? I won't say that. Something was surely happening, but not to me.

Now, how do I cry? Now, how do I laugh?

“Am I hurt?” I would be a hypocrite to say, “I am not. Yes, I am hurt.” But where am I hurt? I hurt here, here, here. Get me some pain killer medicine. I am hurt here. Done over.

Am I hurt here (indicating towards the heart)? I tried hard but nothing ever reaches here (indicating towards the heart). All the happiness is just here (indicating towards the skin). All the sadness is just here (indicating towards the skin). They surely are there, as long as the left hand and the right hand exists. Happiness and sadness are there. And as students of mathematics, know LHS equals RHS. So, happiness equals sadness, fine.

Bad Joke. (Laughter by the listeners)

Things happen here (Indicating right hand), things happen here (Indicating left hand). Whether they happen here, whether they happen here. They are just the same. It's a perfectly balanced chemical equation.

You did that, right? Balancing of chemical equations? The number of carbons on this side must match the number of carbons on that side. For matter, can neither be created nor destroyed. You know that, all of it. And these are just chemical reactions you know, that happen to you on the skin, nothing ever touches your heart. So, why are you unnecessarily shouting from the rooftop? Why are you unnecessarily demeaning yourself?

There are people who are so fond of declaring themselves sick, doctors love them.

In fact, if you tell them that there is nothing wrong with their health, they will feel offended. One sure way to befriend them is to tell them that their face looks so dark and gloomy. And Oh my God! Your eyes are pallid. Surely, you won't survive this night. Should I proceed with an online booking for you, the graveyard, now you are there, best buddy. But dare to tell them that they are all right, they are healthy, nothing wrong with them. And they will say, this bugger wants to kill me.

I will tell you a simple thing, even when you are totally drenched in melancholy. You are able to cry only because you are still healthy. This would befuddle you a bit. Go into this. Even when you say that there is something tremendously wrong with you and you are weeping buckets. You are able to weep buckets precisely because there is nothing wrong with you.

Understand this, that part of you which cries lives in relativity, lives in duality. If it says something wrong with me, it is surely comparing its present state to some other state. Otherwise, how will you say, “There is something wrong with you?”

When you say there is something wrong with you, to which state are you comparing your present state to?

Questioner: The right state.

* * Acharya Prashant: * * You know your right state and therefore, you are able to call your present state wrong. So, you are just pretending and it a bad pretense. Had you gone totally wrong; you would not be able to say, “You are in the wrong state.” A man who goes totally mad does not even know he is mad. He will not complain anymore.

How do you complain?

You are able to complain because you are not mad. If you are not mad why are you complaining?

Look at this. If you complain that “You are mad” then you are able to complain only because madmen do not complain about their madness. And if you are not mad, why the hell are you complaining?

Are you getting it?

But that’s the fraud. That’s the big scam. The big scam is you are perfectly alright. That's the biggest scandal and nobody exposes it. Even in the middle of your deepest misery, you are still perfectly alright. And you're cheating everybody, first of all, yourself, by declaring, that you are been duped or incapacitated or wronged or hurt or whatever.

Now, you see why those who have known have declared suffering a ‘sin’. Because suffering is a lie. Suffering is a lie that you willingly enter into. And afterward, you forget that you willingly entered into it. So, you actually start believing in all your glorious understanding that you are really suffering. Woah! something is really wrong with me.

You totally forget the moment when you had decided to act as a sufferer. It was mind you, a decision. It was a decision to act as a sufferer but the decision to act as a sufferer also involves a self-deleting memory.

The inner apparatus can be programmed to self-delete its memory. The ego moves evolve and having reached a certain point, it has the capacity to deliberately forget from where it arose from where it started and why?

Deliberate forgetfulness is sin, deliberate forgetfulness is suffering.

And that is why in spirituality. There is so much emphasis on ‘Remembrance’. Now you see what remembrance really is. And now you see why I keep on saying that ‘the truth cannot be remembered’. When the saints' talk of remembrance, it is something else that they ask you to constantly remember.

The truth is not an object to be memorized. There is something else that you must constantly remember. You have to remember yourself. ‘Atma’ cannot be remembered because the Atma , first of all, was never dismembered. You are the dismembered one. And you have to remember; you have to see, how every moment you deliberately dismember yourself.

What is dismembering?

Disintegration, cutting something to pieces, ’Viyog’. You have to see, how every moment you deliberately do it.

What is the ego? A decision of the ego.

The ego does not exist as such it is its own decision. It does itself every moment. What is the ego? It's own doing. You are doing it every moment. That is what has to be seen, that is what has to be remembered.

God did not create you; God has no capacity to create imperfections. And look at yourself.

What's your claim?

You are totally imperfect, weak diseased, fragmented, what not? Right? That's how you look at yourself, “I'm short of knowledge, I'm short of wealth, lonely, I'm defeated, I'm afraid,” in your eyes, that's who you are, right? Now, in this situation, can you be someone born out of the truth?

The Upnishads would tell you that from the truth only truth proceeds.

पूर्णमद: पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णम उदच्यते।

~ ईशा उपनिषद

Meaning:

That is complete, this is complete,

From the completeness comes the completeness

~ Isha Upanishad

But you are a Apurna (Incomplete), So, from where did you come? From the Purna (Complete) only the Purna is born, but you call yourself the perpetual Apurna . From where did you come? From where did you come?

Therefore, I am saying the ego is its own decision. You're not a creation of God. You are your own decision. From God, only godliness can come. From where has evil come? From where has all the suffering come?

Not from him, surely.

You are your own father. You're not God's kids. You are your own kid. You keep on imagining yourself. That is your creative imagination. You keep on imagining yourself in the worst possible way, moment to moment and that becomes your life.

You have no touch with your reality. You just have your concepts and imaginations about yourself. And your concepts and imaginations about yourself are so pathetic. You suffer from such deep inferiority.

Can a product of God be inferior?

But look at yourself how you shiver, how you scramble to hide in a phase of adversity?

And that is why you know; compassion is so very difficult. Compassion is very difficult for the common man because he has no sensitivity. Because he has nothing to offer the other because he is totally engrossed in his own suffering.

Now, I tell you something. Compassion is even more difficult for the wise ones, the realized one, the saint. Why? Because he knows that you're suffering is a fraud.

When a common man looks at another common man suffering, he at least acknowledges the suffering. A looks at B and B is suffering, A would say, “Yes B is suffering but I cannot help him because I am suffering too. And I am right now stuck with my own problems, how do I help him?” Therefore, exhibiting compassion is very difficult for A. Exhibiting compassion is even more difficult for the wise man. Because when he looks at B, the B is exhibiting suffering, not really suffering. When he looks at B, the B who is suffering, you know crying, angry, desolate, inconsolable, depressed.

He looks like a B and he says, ‘Whom are you fooling?’ I know who you are. I know that all this is just pretense. Yeah, you can stretch these pretensions to absurd limits. You may even go and commit suicide. You may start believing so deeply in your own drama, in your own antics, that you can do anything nonsensical. But still, I know full well that what you are doing is a sham. You cannot suffer. Even, if everything is taken away from you, you still cannot suffer.

पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय, पूर्ण मेवा वशिष्यते।

~ ईशा उपनिषद

Meaning:

If completeness is taken away from the completeness,

Only completeness remains.

~ Isha Upanishad

First of all, the total cannot be taken away from you. But even if it is what would remain is still the total. Now, what are you crying for?

What are you crying for?

Dattatreya too gets amazed in the ‘Avdhuta Gita’ and he asks you

किमु रोदिषि मानसि सर्वसमम्।

~ अवधूत गीता

Meaning:

Why lament, then, O Mind?

I am the same Self in all.

~ Avadhuta Gita

What the hell are you crying for? And you're always crying.

न हि सुखपदं, न हि दुखपदं,

किमु रोदिषि मानसि सर्वसमम्।

~ अवधूत गीता

Meaning:

There is no pleasure, there is no pain,

Why lament, then O mind?

I am the same Self in all.

~ Avadhuta Gita

I can see his amazed face. That's the biggest wonder in existence; man crying. These things do not happen to you, wise and virtue, happiness and sadness.

What are you crying for? These things happen to your skin, not to you.

It is such a wonder that the one to whom no problem can ever occur has to be educated or deconditioned to live without problems. Otherwise, your biggest problem is that you do not know that there can be a life without problems.

To you, life is a problem, the mother's problem. So, when you do not face problems, you feel you are lifeless. In order to feel lively you dream of problems.

Nothing wrong anywhere; horror! Amazon: Ultra-fast delivery; a bag of problems.

No problems, no life. And I don't want to die, to stay alive, I need problems, and problems really don't exist, so I'll manufacture them. The devil's workshop.

What else is it for? Manufacture problems.

Q: But if I don’t take something as a problem then I won’t be able to move on it.

AP: A problem do not exist, situations exist. And in the middle of all situations, you are never problemed. The moment you say, “There is a problem,” I'll ask, to whom? And if there exists a problem to you, you are now problemed and if you are problemed and then you've lost yourself, you're finished.

Is the situation worse? Yes.

Are you problemed? No.

The gap has to be maintained between the situation and your identity. All situations are for the skin. No situation is with respect to your real identity because you are not situated anywhere.

There has to be insulation. A clear separation between the world of happening and the world where you reside, the world of non-happening.

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