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Free mind is an intelligent mind || Acharya Prashant (2013)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

10 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): A questioner is saying that just because of limitations, because of certain bondages, there seems to be a certain order in the society. He is suspecting that if freedom comes, then that will lead to disorder, chaos and anarchy. The model that is there in his mind is, if we all become free, then we all do as we please and as a result, there is going to be conflict.

Let's try to understand this. We have this room here and it is full of air molecules. And what are the molecules doing all the time? They are colliding with each other. We know that the molecules are not very densely packed, still, they are all the time colliding with each other — random movement, general chaos. That is what we can call as the state of disorder. Let this room be full of human beings, very densely packed with human beings and they have been given diverse tasks — some have to paint that wall; some have to repair the ceiling; some have to mop the floor; some have to take care of the chairs and benches — which require them to move in all three dimensions, just as the molecules are moving. Right? Would the human beings be colliding with each other just as the molecules do?

Questioner (Q): No, Sir.

AP: Now the room is far more densely packed with human beings than it is packed with molecules. We know the packing ratio in case of fluid; it is not very high. We know that most of the space, let's say, there is a water bottle and it’s filled with two fluids: air and water. It appears full of water, at least half full of water but even there that space is not very densely packed with water molecules, still, they are colliding. They have a lot of free space available to them, still they are colliding all the time. But if they are human beings, then they will not colliding with each other. And why wouldn't they collide with each other? Because human beings are intelligent beings. So even though everybody is free to move as he pleases, still there would not be anarchy or chaos. Anarchy or chaos comes not from freedom, it comes to people from a lack of intelligence. Anarchy, chaos, disorder, randomness — all these do not come because of freedom, they come when the individuals, that are involved, are acting unintelligently.

We said that the individuals won't collide if they have to move in three different directions doing numerous types of different jobs. But what if this room is full of drunkards and they are not at all in their senses and they are told to do those numerous kinds of jobs, then what would we see? They are all falling over each other. Why are they falling over each other? Because (pointing to the head and implying a lack of awareness) intelligence or awareness creates its own order. Do you understand orderliness? What do you mean by orderliness?

Q: Systematic arrangement.

AP: Intelligence creates its own order and intelligence is possible only in freedom. So, freedom — forget about creating disorder — actually creates its own beautiful order. Disorder is created by a lack of intelligence. We think and suspect that if laws, regulations, bondages are not there, then the world would become a chaotic place. To some extent, what you are suspecting, it's justified.

Because the world is full of people behaving unintelligently. That is the reason why most people need rules. Rules are not needed for the intelligent man but they are for the vast majority that is committed to acting stupidly. They are the ones for whom rules are needed. The fact of the matter is that the intelligent man does not need any rules. Intelligence is the supreme guiding force. Please do not think that freedom in any circumstance is undesirable.

Freedom is never qualified; freedom is never conditional. Freedom is always, always, always good! But at the same time, we said that freedom is intelligence. When we say, “Freedom is always good,” what we mean is that intelligence is always good. You remember that handout you had on freedom — ‘Freedom is not free; freedom is for the free.’

The one who deserves freedom will never be harmed by freedom. At the same time, one who does not deserve freedom cannot be given freedom. Even if you give him external freedom, he will end up doing some stupidity and harming himself and his freedom will, in any way, be taken away. The first thing is that it was never actually given to him; not as just an external imposition.

You see, freedom is always of the mind. And a free mind is an intelligent mind. An intelligent mind creates its own order, a nice order. It does not need any rules and regulations. At the same time, a dull, lazy, stupid mind cannot be given freedom from the outside. It is for such kind of people that rules and regulations and bondages exist.

Q: What do you mean by external freedom?

AP: External freedom means, let there be a law that is giving you freedom; let there be a constitution which gives you the freedom to move about — the freedom to express yourself, the freedom of religion, the freedom to settle anywhere. There are all these freedoms that are given by a system to you and that is external freedom.

Q: But we can violate them.

AP: You would end up violating them; not only violating them, but also you would end up misusing them if internal freedom is not there. What is meant by internal freedom? A free mind. What is the mind to be free of?

Q: Dependency.

AP: Yes, dependency. Wonderful! And? What is the mind to be free of?

Q: Relationship.

AP: Why should the mind be free of relationships? We all exist in relationships. Right now, you and I are in a relationship; there is a relationship between you and your pen; there is a relationship between you and this classroom. We constantly exist in a relationship. The mind can never be free of relationships. What is the mind to be free of?

Q: Freedom from past.

AP: What is meant by freedom from the past? It is very easily said but it is very deep thing. What is meant by that?

Q: Not to think about the past.

AP: Not thinking about your past. Sure? How have you come to the college today? By bike, by car? Don't want to think where it is parked? Forget it? It is past. Right? You parked it and you came here; it's past. You want to forget where you parked it. Then what will happen?

Q: Eliminating the past or a memory.

AP: A memory, right. And when does it become a domination of the past? If he is sitting here and still thinking about where he parked his car. It is this kind of freedom, not eliminating the past, not getting rid of memories. You see, these become very fancy catchwords — ‘Freedom from the past’, ‘Who am I?’ They sound nice and stylish to be mouthing these kinds of phrases.

But we must understand, deeply understand.

What else is the mind to be free of? Dependency, past and…?

Q: Conditioning.

AP: Conditioning; very well said. What is conditioning? Freedom from beliefs.

What is meant by beliefs? Beliefs are the anticipation of reality: ‘I think, it is true.’ Do not bother to find out what it is. ‘I just think it is so. I am not really finding out the truth, the reality. I just believe that things are this particular way.’ That is what belief is. Belief is the enemy of knowing and the mind is always full of beliefs. Right?

So, that's what internal freedom is: being free from dependency, conditioning, beliefs, past. That internal freedom is of great value. External freedom can be given to you by others but then you will not really be able to utilize it. External freedom will remain like a beautiful book that has been given to a blind person. The book may be beautiful but the blind person has no use for it. Right?

In our lives, we keep battling for external freedom and whenever that external freedom is taken away, we protest, we become angry. ‘Why must there be an attendance compulsion? Why do our parents don't allow us to do the things we want? Why are there so many societal rules and regulations?’ So we want freedom but always in an external sense.

Real freedom is the freedom of the mind. Sadly, to that, we give very little attention.

Q: But to get that freedom, we have to go far away from the society. To attain ‘peace of mind', we need some time away from the society.

AP: That ‘some time’ you are asking for, that ‘me time’, ‘my individual time’, that we all anyway get. Right? You are not always with the society. Are you?

Q: Not physically but in the mind.

AP: So, then you run away to the top of the Himalayas but this mind, you would be carrying with yourself. Right? Even there, the solitude that you are asking for cannot be external solitude. You would have gone to a hill station and seen people carrying all their garbage (pointing to the head) to the hill station as well. Going away from the society will not help. The fun is when you are over here and still alone! Then those of you who are listening attentively to me would see what I mean.

Are you listening attentively?

Are you bothered about what others are saying and thinking?

Then you are alone. So, it may appear externally that you are with the society but the fact of the matter is that you are alone. And this aloneness is of great value. There is no value in the aloneness that you seek to get by running away to some place or escaping. Have you heard of weekend getaways? People do horrible works for five days a week and they want to get away on their weekends. They want to go away. Escape! Do you really think they can escape? Wherever they go, ultimately, they are carrying their mind with them. Right? And this mind is full of concerns and worries and beliefs and fears.

Real aloneness is when you are alone even in the middle of the marketplace. Externally you might be talking, relating, laughing, but deep within you are untouched. That is aloneness.

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