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How to avoid getting influenced by others?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Acharya Prashant: The question is from Simone from the Netherlands and it says, "I get easily get influenced by others. How do I learn to stand my ground?"

The mind is a crying vacancy. It is an undue emptiness. It is an unclean half-filled emptiness. The mind will always need someone to be with. The mind will always need stuff to hold; material, objects to fill itself up with. So, the problem really is not that somebody influences you; you will have to be influenced by somebody, you see. It is impossible to not allow anybody to enter you, penetrate you, rather engulf you. You need that; that's an inner demand. It is a psychological imperative. The question is, who is it that you allow to enter you, occupy you, and command you. The option to not allow anybody is not there. Somebody is needed. Now that somebody really cannot be a person, a thought, an idea or a thing from this world.

I say that because all of us have repeatedly tried that and failed. There is nothing in the entire universe that has not been tried in ways subtle or gross as means for inner fulfillment, and those means have never succeeded. So, that somebody cannot be somebody or something. That's the reason the abstraction called God or Truth had to be invented by man. We needed somebody who is not anybody; who is a nobody and yet is very meaningful and very existent in some mysterious way. The invention of such an entity, such a mysterious abstract unthinkable entity, unimaginable entity is a compulsion with us. It’s a compulsion because nothing in this world satisfied us. Therefore, something outside of this world, rather something beyond this world has to be there to occupy us, enter us, rule us, flow in our veins. Are you getting it?

How do you get to that somebody? There is no positive way. The way is always negative. The way is to keep rejecting all those who are really not going to give you contentment. That's the only way. If others influence you, it is not incidental. You allow them to. You have asked for a method. The method is to not to allow them, to not to entertain the hope that somebody, anybody can give you that which you are really looking for. It is only in that hope that you are fooled and enslaved. You will say, “But if I just keep rejecting everything and everybody, what am I getting?” You are getting the power to reject; you are getting the faith to reject. That's what you're getting. Don’t you see?

Is it so easy to keep rejecting? No. And if you just continue this process of negation and rejection, it proves that you already have something, otherwise how else could you have rejected? That's the way that Real One, the Ultimate, the Summit, the Total, the Final shows up in your life. The Truth comes to you through the ability to detect and reject the false. That’s the only way Truth will manifest its presence in your life. That's the only test and criteria. If you want to test whether there is truth in your life, just see to what extent you are able to put aside the false. The extent to which you can put aside the false is the extent to which Truth has touched you and entered you.

And if you find you are incapable and helpless in front of the false, then you should know that there is no Truth in your life. But you can never get to the Truth in a direct way, in a positive way, in an affirmative way. I repeat, the way is always negative. Don't wait for opportunity or strength; don't say I will start rejecting after I go through a certain practice or after I develop some inner strength. No, strength will not come first, rejection will give you the strength. The process here is a bit quirky, unique, and not usual. Usually, you say that you will prepare and then do something; here when you do something, you find that you are prepared. The doing precedes the preparation. Have the guts to call out the false, have the guts to expose the false. And you don't have to have it, you just have to summon it. There is a difference between having something because having carries the ring of obtaining. Having in a way implies action, effort, time, cause and effect. You say, “I want to have something, so I have to do this, do that and then wait for a period of time and then that thing will come to me.” No, here to have something in context of the Truth, you just have to summon and what is this thing called summoning? It is surrender. When you surrender to the Truth, that's when you have summoned it. Truth is that at your beck and call, provided you lay yourself down.

Truth will not come to you first, because Truth cannot come to you at all. Why? It's already there. It's already here. It's already everywhere. It's already beyond all here and there. How can it come anymore? How can it be any nearer? Therefore, you just have to summon it; it's here. But you are not summoning it. You are maintaining a separate existence of your own. You are keeping Truth a little distant. Summon it and you find it’s there. And why will you summon it if you do not need it? And when is it that you need the Truth the most? You need the Truth the most only when you are facing the false in front of you and require the guts to reject the false. That's the moment when you will be forced to summon the Truth. Therefore, if you want Truth in your life, create a situation in which you have to face the false. Face the false and reject it. That's when you will be forced to call the Truth. If you keep waiting for the Truth first, you will never get it.

Now, what is it that I mean by the false? The answer is simple. I could either go into the technicalities or simply say, that which does not satisfy you is false, simple. That which does not satisfy you is false. Now, this definition is obviously very simple but far too easy to exploit by the false. Because you could say, “Oh! that new person in my life, he satisfies me so much. So, he must be the Truth.” So, when I say 'satisfaction', I do not mean temporary sensual satisfaction. I am talking of unconditioned, unlimited satisfaction. Now, think of that person, he himself is not eternal. How will he give you eternal satisfaction? He may die tomorrow, your handsome hunk! Are you sure he will be alive tomorrow morning? If he will not be alive tomorrow morning, how will he give you eternal peace? Surely, no person, no individual in flesh and blood can be ‘that somebody’ you are really waiting for. Are you getting it?

So, am I advocating a relationship-less life? Am I saying that you should not be related at all to anybody? No, that's not what I am saying. I am saying, the primary relationship has to be with the Truth. And that primary relationship will then suggest, rather dictate the ones you should be or can be related with. But the first relationship must be with the first. If your first relationship is not with the first then all your relationships will only mean hell to you.

Are you getting it?

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