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How to be free of the ego and intellect? || Acharya Prashant (2018)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Questioner (Q): Okay, so yesterday I was here. You pointed out that I am enslaved by my own intellect. I kind of thought about that overnight and I realized how you are right, and how my intellect is tied to my ego as well. And in order to feed my ego, I am constantly having to prove my intellect. And, it's just an ongoing cycle. Do you have any suggestions to break in that cycle or to freeing myself as you said outside of meditation?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Experiment!

Q: Experiment with what?

AP: Experiment with remaining purposeless, reasonless, causeless. The intellect thrives on reason and purpose. Whenever you do something, the intellect says, “For what? Give me a reason. What do you get from this?” The intellect is very profit oriented. Experiment with living without the profit-purpose. Experiment with wandering without a destination or an objective.

You can't yet commit yourself to it, that's too much to ask. So, I say try it out a little—experiment, explore. Maybe, you will get the flavour of something that will spur you on. Do stuff without any ostensible reason at least. Give yourself the freedom to just be, without being constrained. Listen without concluding.

That's just too much for the intellect—to listen a and yet not be left with something concrete at the end of the listening. And that is why, intellect is hell bent on ending the listening. Because the conclusion comes only when the listening ends. Do things that the intellect despises and is afraid of. Fall freely, trust a little more and get deceived. And see how the greatest deception that the world can offer is still too small in front of you.

You are afraid that if the world hurts you, you would be wounded beyond healing. Let them hurt you. Only then you will discover that you are probably bigger than all hurt. You can take it and still not only survive, but prosper. Prosper with richness, inner richness. You will have to, in other words, act a little foolish.

Unless you act stupidly in the frame of reference of the intellect, you are still a prisoner to the intellect. When you will do all these things, rest assured, a strong voice from within will say, “You are mad, crazy, and now you are going to hurt yourself badly.”

Q: This seems like counter-intuitive advice.

AP: Yes, and that intuition, you know, the worst part is would often be proven right.

Q: So, your advice is to do real stupid shit?

AP: The advice is to take losses.

Q: To take big risks!

AP: Not only risks. Risk only means and uncertainty in outcome. I am saying, take losses, definite losses; not the risk of loss, but definite loss. Take definite loss, and when you will be inviting that loss…

Q: What will be an example of this?

AP: You want to conclude with an example? Can you pause without getting an example? That is the example. When you want an example, what is it that you want? You want something definite that can satisfy the intellect. Now, if you can pause without having something concrete in your hands—that is real boldness. The intellect is truly afraid of this boldness.

If I give you an example, I am limiting your options. Because then the example will guide you, and you will move only in the direction of the example. Live without examples. If you have examples, then you have role models; and if you have role models, then you are mere photocopies. Then you can't live truly, authentically—that's what really makes the intellect shiver.

The intellect wants predetermined security. Don't provide it with that. What's more? The intellect will warn you, caution you, and you will see that what the intellect warned you has indeed materialized. The intellect will tell you, “Now you are going to fall. Now you are going to get wounded and bruised,” and the intellect will be proven right. It's just that you will know that the intellect in spite of having being proven right has still being defeated. Because the last statement in each of the warnings issued by the intellect is, “You will get hurt, and you are not big enough or strong enough to take the hurt.”

The intellect does not merely say, “You will get wounded,” it also says that the wound is too much for you. This last statement will be proven incorrect. Everything else that the intellect says is on the spot. The intellect is really not foolish, but the intellect does not know of certain things. Within its domain, the intellect is right, all right, correct. The thing is, the domain of the intellect is small.

The intellect is wonderful within its domain. Within its domain, yes, the intellect is the champion. But the domain is just this big (showing hand gesture of small size). And outside the domain of the intellect lies life. What can the intellect advise you about joy? Please! What can the intellect advise you about Love?

It's too much for the little thing to offer advice on this. It's not that the intellect will offer wrong advice, please understand! The intellect will offer limited advice. And are you prepared to live in limitations? Limitations mean bondage. You are eager to fly free, then why do you want to accept limitations? All that the intellect will offer you will be limited. Not wrong, not incorrect, just limited.

The intellect works on reason and rationale. You can have a reason to do something and that reason might be rightly placed. The matter is that thing—you and the doing are bigger and beyond the reason.

So, what she told you, the intellect, is all right. That's the best that the poor lady could do. Thank her, but also tell her, “Man, great of you to offer unsolicited advice. But I have someone else to refer to. I have someone else to submit to. I have someone else to rather listen to.” Listen to him. Ask, ask, I knew the next question.

Q: Yes, who is he?

AP: You won't get that.

Q: Okay.

AP: Because if you get that, then the intellect co-opts him. So, I won't name him. I won't call him God. I won't call him heart. I won't call him your innate nature. I will just say, “Yes, there does exist That.”

And when That advices you, it's an advice that the intellect can neither accept nor comprehend. The intellect is just dumbfounded in front of that advice. So, you better not route that advice through the intellect. Save the poor thing from the consternation. Because there is no advice really that That offers.

What you call as advice is never obtainable from That. What comes from That? What comes from There? Be That and know. Be There and know. Why ask in advance?

You go to a lady and say, “May I have a sample of your love?” Be a lover and know what is love? Or would you ask her for a sample first? Before love-making do you ask for demo sessions? Yeah, maybe you do, who knows. I can't be sure of anything.

One must be prepared to feel like an idiot. When you are prepared to feel like an idiot, this preparation itself, this preparedness itself is wisdom. Wisdom is nothing but the acceptance of the inner idiocy. Acceptance does not mean encouragement. Acceptance does not mean identification. Acceptance means acknowledgement. Acceptance does not mean that you are furthering the idiocy. Acceptance of idiocy does not mean that you are backing or fuelling the idiocy. Acceptance of idiocy means that you are humble enough to acknowledge, “Yes, the way I am, I am an idiot.”

That's why the letter ‘I’ represents us so truly. ‘I’ for? Then you can smile at ‘I’ for idiot. That's the beginning of wisdom.

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