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How to get rid of mental clutter? || Acharya Prashant (2021)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
4 min
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Questioner 1 (Q1): Acharya Ji, Pranam. There are certain and similar objects that occupy my mind every day. However much I try to get rid of them, they still linger. How should I get rid of them? Please help.

Acharya Prashant (AP): They are just occupying a void. That void should be the rightful preserve of something higher. That higher thing does not exist, so the little objects are all profiting from that absence. Bring something higher into your life, fill that void up, and all the petty objects will find no place to occupy. That's the only method possible, let me tell you.

The mind's logic is, ‘Having a bad object is better than having no object.’ So, if you do not give it the right object, it will select a bad object. You just cannot say, “I’ll go neither for this nor for that. I don't want to opt for a bad life, but I also won't opt for a spiritual life.” If you don't opt for a spiritual life, you have automatically enrolled for a bad life. If you want to get rid of bad life, you will have to go for a spiritual life. There is no middle way or third way.

Q2: Acharya Ji, I quickly get mentally and physically exhausted from my work, and run towards entertainment. The work that I have chosen is correct and worthy, but still, I run towards entertainment. Kindly help.

AP: The work might be correct, but you are taking it as just some kind of enforced duty. Otherwise, either the mind will not need entertainment or the mind will find work itself quite entertaining.

So, my advice is: make your work your entertainment. And here, I am not talking of activities of the kind that keep the body agile and fit. You might have chosen great work but that might involve long hours at the desk. Then obviously, you would need to spend an hour at the gym, or 30 minutes running or some other sport; that's not what I am talking of. Giving the body some exercise— it’s a physical, material imperative. No amount of conscious work can take place of physical, chemical activity. But otherwise, if you find that entertainment remains too alluring for you even in the middle of work, it is a sign that you do not understand your work, or you have not chosen the right work, or if you have chosen the right work, you are still not fully committed to it. Otherwise, one is subsumed, one is more than subsumed—one is dissolved.

I am not trying to turn it into some kind of a manual for austerity or some kind of celibacy in the domain of entertainment. What I am saying is that great work brings with itself this benefit that you do not need to go to other places to enjoy, to regale, or to freshen up; that need is no more there. In fact, that's one of the ways you can identify right work.

It might tire you down because the body is a machine; the mind, too, is a machine. Working for long hours, you might feel that you have a heavy head, you might feel that the back is aching—all those things are possible. But in the internal sense, you will not be bored or fatigued. You would still be fresh internally; it's just that your body is now refusing to work. And that is understandable, that is all right, that is quite acceptable. The driver still wants to cover the distance, but the body needs refuelling. Or the engine has become overheated, so it requires rest for a while; that is all right. But if the destination is so beautiful that you can have love for it, the driver, in his heart, would never really be tired; his legs might be tired.

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