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Judging the internal judge || Acharya Prashant (2016)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
47 min
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Acharya Prashant(AP): You said, “How to judge what is valuable?” How sure are you of your judgment? Behind every judgment is someone who judges. How sure are you of that judge? Is he reliable? Or is he someone who has a tendency to modify, even reverse his own judgments? Is he someone whose judgments stand the test of time and changing conditions? Or is he someone who often mismakes mistakes in judging?

You have trusted your inner judge since long. You have lent upon so many other books, authorities, teachers; but ultimately, it is your own internal judge that you depend the most upon. Let's judge that judge. You are asking, “How to judge what is valuable?” Let's judge the one who will judge this.

How secure have your judgments made you feel so far? How does the inner judge decide? Does he have any innate yardstick to measure? Any innate source from where to know? Or do his judgments keep changing as his knowledge keeps changing? What have you observed?

Audience: It keeps changing.

AP: So, his judgments really do not arise from himself. They are a function of the knowledge that he has. Take away all the knowledge from this judge, take away all that he has absorbed, how will he judge? How will he judge now?

Audience: Other people's experiences, discussing with others.

AP: That is knowledge. So this internal judge, is he internal at all? He does not appear anywhere outside—outside in the sense, as this wall appears to be outside, as other people appear to be outside, as the world appears to be outside; this internal judge doesn't appear to be outside. He appears to be sitting somewhere within the body, somewhere within the brain; so we call him internal.

And the moment we call him internal, there is a reason to identify with him. “He is sitting within my bodily premises, must be internal.” But it's internal, I could say he is mine, I could even say he is me. Is he internal? Whatever he is, he has imbibed from somewhere. Whatever he has imbibed is ‘him’. That somewhere, where his existence comes from is always ‘not him’. So, this internal judge is totally a function of fluctuating circumstances.

A person appears so attractive right now. A piece of information comes in telling you something ridiculous about him, and instead of attraction, you start feeling a revulsion. A piece of cloth, a garment appears just the right choice to be bought. A little bit of new information is added to what you are seeing—the price tag that is, and choice changes. That which appeared fit to be taken home is now quickly discarded; the judgment changes. Yes? The food looked so nice until you were told what it was made up of.

Information keeps changing the judgment. The judgment has no inner validity of its own. The man looked tailor made for you till you came to know his name. One sound bite and the whole universe changes. But we rely a lot on this judge, don't we? We let him judge on our behalf. If there is one thing that we have neatly outsourced, it is life. We allow that judge to live on our behalf. He lives, he loves, he decides, he moves, he walks, he talks.

Now, you want to judge the most valuable, and again you want to depend on the same judge. Surely, he will come up with some judgment. It's not in his training to politely say that I am not equipped or authorized to judge. Whenever you will ask him, he will have some opinion or the other. The opinion might be baseless, fickle, temporal; but for him, his opinion is the end, the ultimate.

So, when you will ask him, “What is the most valuable?” He will not keep silent. He will be ready with an answer. He will say, “This, or this, or this, or that is the most valuable.” So, the inner gentleman has dispatched his recommendation. Now what do you want to do with it?

You very well know what the quality of his being is. He does not exist by himself. You very well know what is the quality of his opinions. Do you want to trust him? There is no guarantee at all that that which he takes to be valuable today, would be considered valuable by him tomorrow as well. The proof is all the choices and regiments made by him so far. Has he ever proved to be stable? Has he ever proved to be reliable?

But he very neatly couches his fickleness under the deceitful name of improvement. He will not say that my judgments have been false. He will say, “I have been improving.” He will say, “Earlier, I knew only this much, so I decided one way. Then my information base broadened and I thought a little more, so I decided some other way.”

Then you are convinced. “The fellow is sincere,” you say. You say, “This gentleman is my well-wisher. And not only is he well-wisher, he's sincere and hardworking. The proof is, he keeps on accumulating information, he's always at work. And as he gathers more and more information, he has the humility to change his previous judgments. He does not insist.”

You take that as a token of his sincerity. You do not see this as a symbol of his falseness. You don't see that what he once loved, today he doesn't want to cast a second glance at. You do not see that that which he once abhorred, is today silently acceptable to him. You don't see that all his stands come from situations. So, he sends in his recommendations. He says, “This is what is important, valuable.” You accept it.

And then what is likely to happen? The fellow will change his recommendation sooner than later, right? He will just come up and say, “You know, I am correcting myself. This is a better recommendation you see.” But will that advice be of much help to you? Between the first and the second recommendation, there may be a gap of three months. And these three months, you have spent living according to the first recommendation. When he modifies his opinion, will he also return you the lost three months? Would he? The gentleman works on knowledge. He's a thinker.

Let's take a very crude example. You are a man looking forward to make a critical decision—let's say pursuing a professional career or choosing a life partner. This inner judge sends you his advice. He says, “Choose this stream of work or choose that particular man or woman.” Now you are engaged, emotionally in, even legally committed. After six months, this fellow tells you, “No, no. You know what? I made a mistake. Sorry. There was a small calculation error—where there was a plus sign, I erroneously used a minus sign. So, it was a bit of a mistake. I want to revise my recommendation. It's not Pramila. It's Urmila.” But now Pramila is very much in your home. The fellow has changed its advice. What will you do with Pramila now?

You have changed your city, you have moved to some other place to work in that new organization. You now have a past, you now have an investment. You are now emotionally connected. The last three months or six months cannot just be reversed, cannot just be deleted. And even if you delete them or reverse them, the fact is that they were six months of your one precious life.

And the fellow now stands in front of you unapologetically and says, “Sorry, mate, I made an error. It was not this, it was this.” It was like a doctor who has performed a heart surgery upon you and then six months later, remorselessly, he stands in front of you and says, “You know what, dude? I left the scissors inside.” Do you feel something in here? Now, even if he performs the second surgery for free, whose heart is at stake? Do you know how badly shredded your heart is? Do you know how often you have trusted this judge master and how often he has let you down? Have you no other one to live with? Have you nobody else to rely upon?

Look at your heart. You have always been entrusting it to the wrong surgeon. See how he has deceived you. See how he has loaded you with all the wrong decisions, all the wrong choices and the fruits and results of those wrong choices. Daily we are bearing the results of our own false deeds. Nobody suffers but for his own actions. And behind every action that we make, there is somebody who is building the actor, somebody who is advising the actor.

We say, “We are asking ourselves before acting.” We say, “We are thinking before we act.” Whether you say you are asking yourself, whether you say you are contemplating, whether you say you are introspecting, and even if you say you are meditating, essentially you are doing the same thing. You are entrusting yourself to that inner judge.

Some people call it the conscience, some people call it the mind. But whatever it is, it is always located inside of you. And hardly ever do we pause and look at it sharply to discover that it is false, that it is a phantom, that it is a mere appearance, that it has no authority to decide. But we keep making decisions. We keep making decisions.

If we discover that those decisions have been very misplaced, then we live in guilt and frustration. And if we do not discover that our decisions have been misplaced, then we live in a melancholy, befuddlement, looking like idiots at the horizon and not even knowing why life is riddled with so much of pain. We keep blaming the stars. We keep blaming the universe. We never look at ourselves and see how we have been acting, how we have been living.

Now I ask you, you are about to make, in your own words, the most important decision of your life. You are asking, “What is the most valuable?” You are not asking which brand of pencil to buy. You are not asking which restaurant to have your dinner in tonight. You are not asking the address of the nearest juice shop. You are asking, “What is the most valuable?” You really want to again let this inner judge decide? Do you? You have to trust him again? You are so addicted to your own suffering? If you have nothing else to drink, would you quench your thirst with poison?

Audience: But we trust that inner judge so much that there is no other option.

AP: Really, is there no other option?

Audience: Sir, it's difficult for ordinary people to differentiate between the judge and the ‘me’, inner voice and they are superimposed in some…

AP: You call it ‘me’, you call it the judge, you call it the inner voice; are they any different? You may even call it the voice of God. As long as it is arising from within, as long as it is something that you can listen to, as long as it is a voice; is it not just the same thing? Yes? Is it not just the same thing?

An ordinary man would say, “It is my decision.” A thinking man would say, “It is my introspection.” A spiritual man would say, “It is the fruit of my meditation.” A religious man would say, “It is the voice of my inner God.” Are they really any different? Are they? Why do we have to judge? Why do we have to judge?

Audience: To get the best result.

AP: To get the best result. How do you know that without judgment you do not get the best result?

Audience: Because we are born and brought up in this type of society.

AP: If you know this much, then why do you again keep judging?

Audience: To analyse the situation.

AP: How do you know that analysis gives you that which cannot be surpassed by not analysing?

Audience: Even if we decide to not analyse, we only ‘decide’ to not analyse. We decide to not decide. So, anyway, we are deciding. Even if we decide, even if we see that deciding is false, then also we decide. So we are kind of in loop, like it is some other dimension, that the real thing is there and we are stuck here.

Audience: So, are you saying you should disregard the cerebral hemisphere, the whole memory thing, the whole spinal cord in them?

AP: How do you know that they are any good? How do you know that they exist to serve as the basis of living? How do you know that your cerebral ground, cerebral spine, the cerebral cord is to serve as the ground of living? Well, it is something in the body, all right. How do you know that this has to be the basis on which you live?

All right, so we just spent fifteen minutes talking about the inadequacy of this judge, right? But we still feel compelled to stay with him. Why? Because if you want to get rid of him, we need to have an alternative. And quite a few of us are right now busy trying to find out a replacement for this judge. And how do you judge a replacement? With the same judge.

So, you don't trust the judge and you are asking the judge to judge a replacement for him. It's like having a corrupt judge in the court and you want to dismiss him. And you are saying, “Yes, we will dismiss you. But before that you must nominate your successor.” You want to dismiss him and you want to trust him to nominate his successor. Is it not enough to see that this is not working? And if it is working, it is working in a very, very shoddy way.

Audience: Then we have to kill the present judge. We have to transcend it.

AP: Let the judge be there. There are so many people in the world, if you don't have to abide by their judgment, do you go and shoot them? Must you go and shoot them?

Audience: That's not what I meant. The internal judge is to be killed.

AP: Let him be there. There are so many things internally, they keep doing their stuff. Why must you invest yourself in chasing them, killing them, burying them?

Audience: Another problem is that the judge works for some task—for drawing a map or making a drawing, it works perfect, but it fails in relationships. Psychological aspects it fails, but material aspects it's fine. So, the judge is not totally wrong.

AP: Yes, but the judge hardly ever wants to confine himself to material tasks. The inner judge says that I am so good, why must I be limited to menial tasks? Why must you entrust me with only the secondary and tertiary kind of jobs? Give me the primary job. Give me the job of deciding your life. Nothing less than that suits my stature.

And even when you say that the inner judge does well in material pursuits, is a pursuit ever material? Even if you are going to buy material potatoes, is there not an essential psychological dimension to it? Are potatoes ever just potatoes? Is a wall ever just a wall? Is a man ever just a man? Is a letter ever just a letter? Is food ever just food? Is money ever just money? So the inner judge, even when he is working in the material domain, is actually always working on something higher, trying to take within its ambit something that it is not equipped to work upon, something that it is not equipped to judge.

We must look at why there is this tremendous need to judge. As long as there is a need to judge, probably we will have to fall back upon a judge. Why is there such a powerful need to have a judgment before life can be lived? Why is it so important to live a duplicate life? What do I mean by duplicate life? We live life as a replica of the judgment that has already been prepared. What we call as living is just an execution, an execution of the blueprint that has been prepared for us by the judge. Like you raise a house—the house is raised after the blueprint, the plan, the map is ready. So in that sense, just like the house, our life is always second hand. It is not originating afresh.

And our assertion is that, just as the house first of all requires a plan, similarly, action and living first of all require an idea, a judgment, a thought, a conclusion, some advice as to how to go about it. As long as you would require that advice, an advisor would always make himself necessary. As long as you require a plan before action, you would always require the services of a planner. And then it won't matter how rotten the planner is and how inadequate the advisor is.

When you feel that you are dying of illness, then even if the doctor is a quack, you have no option but to rush to him. That is why, when I said that if you are dying of thirst, would you take in poison? You couldn't convincingly say no. Because a state may come that you may be so very thirsty that you may be compelled to drink anything, because you are dying anyway. Or if you are on an island where there is nobody else to talk to and there is just one other person, you will find yourself compelled to socialize with him. There is no alternative.

So, as long as life is to be lived as per a judgment, you would require somebody to help you with advices, with the judgment. How necessary is it really to live as per an idea? Remember that we are investigating the question, “How to come upon the valuable?” I have changed the wordings a little. You said, “How to judge the valuable?” I am saying, “How to come upon the valuable?”

So, that exploration has brought it to this point where we are asking, “How necessary is it to be assured of a plan before action? How necessary is it?” I am asking, you must, please. How necessary is it to be convinced of a plan before you act? In other words, how necessary is it to predict tomorrow?

Audience: So, this fear of not knowing, it is so trembling that we want to hold on to anything, even if it is like marrying a girl who is not suitable, but still is known, then marrying an unknown girl, sometimes it's like this. So basically fear, uncertainty.

The fear of uncertainty and not knowing is so trembling that although we know that sometimes the good thing comes in life, when we don't know; but we cannot trust that thing—that without our planning some good things are coming to life. The unknown is so trembling, there's so desperate need to know.

AP: Is there something in our past, is there something in our experience, is there something anywhere that proves that the unknown is really fearsome?

Audience: No.

AP: Don't be so quick to say, because if you are so quick to acknowledge, then that would question the whole foundation of living. Your quick repartee puts a question mark over the whole way in which we exist. If there is no need to be afraid of the unknown, then what is this whole discussion about the judge, about certainty, security, future planning?

Audience: There is a fear of the unknown.

AP: Of course there is. Now I am asking, “What is the basis of that fear? How many times has the unknown murdered you? How many times has the unknown ran away with your valuables? What grievous harm has the unknown caused you?”

Audience: It has caused a lot of harm in the past with our ancestors. But I also want to say that unknown means abrupt change. And nobody likes abrupt change. Mind wants to prepare itself.

AP: I understand that we do not like abrupt change. My question is a little different. My question is, “Is our welfare the same thing as our liking?” When a kid is given a vaccine shot, he does not like it, but his welfare might be contained in it. So, you may not like abrupt change, you may not like what existence throws at you. But does that mean that what is coming your way is something that would harm you? I am asking this please.

Audience: Not always.

AP: It won't always harm you, just as that which you welcome and expect does not always benefit you. That which you know, that which you are familiar with, does it always benefit you? It may benefit, it may harm.

Similarly, that which is unknown does not always injure you—it may benefit, it may harm. Then what is this special status accorded to the unknown? Why this overpowering fear of the unknown? And hence, why the need to have judgment before the action?

Even logically, even intellectually, do we really see? If logic and intellect are the only faculties available to us, are we using even those faculties fully? So, I am not yet talking of an understanding that transcends logic, I just want to stay at the level of the intellect. Even intellectually, do we fully agree that the unknown is not essentially or compulsorily a threat? It has to sink in. We have to see that.

The unknown may throw up certain surprises and those surprises sometimes may be harmful. But tell me, but tell me, is that also not the case with that that you welcome, and expect, and lay out red carpet for? I am asking you, look at all that which you at this moment find to be precious in your life. Precious not because the judge says so, precious because you have actually found it to be precious. How many of those things came into your life as per your planning?

So, let life be the ground of experiment. Look at the small group of people that you really value. Value not because they are with you due to social convention or some other obligation, people that you really can be one with, people with whom your minds really resonate. Did they enter your life as per some plan?

Audience: No. Unplanned.

AP: Think of your favourite restaurant. How did you stumble upon it? The best place you have been to, the best sites that you have encountered—I am talking of natural sights, the most uplifting moments you have had; all of them, remember, fall in the zone of the unknown. Has the unknown really been so unfair or cruel? Is it out to harm you?

Audience: It is sometimes uncomfortable.

AP: Sometimes even the known is so uncomfortable. You know your wife, don't you? I just want to explore the basis of this partial behaviour towards the unknown. Because if you want to look at the judge, then we must also explore why there is the need for the judgment. The need for judgment comes from our fear of the unknown.

Audience: There is always resistance to the unknown. We should remove that resistance.

AP: I am asking why does that exist in the first place? It cannot be removed before you see that it is useless or baseless. These sessions you have been coming here and if you have been a little regular, you would agree that every time there are a few new faces, some of the best contributions come from those who are really unknown to us, don't they? Even today, do you really know the names of everybody over here? So, many of us are unknown to others and still things are proceeding smoothly. Look at it. Look at it.

If there is a word called intimate, this gathering is as intimate as possible because we are discussing the most intimate affairs of life, are we not? Living, acting, deciding, loving, and all of that is happening in the pious company of unknown people, strangers. You may not actually see some of these faces ever after today. It's possible. And yet in this moment we are as one as can be possible. Is the unknown really such a devil? If the unknown is a devil, then this is the devil's workshop.

Audience: It's not a devil if we have an open mind. But we are looking for something, known is likely to give us what we are looking for. Unknown, there's no guarantee that we will get what we are looking for.

AP: So, attitude is a small word, but still in want of a better word, let's use this. There is some kind of an attitude towards life, no? I would rather have that which is little, which is small, which is inadequate, but is certain; then be open to that which is uncertain, which is beyond me, whose dimensions are unknown, whose face is unclear, but who potentially promises the sky.

It's a way of living, it's a way of seeing, is it not? What do I want? That assured little or that tremendous one which is so tremendous that it cannot be a part of my sureness, because my sureness cannot be bigger than me. And if I am talking of the tremendous, how can I be assured of it? Do you see why the tremendous would always remain something uncertain in our frame of reference? Because our certainty can't be bigger than who we are. So, how can the tremendous be something that we are certain of? You can only be certain of the little, the small. You can never be certain of the ways of existence. It's a tremendous net.

Audience: But in the known area, I can do something. Even though it doesn't, I know it doesn't happen by my doing most of the things, but I have a stake there—I can do. In the unknown, I cannot do anything. So, we want to do it even though it doesn't happen, but we want to act, we want to feel like we have a control, we want to do.

AP: Are you really so fond of doing? Did you always do your homework? Are you talking of doing as something that is always present? Do you always do that which you yourself know to be right? Is doing something that really appeals to you so much?

You are saying that in the zone of the known, doer-ship is possible, so we love the zone of the known. But then, is doing or doer-ship something really that you are so fond of? Why do you want to do? I am not going into the ethics of doing. I want to question, whether you really want to do something? The fact of living is, if you can get something without doing, that is always preferable to doing something and then getting the result. If something is available just like that, free of cost, as a gift, would you prefer to do something to earn it? Would you prefer to do something to get air to breathe? Then what is this thing about doing?

The statement that you just made rests on the assumption that doing is our first love. Is doing really your first love? Had doing really been your first love, then you wouldn't have been scolded so often for not doing. Remember your school teachers, remember your boss, remember your wife; so doing is really not something that you are so keen about. What then really is it?

Audience: Not doing. (laughter)

AP: If you don't have to do, what do you want the judgment for? If you won't do the judgment, if you won't act on the judgment, if you won't execute the judgment, if you don't want to do, what do you want a judgment for?

We have certain assumptions. We don't want to have better assumptions. We don't want to have better statements that cancel or nullify our existing statements. We already have a lot of dreams, we don't want to have superior dreams. We want to go into our existing assumptions and see whether they are grounded in factuality. You are so certain that we must judge before we act. That we must look before we leap. I want to ask, how does that help? I want to ask, whether that has helped so far? I want to ask, how your life would have been, had everything happened as per your planning?

Think of the faces of your kids you love so much. Are their faces as per your planning? Would you want their faces to be any different? Tell me please. Think of your dog, or your kitten, or the tree in your courtyard. Has it come up as per the advice of the inner judge? Is it not beautiful without the advice? Without the judgment? Has it not happened ever that one morning you wake up to find unexpected rains or unexpected fog? When you went to sleep, there were no clouds; when you went to sleep, there was no haze. And you wake up in the morning at 06:00 AM and you find it's pouring. Is it bad? It's beautiful. Or is it not? Yes?

You don't like surprises, then why are you so keen on giving surprise gifts to your loved ones? Why don't you let things happen as per their judgment? Why do you want to harass them with surprises? Yes? I am not saying that everything that happens without your planning would always be liked by you. But I am just inviting you to wonder whether so much that makes life worth living, has just come without preparation, without advices, without knowledge, without any advanced intimation.

Can you go into that moment when you open your eyes in the morning and you see it's raining, and rains were just not expected? How does the heart beat at that moment? Yes? The inner judge, mind you, would have never counselled the rains.

So the valuable, the valuable, let's not go too far away from the valuable. How does one then come upon the valuable? If judgment is not needed, and if judgment cannot take us there, how does one come upon it? That's a good judgment, as judgments go. It’s a difficult thing, you know, to come upon the valuable without judging.

One can say, “I would judge.” One can equally say, “I would not judge.” But then how to proceed without judging and also without not judging? Whether you judge and whether you don't judge, you are still judging. What is this valuable?

Audience: Something natural and spontaneous flows into your life?

AP: I really don't know. You see, I haven't rehearsed this talk. I just had no idea how it would flow. You have to assist me here. How does one come upon the valuable? I am as clueless as you are, if you are clueless at all. Yes?

Audience: If you don't judge, then nothing is valuable or everything is equally valuable.

AP: What happens to the word valuable then?

Audience: It's just a word.

AP: What do we do with it?

Audience: This is a social convention that this is valuable. Society has told us that this is valuable. But if we are ready for the unknown, then everything is valuable.

AP: What do we do with this discussion then? The word is gone. The judge is gone. The concept of value is gone. What are we here for? What are we doing?

Audience: Listening ego.

AP: Then I don't have much to say. I have travelled this far with you and I am now staring at an ocean. What do I do? If you push me any further, I will sink. What do we do?

Judgment is always one thing against the other. Right versus wrong. Doing versus not doing. Picking versus not picking. Acting versus not acting. Black versus white. So, value is always in context of something that is not valuable. If you are judging the valuable, you will have to declare something as non-valuable. How do you know it has no value? You are again depending on knowledge. And if you are depending on knowledge, you would again have to depend on the judge.

If knowledge is valuable, then the judge is very valuable because the judge proceeds solely on knowledge. And if knowledge is valuable, then the unknown will continue to be terrible. If you are to not to discard the unknown, if you are to deal evenly and fairly with the unknown—we are not even talking of being biased towards the unknown, we are just being talking of, we are just talking of being even. The known is all right. And if the known is all right, let the unknown be at least equally all right. No bias either way.

If the unknown is not especially horrible, then knowledge has no special status. Then the judge is gone. Then who will judge the valuable? Who will decide that something is not valuable? There survives no one to say that something is bad, equally there survives no one to say that something is good.

“Is it bad?” “No, not really.” “It must be good then.” “Did I say that?” We never said it is good. To say that it is good is equally a work of the judge as saying that it is bad. To say that it is good is to be compelled to say that it is bad, just a little while later. Is there anything that you have thought to be good and has later on not threatened to be bad?

Time has a way of putting one face upon the other, and the next phase may have really no relation with the previous phase. You look at the tree in full bloom. Is it any similar to the autumn tree, the bare bones, the skeleton, the shaft and the twigs? And you had thought of the supple leaves, the full flowers, butterflies, the whole blossoming. And it goes.

Does existence really give us any space to call anything as anything, let alone good, let alone bad? Is there space even to call a thing by its name? Is there space even to call a thing as a thing? When a thing isn't even a thing, when an event isn't even an event, when a person isn't even an isolated, discrete entity, whom are you calling as valuable? Whom are you calling as superior? Whom are you calling as significant? Where is the space for naming? Where is the space? Either there is the thing, or your immediate relation to the thing, or there is the space for the image of the thing, for the judge, for all the stories.

What does this leave us with? What do you take away? Is there a conclusion? Do you have a better assumption now? Do you have a more polished, more scholarly judge now? Has the inner self, the inner judge gained further in knowledge and confidence? Will he return saying that now he is even more qualified to judge? Yes? Would he?

That's his habit. You tell him, he is false, he adds that to his knowledge. You tell him, he doesn't exist, he adds that to his existence. You tell him, he operates only on memory, he adds that to his memory. How is he going to return tonight? More full, inflated, sure of himself, more eager to interfere, to advise? Or would he return with a polite admission that it's not the way he thought it was? That he is unnecessarily poking his nose. That fear can take away much, but never the essential. That the unknown may harm, but the bigger harm is the fear of the unknown.

We all fear loss. If the known has given us fear, if the known has given us fear, can any loss be bigger? Known appears attractive because it gives you something, right? It adds to you. If it has added fear to you, then it would have been better had we suffered losses.

Acting is not the same as execution. One can act with the help of thought, and surely and more importantly, one can also act without the help of thought. To not to live in fear is to not to be afraid of thought, and also not to be afraid of not thinking. When you are not afraid of not thinking, then you can let all thoughts and their opposites come to you. And that is called breadth of thought. That is called an inclusive mind.

So, what is valuable? What is valuable?

Audience: Whatever we see, all is valuable.

AP: What you don't see?

Audience: Invaluable.

AP: So, the judge is saying, only that is valuable which is brought in front of me as evidence. “I am a very liberal judge. I value everything as long as it is in front of me and I can see it as evidence.” Old fat judge, be cautious of him. He is very, very old; as old as time.

What is valuable?

Audience: To be able to be nothing.

AP: And what if you are unable to be nothing? Too bad? Doctor Sahib, what is valuable? Why can't all of you just say shut up to me? (laughter) I am waiting, and waiting, and nobody.

Audience: That's what we said, who is valuer?

AP: Life is raw. It doesn't really oblige you to be polite with your shut ups. Is it really important to [1:17:14] That is one good answer to several, several questions.

Audience: So, now I understand why the Zen master used to speak abrupt and something irrelevant to the question. That's what I wanted to say. When you ask, “What is valuable?” I want you to say, “I don't understand.”

AP: You are far too polite to say that, aren’t you?

Audience: I was polite. I just wanted to say that it doesn’t matter, I don’t understand your question.

AP: Oh you do understand. You know that the question is trivial.

Audience: The question is trivial, yes! What do I have to do? Let it be, I am sitting here.

AP: Why let it be? It's not just letting it exist by itself, it is bothering you. Don't you see that? It's pestering you? What is valuable? Sushmita, what is valuable? It's bugging.

You see the judge is very respectable, very honourable. It takes guts to say, “Shut up!” Still you are just whimpering. Piyush ji gave me that question and now I am stuck with that question. I am asking all of you, “What is valuable?”

Audience: “Shut up.” (laughter)

AP: No? Too caught in morality? Your honour can't be insulted? The judge is an authority? It’s bad manners? It's bad manners and continue answering what is valuable. Come on. What is valuable? You respect too many things just too much, just too much.

Audience: That we have been told to do.

AP: Come on. You must learn to be disdainful. There are just too many things that are sitting as holy commandments. Do you see what holds you by your neck? Do you see why you can't breathe? Do you see why you keep returning to the old traps? Do you see why you fear that the same old life will begin after this session? Because you just have too much respect for too many rotten things—too many institutions, too many people, too many ways of living, too many percepts. Too much stuff that should have become redundant by now is still hanging on because you needlessly respect it. It's not even respect, it's an abuse of the word, its domination, its subjugation.

Do you see how difficult it is to say shut up to a question that appears important, holy, pious? Do you see that? And it is not really the question that you respect, because there is hardly anything that we respect in objectivity. We respect rotten stuff because it is backed by power. You very well know that it is rotten, but because it is backed by power, you fear harm. Do you see how superficial it is? Do you see, it doesn't matter whether the question is deep or shallow, our response to the question always comes from a superficial centre?

An authority may ask the most irrelevant question, and still the question would be honoured. Authority may provide the most baseless answer, still the answer would be honoured. That judge represents our subjugation to all authorities, because all authorities come together to constitute that judge. No authority exists outside of us. All authorities are mental. All authorities sit in the mind—together they build that judge. That is why it is so difficult for us to shoo away the judge. To shoo away the judge, would be to rebel against the total structure of our slavery.

You see, we are civilized people. We are not commanded by guns. We are not commanded by brute force. Usually we are not manhandled. We are commanded through the domination of our mind. That inner judge is the one who dominates our mind. All the forces outside who have a stake in dominating us, come together to form that judge.

That judge will always keep constructing questions that it may play with. That judge wants to stay relevant, so it will keep asking these questions. “What should be my next action?” “What is God?” “How do I live?” “How do I decide on this crucial matter?” “Which city to live in?” “Where to travel to?” “Which God to worship?” “How much money do I need?” “Should I be friends with that person?” That judge will always keep you engaged in questions, because questions is what makes that judge relevant. Because job of that judge is to come up with answers. If answers are important, then questions have to be important. The judge will keep making questions important for you.

Important—is there a difference between the words important and valuable? Come on, aren't they the same? Yes? So, what is valuable? What is valuable is just a ploy of the judge to remain employed. Don't you see that? He may ask, “What is enunciation?” Or he may ask, “What is emancipation?” Or he may ask something in the realm of physics, or advanced science, or space technology. He keeps throwing up stuff that makes you feel that you need him. He keeps making you feel dependent, needy.

Shut ups don't need to be very loud. Why let the judge spoil our taste? Can there be gentle, polite, brush-aways? Could somebody demonstrate? How do you say shut up without letting the shut up become so loud that it ends up disturbing you? How do you say that? How?

Audience: Loudly?

AP: I don't know the effect it will have on the judge, but you would be disturbed if you are too loud. Yes? How? How?

The judge has taught us to take questions seriously. Even a question about dismissing the judge has to be judged [1:30:53] seriously. How do you say shut up without even saying? Without letting the shut up become another inner vibration. All will, do that, this, that is a matter of planning and judgment. Be here. All the time we are talking about the judge being obsessed with the future. And again you are talking in terms of the future. The judge is displaying how he would get rid of the judge. “I will do that.” Yes?

Audience: There's one more thing. Actually, I and judge are not two different beings. Normally, I am the judge. That's why it's so difficult to get rid of.

AP: That's why I said, “Is it too difficult to not live?” You see, leaving the judge appears like death because I and the judge appear to be one. We must go through the fun of not living. Let the judge take away the ‘I’ with it. That's what he threatens you know. “If I go away, then I will take the ‘I’ with me. All right, you are pushing me out. But if you push me out, then I will take away the ‘I’ with me.”

Let him take away the ‘I’. You learn to live without life. Now, without the ‘I’, without being too involved, how would you say shut up to this threat? Dismiss it. Come on, brush it off. Contemptuously, without too much of consideration, as one…

Audience: Without being involved, who will say shut up?

AP: But you are involved. Now say shut up. You are involved at least with this question. So, don't assume too much. That's arrogance. Yes, Come on. Now that you are involved, say shut up to your involvement. Come on, come on, come on.

There is always that inner thing that is inviting you to be involved. Don't you see that? Does that inner thing ever let you just sit? It always says, “Be involved in this, or that, or that and that.” And the involvement always means judgment. Now how do you say shut up to all these invitations of involvement?

Audience: Without involvement?

AP: How? This is not a theory, class. Do that and see that it is possible. Otherwise you will be walking back with a hollow yet inflated confidence. You would be walking back with more words, and more concepts in your kitty. The judge would have gained a promotion.

Now it is difficult, right? Had it been just about answering, it would have been easier. Now it's about doing, it's difficult. I am saying, “Do that right now.” Too involved, too involved. Say shut up without involvement, like a dying man's last breath. It is a breath, yet it is on the verge of dissociation—the last one. Only as much engagement as is needed to say shut up. Only as much of life is left as is needed to inhale the last breath. Only that much of involvement. You have to say shut up, and you also do not have to be the one who is involved in saying shut up. Come on?

Audience: Shut up.

AP: Ahh! You would survive the shut up to see whether or not he has shut up. Say shut up and walk away. Is it possible? And saying shut up and walking away have to be one and the same thing—instantaneous, concurrent. Shut up and walk away. Don't stay there to see the result of what you have done. Otherwise you have survived.

You are feeling it's possible, yet something within you is telling you that it is dangerous. If you learn this, then something valuable would be threatened. I am giving you something that will save your phone bills. There's the easiest way to abort those calls. A quick, nice, smooth—you have to say that.

Audience: Shut up.

AP: Ahh! Your shut up is not dismissive enough. It's rather inviting. The judge would start stopping you.

Audience: Is saying shut up the mark of suppression? I mean, generally, they say ignoring is a better option. Ignoring the judge is a better option than telling it shut up.

AP: If it is loud enough, then it is suppressive. This shut up has to be like the disappearing sounds of ‘Om’, the last sounds before silence dawns. The last breath before death. This shut up is the contemporary equivalent of Om. You start with a word and you end in silence. The voice pans away—Ommmm.

A point comes when you do not know whether you are saying something or not saying at all. This shut up is quite the same as ignoring. You are saying and yet you are not saying. It's the last breath, mind you, it's the last breath. You are breathing, or are you not? Difficult to say. You are saying or are you not? Difficult to say. Now say, “Shut up!”

It has to be so subtle, so smooth. If you do not say shut up, then you are involved. If you say shut up too loudly, then you are again involved.

Audience: Shut up.

AP: Too heavy.

Audience: Just shut up.

AP: Again heavy. It's a very meticulous art. You have to say almost without saying. The words have to be ultra-fine. The judge thrives on resistance as much as he thrives on obedience. You are not resisting him. Ignorance should not become a proxy for resistance. Ignoring him cannot become the same as resisting him.

Be with this. Be with this. It is called the bridge. You are not obeying, you are not resisting either. Obedience and resistance both are a confirmation of the power of the judge. Neither obeying nor resisting, just dismissing—just being somewhere else. Just not being present in the same domain, in the same dimension.

Even before you step out of this room, you are going to have enough to say shut up to. See whether you are up to it. Anyway, it doesn't matter whether or not you are up to it.

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