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The actor is the action
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 min
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Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, it’s not okay for me if someone hurts someone else. Is it true to say that, "Don’t reject person but action"?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Is it possible to really draw a line between the actor and the action?

Is it possible to say that the action is being rejected but the actor is alright?

The action is nothing but a gross manifestation of the actor, you will do what you are. The doing depends on the doer. Often, by condemning the doing, and condoning the doer; you are just preserving the doer to continue with the doing.

The doing is immaterial, the doing was inevitable. Given what you are, what else could you have done? You had no option.

If something has to be addressed, it is not the doing but the doer. Pay attention to who is doing this, and if he remains the same, the same kind of actions will continue to come from him, maybe in other forms, maybe in hidden ways.

Actions just don’t drop from somewhere; they don’t come from an isolated vacuum. They arise from your self-concept; they arise from your idea of who you are and what the world is like. If the idea remains the same, the action will repeat itself; in other situations, in other names, in other ways.

So, forget the action, look at the actor. You talked of hurt; Who gets hurt? Who wants to preserve himself?

If there is no desire of self-preservation, is hurt possible? If you do not want to continue with something, keep something safe, protect something. If you do not want to not alter something, not to expose something; is it possible to still get hurt?

Look at the thing, the entity that gets hurt; what is it? And where there is hurt, there must be fear. If you are vulnerable towards hurt, you would want not to get hurt, and you would be afraid that you might get hurt.

Who gets hurt?

Who is so weak and vulnerable?

Who is the one needing a defense, an armor?

Who is the one forever doubtful of his strength?

Who is the one who knows deep down that he will crumble under pressure?

Who is the one who knows that he is bound to be defeated when attacked?

Who is the one who knows that his days are numbered?

Who is the one who knows that he is not trustworthy?

Who is that?

What within us is so insecure that it keeps getting hurt? Please figure that out. Who is that?

Is it really a virtue to not hurt someone? That’s conventional wisdom, that’s traditional religiosity. But I want you to look at the matter with insight, rather than indebtedness to tradition.

Q: Those actions or feelings are a product of programming which you had mentioned before, and not the representation of True Self.

AP: Yes, they are a part of the programming and that is why they are so prone to get hurt. You mentioned true self, does the true self get hurt? Ever?

Q: The program is like a virus in this world. Can we cure this virus? Or can we heal this virus? Or should we accept the virus as it is?

AP: That, which you are calling as ‘we’, is maybe another name for the virus. How would the virus heal itself? A computer virus becomes lethal when it is packaged as an antivirus. Then you pay to put the virus in your system.

You have talked of two entities, ‘me’ and the ‘virus’. This ‘me’ is trying to cure the ‘virus’ or get rid of the ‘virus’. Who is this ‘me’? If he is a product of the ‘virus’, would he be able to do away with the ‘virus’?

First of all, is it not important to see and ensure, that the ‘me’ is not an outcome of the ‘virus’? Should that not be the first question? Is the ‘me’ true enough, pure enough, healthy enough? If you are healthy enough then maybe you can identify and isolate the virus, or do something or not do something, health comes first then we will see.

Firstly, one has to see, where one’s actions are coming from, because there is no other way to have self-knowledge. The virus is not a physical thing, you can never hold it in your hand. It's a concept, it's an abstraction. It can be known only through its deeds; it can be known only through its tangible manifestations.

The virus is known only by the effect it has upon you. And the effect that it has upon you is obvious in your daily actions, minute-to-minute life. Observe that, see that and then you will be able to figure out whether there is actually some virus lurking behind your daily life.

Q: So, this virus is a reflection of the society, then there must be some positives in the so-called virus.

AP: We are born with a virus. That which is born is a virus. You talked of ‘positives’, yes, that which the society gives you can be positive only in one sense, and the sense is that the social input must heal you of the virus that you were born with.

The child is born, the child is already infested. So, what do you give the child: particular medicine, and injections, and then more injections? You understand ‘injecting’? You are putting something into the child’s system from outside, it's called ‘injecting’.

Now, why are you giving all these injections to the child? So that he might be cured of the virus he was born with, that is only positive possible. If there are people or institutions in the society who give you inputs that dissolve your pre-existing tendencies, that is the only thing that you can call positive.

So, there is no real positive. If positive means addition, then the injection does not really add to the child. The injection rather takes something away from the child’s system. What does the injection take away? The virus!

So, the only positive is not to add something; but rather to deduct something, rather to reduce something. If you want to still use the word 'positive' for it, it's alright. But positive is not really an exact word for the spiritual process.

(Stone Fell from the top of the mountain during the Satsang)

You heard that rumbling, the stone was sitting on the edge, all it needed was a gentle push, so speak. Just one word can cause so much of rumbling; one answer can cause the stone to leave its painful heights and descend into the Ganga.

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