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Trying to drop the ego?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 min
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Questioner 1 (Q1): Dropping the knowledge, is it dropping the method, or is it completely dropping the knowledge?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Dropping the feeling that I already know what is best for me. Would you call knowledge as knowledge, if you are not sure of it? Would you call yourself as knowledgeable if you are not sure of something? So, knowledge essentially assumes certainty. I am certain of something. In other words, I deserve to be certain. I am capable of certainty. To drop knowledge is to actually drop the confidence that you can know. That being yourself, you are capable of certainty.

Are you getting it?

That’s what is meant by dropping knowledge. Dropping out knowledge does not mean wiping out memory or information from your brain. It merely means gaining some humility to admit that you really do not know the most fundamental entity which is yourself and all knowledge is held by you.

Right?

If do not know yourself then the knowledge that you hold, is bound to be quite unreliable, no?

Are you getting it?

When you say, "Knowledge", what you mean is that you have the knowledge, right? So, what comes even before knowledge? I. All belong to? You. Therefore, when you express confidence in knowledge, first of all, you are expressing confidence in yourself. To drop knowledge is to drop the certainty that you have towards yourself. When you say, "I know", implicit in this is the assertion that “I can know.” When you say, "I know", before that you have said, “I can know”. Now being yourself, can you really know? Being who you are, prone to biased, prejudice, can you really know?

Therefore, bing yourself you cannot know? Then how did you assert that you know? It was a false assertion, right? That is what is meant by unloading knowledge. It's not as if the one who unloads knowledge, has no knowledge. He has knowledge rather, he has no himself. When you say, “I have knowledge” and you want to drop this statement. What is it that you drop in this? It is “I” that you drop, not really the knowledge. Knowledge will be there. Knowledge merely as memory and information. That will remain. And actually, there is no way to wipe that out. If there is memory in the brain, it will remain for a while. And then in the normal biological process and depending on certain psychological processes also, it will probably disappear or get subsumed in a period of time.

If a class two student says, “I know Calculus”, would you even test him? And it’s not a matter of being biased against the kid. You would say, “Being who you are, you cannot know Calculus.” The reason being, I do not know whether or not you know Calculus but for sure I know that you do not know multiplication. I do not know whether you know Calculus but I know that you cannot even add properly. And division is such a far cry. You falter in multiplication, simple multiplication. I ask you, “What is twelve multiplied by eight” and it is too much for you.

Therefore, I will not go into whether you know Calculus, I will say, "You cannot know Calculus." Being who you are, you cannot know. Therefore, drop all pretense. Therefore drop all the respect that you have accorded yourself. Look at your life. Look at how you operate. Look at all the silliness that pervades your day to day movements. And then you say that you know that is good for you. Had you really know what is good for you? Would you have been in this internal condition?

Q2: Pranam Acharya Ji, as you told that, like rishi told, "The ego or I or the disciple to drop I or to dissolve I.” So, my question is, is it really capable of dropping I, being in a body that works only being I? So, we are living in nature or a world that works only being I.

AP: The thing is, what is this I going to base its trust on. One thing is to trust the body, which is the brain, which is the intellect, and memory. You can either trust all this or you can utilize the brain itself to look at the brain. And then find out for yourself, whether you are worth trusting.

Are you getting it?

One thing is to trust this biological apparatus blindly, why? Because this is what I am. This is what I am born with, born as. So, I’ll just trust it. The other thing is, with all that you have, with whatever you have, why not examine this apparatus? Why not go its functioning? Why not see whether it’s worth anything or much or a lot. So, test that.

The power to come to a realization of your own limit is given to you. You have to use it. And not be afraid. That’s the point when fear kicks in. And fear kicks in because it asks a very horrible question. Horrible to the ego. If I am not to be trusted, who do I place my trust on? And there is nobody in this entire world worth trusting.

Here you require faith then. Well, I can say I do not know, without even consciously knowing, who knows? Are you getting it? The thing is, even if we come to know that we do not know or we are insufficient. We do not want to admit that. We do not want to admit that because that would bring us to a dead end. We are saying, “We do not know”, without saying, “Who really knows?”. We are saying, “I am not reliable”, without knowing, “Who is reliable?” And that’s a very awkward position, a horrible position rather. You feel so unsafe, very insecure. After all, you do need something, somebody to hold on to.

Right?

Something to place your feet on. Otherwise, where did you stand? Faith is about admitting your own insufficiency without really, objectively knowing where sufficiency can be had from. Faith is about admitting your falseness without consciously and objectively knowing the Truth.

Are you getting it?

If you will insist on consciously, objectively knowing the Truth, then you will invent a false Truth for yourself. A false and objective Truth. And you will say, “I know.” Faith is about having the humility to see that the Truth is unknowable. Truth is unknowable and yet I am false. So, It’s a very as we said, “Awkward situation.” I am false and the Truth is unknowable.

So, basically, I am left nowhere. I am false, Truth is unknowable, what do I have? Nothing. It’s a position that only very courageous people can handle. The world is false. So, what is real? That I don’t know. It’s only for a very large-hearted person to stand in this position. The world is false and the Truth? I neither know nor can ever know. The Truth is unknowable and yet I have the guts to declare that the world is false and I am false. That’s Faith. That’s what you need. And you can have that.

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