Questioner (Q): How do I know what is sitting in my subconscious? What does the thing within want? Hence, how should I make my choices and decisions?
Acharya Prashant (AP): You have no perception beyond what you consciously know. You can only operate within the zone of your consciousness. How then do you know what is there beneath the shallow depth of the conscious mind? To know that, again you have to just watch what is happening in your consciousness. You have no option. Because what is happening in the conscious mind, is arising from the subconscious or unconscious, whatever you want to call it. Are you getting it?
So, we talked of that well. You are throwing light into it. That light goes only up to a certain distance. And whatsoever you can see till that distance will give you a fair idea, a good indication of what is there beneath the illuminated area. You will have to make wise speculations. You have to keep watching what is available to be watched and from that, you'll have to infer about what is not available to be directly watched. Are you getting it? And if you can see what is arising from the subconscious, you will also know ways to penetrate deeper into the subconscious.
Watch your actions. See, what they are pointing towards. Watch your thoughts, see what they are pointing towards. And the thing with the subconscious is, if you can decode it, you have illuminated it. It remains in the dark only because you are in the dark about it. It’s the same thing, right? The more you know about it, the more it gets illuminated. So, know more about it. How do you know more about it? – By doing what is available to be done. All you can watch is your actions, thoughts, emotions, tendencies, reactions, biases, beliefs; watch these.
Watch the movement of life in general and you will come to see what is there, beneath the surface. But you will have to be inquisitive. You cannot just accept or dismiss things as usual. All the things that are apparently usual, contain valuable information at their source or origin or in their depths. We breathe, don’t we? Is breathing a conscious decision? There is nobody who wants to question “why we breathe?” Well, there are people who want to regulate the breath, right? You don’t decide to breathe, or do you? Why do you breathe?
There is somebody in the dark who is breathing and it’s not the ‘conscious you’. The ‘conscious you’ is hardly ever bothered about the breath, right? There is somebody in the dark depths of your mind, who is breathing. Reminds you of some horror flick or something? Some shady thing in the dark, breathing heavily. Now hear your breath. That’s not you. Some shady thing in the recesses of our mind, that’s breathing. Why does it continue to breathe? What is breathing for it? What does it want? Do you decide to impact your breath, when you get angry or excited, or depressed? Do you decide that? You don’t consciously decide, right? But the breath does get impacted.
So, the one who is breathing is also the one who emotes. The breath and emotions go together. Don’t they? The moment there is an emotional affliction, the breath is the first one to tell, right? So where are the emotions coming from? These are the questions you have to ask. We don’t ask these questions because we are just too convinced that this is regular stuff, not worth inquiring into. Now that, which we consider regular, is exactly where the secret is, and the secret would be understood, or revealed.
Why do you wake up every morning? Do you consciously decide to wake up? How many of you do? Keep aside cases like setting up an alarm or something; but everybody does wake up, right? Nobody keeps sleeping for forty-eight hours or something. You sleep and then you just wake up. You don’t consciously decide to wake up, or do you? You wake up. Who wakes up? – the same fellow, who is breathing. That silhouette in the dark, and that’s not you. There is somebody sitting within. And he weeps and wakes up and breathes and asks for food. What does he want? Mind you, irrespective of who you are, you wake up, right? We might have an illiterate fellow and we might have the greatest scholar here; but, both of them do breathe and both of them do wake up in the morning. Right? Which means, the one sitting within, has no relation to knowledge. The one sitting within has no relation at all to knowledge. All knowledge is limited to your conscious self. Therefore, all knowledge is very shallow, right? Who is the one sitting within then? What does he want?
He doesn’t want knowledge. The rich one wakes up, so does the poor one. Ah! So, he doesn’t want money. The old one wakes up, so does the young one. The healthy one wakes up, so does the unhealthy one. The one sitting within wants neither knowledge, nor money, nor health, nor wealth; “Interesting character!” What does he open his eyes for? I am not saying what does he open your eyes for. Your eyes are not your eyes. Who wakes up in the morning? You don’t. Right? The one, sitting in the dark is influencing, rather commanding everything that is happening in the lights. Therefore, it is not at all difficult to know him, right? Lights and shadows go together. And shadows are useful. In fact, light helps you see things through shadows.
Look at your face in the mirror and be astonished. And you will be astonished if you have not just bored yourself into a lazy acceptance of yourself. If you have some wonderment left towards yourself, the very look of your eyes would astonish you. What are these eyes searching for? What do you think, the eyes are just some kind of biomechanical device to gather information from the external world? No sir. There is a difference between ‘these eyes’ and ‘this camera’. The camera just looks at stuff. The eyes are looking ‘for’ something. There is a dimensional difference there. Do you get this?
The camera just looks; the eyes look for. What are the eyes looking for? The camera can’t look for anything. And you can’t just look at anything. It is impossible for the camera to look for anything; the camera cannot do that. And it is equally impossible for you to just look at anything. You cannot do that. Whenever you have looked at something, you have actually looked for something. What are you looking for? Nah, what is ‘he’ (the one sitting within) looking for?
You might train a camera to look for something, but still, the camera would look for something that it already knows to look for. It’s programmed to look for something in particular. And your eyes are looking for something they are not destined to ever find. The camera knows what it is looking for, if at all it is programmed to look for something. And you will never know what you are looking for, but still, you keep looking. And it is said that some indeed do find what they are looking for. Though you can never know what you are looking for, still miraculously, a few end up finding what that shady chap was all the time looking for. How does that happen? I don’t know; maybe the Rishis know.
Q: Acharya Ji, as you said that eyes are looking for something, so, this is the proof that everything is Brahm because the eye, which is looking at the world and whatever it looks at, it is looking for something. So that means that whatever it is, so can we say this that all that it looks at is actually looking for something which is beyond the world that is Brahm?
AP: You are saying that quite rightly. But still, the eyes would continue to look. Wish any of the things the eyes look at and any of the words we use to describe ‘the looking one’ and ‘the looked one’ were enough to suffice. Nothing is enough, nothing suffices. We might manage to explain the phenomena brilliantly, but that brilliance fails to help. The eyes still desperately continue to look (look for).
So yes, we know, the one looking at stuff is Brahm. The stuff he is looking at is Brahm. Yet, the separation remains.
The eyes keep longing for ‘some particular sight’. That’s what makes the eyes so evocative and so beautiful. They contain the essence of what it means to be human. A human being is someone who is looking for ‘something’, right? The eyes decide the eyes roll, the eyes blink. The eyes get dilated. All that doesn’t happen with your nose or your ears. And that’s why there is so little poetry around noses and ears. The ears have no discretion, or have they? The eyes, they have discretion. You cannot close your ears to something, can you? But you can close your eyes to something and you just turn your head and you choose to look at something and you choose not to look at something. Ears, they don’t love. The eyes, they fall in love. Well, the ears too love certain sounds, music, and all that. The ears are not very keen lovers. They will let in whatever comes to them.
The eyes are quite choosy, to the extent of being finicky. They may not know what they are looking for, but they, for certain, know what they are not looking for. They will just turn away. If nothing else, then (closes eyes). What does this mean? This means “I am not open to you. I am not literally open to you. I am closed to see”. Ears don’t have ear lids. Some people have a lot of hair in the ear, so you can say they have ear lashes, but still, they don’t have lids. So, watch your eyes and learn to read the eyes of others.