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You, I and the mind || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2014)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): Alright? Yes, please. What's your name?

Questioner (Q): Abhimanyu Malaikya.

AP: Yes Abhimanyu. Please speak.

Q: I didn't get you when you said the words. What is the difference between you, I and the mind?

AP: Ah, good. What is the difference between you, I and the mind? Simple Abhimanyu. Whatever is personal is mind. We all exist as persons, right? Right now if I have to speak to Abhimanyu, I cannot look this way and speak. You will feel awkward. You exist as a person and you are looking at me even though if you do not look at me, you would still be able to hear, right?

But it's our common practice. The entire world did this. We exist as persons having a definite form, a name, a shape, some characteristics that appear as permanent. Whatever this person is characterized by is the mind. Whatever is personal is mind. So the person is the mind and the person refers to himself as?

Q: I.

AP: As?

Q: I.

AP: Wherever there is an I, there would be a reciprocal.

Q: You.

AP: So the mind creates the I first thing and the I depends on all different use for sustenance and that is a person. For me to exist, there has to be a limit to the me. For me to exist, there has to be a limit to the me. You can call this wall this wall only because this wall ends somewhere. In a similar way, you can call yourself I only by restricting yourself as a person.

This is me. I end here and where I end, you start. Where I end, something else starts. Where this wall ends, something else starts. If there is something that never ends, you will not be able to sense it. If there is something that never ends, you will not be able to sense it at all.

To be able to sense something, perceive it, it is very important that it is limited. It ends. That is the mind, the I and the you. All one.

I and you are two ends of the duality which is mind. And in mind, everything is dual. You all may want to just write down something about an important word that we have come across.

Duality. What is duality? Or let's first begin by asking you. What is duality?

Q1: Doubleness.

AP: Not really.

Q2: It has something to do with the electron. It is a wave and it is also a particle.

Q2: Two ends of something.

AP: Not quite. Let's look at this. Duality is when any two things or concepts or words are such that one depends on the other. First condition, one depends on the other. Second, one appears as opposite of the other. Third, one cannot survive without the other.

It is a little bit like everyday love. One depends on the other, one appears as opposite of the other and one cannot be without the other. Like two faces of a coin. The two faces of the coin appear as opposites of each other looking in opposite directions.

But you cannot have a coin with one face. Wherever there is one face, there would always be a corresponding opposite face. And they are always together. And they are always as opposites. Now, this mind that you just talked of, Abhimanyu, is always composed of dualities.

You cannot perceive anything which is non-dual. It's quite amusing. For the mind to perceive anything, its opposite must exist. For you to sense happiness, sadness must exist.

Day is day only because there comes a night. There is life only because you know there is something called death. So, in the world of the mind, anything that you pick up always has a dual opposite.

If the dual opposite is not there, you cannot sense that thing. There is this whiteboard at my back. If I write with white on it, you will not be able to perceive it. For black to be perceived, white has to be there. For excitement to be perceived, boredom has to be there.

So, if you feel very excited on watching a weekend movie, it only proves that the week has been boring. Otherwise, the excitement couldn't have come. It goes far, very far. That's why I had said, is it mere theory or does it relate very, very deeply to the essence of our lives? Yes. Is duality clear? Not clear?

If there is someone… Alright, let's put it this way. If I have fever right now, how will I perceive that I have fever? Only because, yeah, the thermometer, only because I know that there is a benchmark, a standard point in thermometer which I call as health. If there was someone who always had a headache, were someone to be born with a headache, never, never relieved of the headache, he would not feel the headache.

Q: But then, this object is not duality.

AP: This is duality, that for a thing to be sensed, its opposite must be there. Its opposite must be there. For black, white must be there. For anything, you pick up anything that can be there in the mind, any word, any concept. It's simple, quite simple. See, people who are color blind, you know, it's not that they are color blind about a single color. You are color blind in pairs. It's not that you cannot not perceive just one color. When you do not perceive one color, you also do not perceive its contrast.

So, the color is gone and its contrast is also gone. And that has deep, deep ramifications for our life. We want, for example, to put fear away. There is nobody who likes fear. We all like to be fearless. But we forget that fearlessness and confidence are two ends of the same duality. Now, we are asking for the impossible. We say, I do not want fear, but I want confidence. The fact is, confidence can be there only as long as fear is there. If fear goes, confidence also goes. You just become simple.

But what do we want from life? We say that as…

Q: Sir, when we overcome the fear, confidence becomes…

AP: No, confidence…

Q: Fear, but confidence…

AP: Let's inquire into that. When do you require confidence? Do you require confidence when you go every day in your routine work, not on some day when you have done something really special? Something very mischievous. And you, let's say you go home and you talk to your siblings or to your parents. Do you require confidence for that?Do you require confidence? No. But when you are in the interview room facing the recruiter, then do you require confidence?

Q: Yes, sir.

AP: So, when do you require confidence? When there is fear. Where there is no fear, there is no confidence either. Confidence is a sign of fear and people who appear confident would actually be very afraid. That's why they need so much of confidence. The one who is not afraid would be simple, flowing like a child. There is no need of confidence.

But then you see how we ask for the impossible. We say, give me confidence but don't give me fear. That's the practical application of duality in our life. The one who understands duality would not ask for the impossible, would understand the mechanics of the mind. Yes, next question please.

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