Tuesday, April 17, 2018


A psychologist friend of mine was sitting with me. During the course of conversation he said how he envied my staying in an Ashram. "No telephones, no appointments to keep, no visits by touring directors and ministers, no classes, no monthly progress reports. I am fatigued. Last two days there have been continual board meetings and bickerings, and tomorrow the Director of Health is coming. I am fed up, I think I will take a couple of days off and drive off to Nandi Hills".

Nikhil.kawale, from Wikimedia Commons

"Excellent," I said, "Today you are fatigued and day-after-tomorrow you will go to Nandi Hills. Why don't you go to Nandi Hills now? What prevents you?"

"What do you mean?" he said. "Just imagination".

"Just close your eyes. Lean back, transport yourself to Nandi Hills. Look at the sky, the hills, the greenery, have a big smile and come back, all in the space of a couple of minutes," I said.

"Is that not wishful thinking?" he said. "Just imagination".

"Look," I said, "Is not your fatigue an imagination."

Yesterday something happened and tomorrow something is likely to happen. These two memories make you feel tense and bothered, and your BP is rising, your intestines are in a cramp, and and your back and legs are tense itching to go, and you give polite expression to this by envying my supposed freedom from all responsibilities. You say you are fatigued. Right now if there is a snake under your chair or a tiger behind you, I bet you will run a mile. You see, though you are a psychologist or because of it, you have made your body forget to look at reality behind a mass of words. This beautiful, according to you realistic thought - yesterday's meetings, tomorrow's worries is right now kicking your insides, all your subtle mechanisms to bits and you are happy because it is respectable. This is the power of thought. All I am suggesting is to use the power constructively. What you are experiencing is the destructive aspect. You are holding back one of your most powerful horses and it is kicking the stall to bits. You say you want to go to Nandi Hills. One part of you, your thought or mind is racing away and you hold it back. 

"Listen, remember you have a number of horses in your stable, a number of forces. Don't mix them up. You are the master, You can be with each one of them. A thought goes, be with it for a few seconds. Later on you may have more control and more skill in combining one horse with another. But right now you must see that your innocent, so-called realistic thinking is chronically killing you."

"Then do you think that all the schizophrenic thought and the irrational thought of mental patients is good," he asked.

"Just now I am talking to you, " I said, "When I meet a schizophrenic or a mental patient I shall know what to do. This hypothetical thinking has its value in your classroom at least in terms of rupees, but it is worthless for the minute to minute running of your own car!"

"O.K., I go to Nandi Hills," he said, "right now! But in a few minutes I am back at the old game. So what is the use?" he asked.

"Look," I said, "your realistic thinking - meaning thereby the rehashing of your yesterdays' memories and all the presently non-existing data of tomorrow over which you have little control is right now a burden on you. It is almost constantly with you. Day after tomorrow when you are at Nandi Hills you will do the same. You will be thinking of the work you left unfinished and the work you have to do on Monday. So right now you are like a coolie with an unrelieved load on your head, trudging mile after mile without relief. Now somebody comes along and lifts it up for a second. The load is on again. A few hours later somebody again lifts off the load for a minute. Do you know what relief it can be. So relieve the tremendous burden on your body even for a few seconds at a time as frequently as possible till you understand the controls more deeply and fully. Do you stop sweeping your room because dust may fall again? Do you stop driving your car ro servicing it because you have to do it over and over again?"

Wikimedia Commons

Your thoughts have power - right now they have power enough to kill you. If you care for your body you will not raise philosophical questions . Don't try to stop your thought - you can't anyway. Try to guide them to a better result. 


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