All attitudes are dangerous, whether positive or negative
Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (diaogue) session of Acharya Prashant with students.
Question: What is the difference between ‘right attitude’ and ‘wrong attitude’? If external forces ask one to change his or her attitude, then how does one know or decide that what is ‘right attitude’ or ‘wrong attitude’?
Acharya Prashant: What is the attitude? Attitude means mentality. Attitude is a predetermined, frozen set of beliefs. Attitude means, “I already know.” Attitude says, “I already know.” Attitude says, “I have beliefs about this, and this is it.” Attitude says, “Even before I know the reality, I have made up my mind.” You talked of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ attitude. (Pointing at a blackboard at his back) I write a variable A over here and I say, “Tell me whether A is positive or negative.”
AP: Positive. Because you have a positive attitude, so it is positive for you. And those who have a negative attitude, for them it is negative. Wonderful! I write over here another variable, in a language not known to you. Those of you who have a positive attitude, will say, “You know, some tremendously good things about me are written here. It is written that I am beautiful, handsome, glorious, and intelligent.” Those of you who have a negative attitude, will say, “You know what is written here about me? I am shit, and I am going to be flushed away.” (Laughter) Now, is one party better than the other party? All those who have a positive attitude, are they any better than those who have a negative attitude? None of them really understand anything. How can they understand when their mind is already full of attitude?
Attitude is the enemy of understanding. With attitude we can never understand. Because attitude says, “I already know.” And when you already know, how can you know? When you say, “I already know,” how can you know?
Are you getting it?
L: Yes, Sir.
AP: There is nothing called ‘positive attitude’ or ‘negative attitude’. All attitudes are enemies of understanding and reality. Within attitude, you approach reality with a fixed, frozen mindset. Right? You say, “I already know.” Where is the need to investigate then? When one already…