All inner development is just a process of re-remembering

Acharya Prashant
4 min readMar 8, 2023

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question (Q): Dear Sir, I want to inquire about a couple of perspectives that are troubling me to some extent.

The first one is based on an earlier conversation I had with you: when there is action without the self, is that action marked by compassion?

The second doubt is: I was reading somewhere yesterday that there is a very strong disconnection between our body(which includes the mind) and consciousness. Does our consciousness, or rather cosmic consciousness work independent of the needs of the body or are the two deeply interlinked?

Would love to hear your response to the same.

Acharya Prashant (AP): What is compassion? Can any word exist without the consciousness of its opposite? The moment you use the word ‘compassion’, you cannot be fully compassionate because the very existence of the word will limit compassion.

It is like this: what is all-pervasive cannot be known by the mind because the mind can only know via conflict. So, if a mind knows compassion and is able to assign a word to it, it only means a limit to compassion, a certain lack of compassion, a point where compassion ends and cruelty begins.

Now, will the mind know anything about the action without the self? Tell me, when there is action without the self, will there be any experience? Experience can be known only when there is a separate entity to experience the event.

In a way, compassion and a thousand more attributes will be there, but who will be there to experience? If there is no experience, the mind will not come to know. When the mind will not come to know, how can it label it as compassion?

In action beyond self, there is only beyondness. Later on, by recollecting, by thinking, by using memory (of a gap in time) and mind, you can assign labels to it. Only later on. Those labels will be limited and false, even if useful. As useful as vicarious bliss!

No name can suffice, however, the word that I have seen come closest to ‘beyond the self’ is sat-chit-ananda. Truth-awareness-bliss. It is just an apologetic surrogate, a timid pointer…