Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: It appears that when one is trying to escape from loneliness, the reading of spiritual book or practicing some meditation techniques is also not considered as the right thing to do. Could you shed some light on this?
AP: When the intention is to somehow escape from loneliness rather than go to the root of loneliness, rather than come face to face with loneliness, then anything that one does is just not honest. Honesty does not lie in turning one’s face away from the facts of one’s life. That is obvious, right? And if the fact of one’s life is ‘loneliness’ then one has to figure out what ‘loneliness’ is. One has to squarely look into the eyes of ‘loneliness’, one has to strike a conversation.
Instead of that if one finds an alternative then the alternative would remain a valueless one even if it is a so called ‘holy alternative’. Please remember that real holiness lies only in basic honesty.
If from a centre of dishonesty one is turning towards holy books, then the books remain holy, but one’s approach to the books, one’s attitude to the books does not remain holy.
How will it benefit you if you touch a holy book in an unholy way? When you escape from your loneliness, instead of confronting it, instead of digging deep into it, coming to the truth of it, then the approach itself is unholy. An unholy approach turns even a holy book useless.
Remember Shakespeare, “The devil can cite scriptures for his purpose”. Now the devil can not really turn the scripture unholy. But the purpose for which the devil would touch the scripture, will not be pious. Right? Kindly do not try to categorize activities per say, into holy or unholy. We have a strong tendency to do that because that is so easy. Because that does not actually require any inner work or discrimination, so we find a lazy categorization very easy and compelling. We want to say, what are holy deeds- reading this, this and this; going to a temple; doing such an act; performing charities; helping somebody; meditating. Right? So this is the list of holy acts. Right, done, finished! What are unholy acts? 1,2, 3, 4,5.. another list of ten things that you can very comfortably tag as unholy.