The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: What does it really mean to be passively aware in day-to-day life? Whenever someone tries to hit me personally, the reaction happens. But the realization that the personality is defending is not instantaneous. So, how to maintain awareness in such instances, when one feels personally attacked?
Acharya Prashant: The questioner is saying she wants to maintain awareness in instances when she is attacked. And should I read it to mean that you do not want to maintain awareness, in instances, when you are the attacker? If you can get the incompleteness of your question, you will realize why awareness eludes you.
Awareness is total so you cannot get it in half.
You want to remain aware only in moments of crisis. You want awareness to help you out, only when you are attacked.
But when you are enjoying all kinds of pleasures, then you do not want awareness, do you?
When pain hits you, then you cry out awareness, awareness. But in your moments of pleasure, you forget all about Ashtavakra, Rumi, and Acharya Ji. You say, ‘Now, we are anyway happy and the aim of all spirituality is to give happiness, so why do we now need spiritual help?’
You are wrong.
Spirituality is not about happiness.
Spirituality is not about relief from pain.
Spirituality, before it ameliorates your pain,
does away with your pleasures.
Look at your question. You are saying, ‘How to maintain awareness in ‘such’ instances?’ See, how you have qualified awareness. See, how you have confined awareness. You are saying, ‘When I am attacked, then, I want to be aware’. Why?
And how many times a day, are you attacked? Two times a day, five times a day, sometimes never in the day. In those specific instances, you want awareness, otherwise not.
And therefore, you will have no awareness at all, because you are asking for partial awareness, and awareness can never be partial.
If you want to remain aware when you are attacked, then also remain aware, when…