Do spirituality and wisdom lead to disorderly conduct?

Acharya Prashant
8 min readSep 21, 2020

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

Listener (L): Acharya Ji, why do we keep acting on whim?

Acharya Prashant (AP): What we call as whim is not our individual expression. The assumption behind your question is, there is a civilized social conduct and there is a personal whim. So, you are assuming that if the civilized social conduct is given up, then all that remains is the personal chaotic whim. Not really.

The civilized social conduct and the personal whim, they are one, because the person himself is the product of society, and then he furthers the same cycle that brought him up.

There is something beyond both the social product and the person. There is something beyond both social order and individual whim.

And that is the natural flow of living.

Kindly do not think that if you are not following social dictates, then the only option available to you is your own idiosyncrasies. In fact, what happens is that, the one who gives up on his social masters never proclaims that he has become his own master.

Sitting here you would imagine that if you give up on your masters outside of you, then you will start believing that the master is now inside of you. That seems automatic, right?

It seems that either we would say that he or she controls me, and if they don’t control me, then I control myself. It does not happen this way.

When you give up obeying the ones outside of yourself,

then you also give up obeying yourself.

Then you don’t obey at all,

neither others nor yourself.

It is not about changing the one that you obey.

It is about giving up on obedience itself.

And that is a great change.

L: Giving up on obedience doesn’t necessarily hurt the people around you?

AP: No, it may hurt or not hurt them. But, right now it matters to you whether or not they would be hurt. And it matters to you in a self-defensive way. When you have given up on obedience, then other’s hurt would not mean the…

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