Does anything outside of thought really exist?

Acharya Prashant
7 min readMay 1, 2020

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

Questioner: You have said in one of your videos, “In matters of Truth, thought is not useful. It is even a handicap.” But thought is all I know, and have ever known. If I close my eyes, everything is a thought. My family is a thought, my children are a thought, even God is a thought. And the Teacher is a thought.

If everything that I have ever known, is a thought, then why should I believe that something outside of thoughts, and space and time dimensions exists? Every thing that tells me, that something ‘beyond’ exists, is thought. And if thoughts are not to be believed, or taken seriously, then I am screwed, because I have been on a wrong quest.

Why should I belittle my thoughts and term them frivolous and false? Outside these thoughts, there is nothing that I can know of. So why to condemn them?

Acharya Prashant: You will have to answer it, looking at your own life.

How will you explain ‘love’? Thoughts have reasons. Thoughts have causal linkages — backward and forward. Each thought comes from somewhere, and leads to something. How do you explain ‘love’? Where does ‘love’ come from? Do you have to think to ‘love’?

How do you explain sleep?

You would admit that when you are sleeping, nicely, comfortably, then you are not thinking. Are you in distress then?

Your problem is not that you are not convinced of a thought-free state. Your problem is that you are not convinced of a thought-free state — for yourself.

If I say that in sleep you are thought-free, and yet blissful, you would retort and say, “Yes, there is bliss. But not for me.” You want to experience the bliss, along with everything that you are. In sleep, bliss is there, but all that, that you are, is not there. So that bliss appears so useless.

You are not questioning freedom from thought, you are questioning whether there is freedom from thought, for you, as you are. No, there is no freedom that way. So, you have to make a choice. You have to decide whether you are more particular about preserving yourself, or is that bliss dearer to you.

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