The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Acharya Prashant (AP): (Reads question) Mohit Sharma from the USA, “Pranam Acharya Ji, I am paying attention to what and how I do. I have observed four states of mind. Is it natural to observe this? Are these all the same or different? And by doing it, will I go closer to a better quality of attention or dhyana (meditation), or is it another trick of the mind? These are the four states that I have observed: The first state, thoughts keep arising and I get lost. Most of the time, these thoughts relate to fear and worries; the second state -I make a conscious decision to think about something, I am aware of the decision but then, the stuff of stage one intervenes and carries me away again; the third state — I sit silently doing pranayama and paying attention to the breath, thoughts keep arising in the background. I try to keep my attention to breath, I keep hearing sounds near me, but I still remain attentive; the fourth state — I am working on something and completely absorbed in it without any thoughts and don’t even realize anything happening around me, just completely absorbed in what I am doing.”
Mohit, when you are mentioning these four states, you are probably assuming a progression. The first state is when thoughts arise and take you away. It’s almost getting kidnapped. And in the fourth state, you are talking of the disappearance of thoughts. In the fourth state, you say you are just completely absorbed in what you are doing. You are assuming a progression. The progression is there and is equally not there.
When you are really, really attentive, you will just not know about yourself. In all the four states, you have described what is happening to you, which means that your state is going to and getting registered in your memory. Remember that memory registers only distractions, memory cannot register the Truth, memory cannot register that which is natural and normal.
As a crude example, see whether you are registering that the air pressure, the atmospheric pressure is normal right now. Anybody who’s memory is registering this? But if the atmospheric pressure gets reduced and there is oxygen deficiency, then memory would quickly register it. Memory registers only that which has…