Don’t deceive yourself by calling the ego as false

Acharya Prashant
19 min readMay 6, 2021

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

Any attempt to “reduce” or “transcend” or “discipline” what is only a concept can only affirm its illusory appearance of reality.
When all concepts are seen for what they are, that is, are recognized as such and nothing more, the ego finds itself in the waste-paper basket with the rest.

~ Wei Wu We

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, you have said at some point that we conceptually know concepts to be concepts. Intellectual understanding does not bring about any lasting fulfillment. Even if the fact of no-self is momentarily perceived, it quickly jumps back to being just a concept. I have read and observed that there is a whole movement around this teaching where the seeker compulsively establishes the absolute standpoint and states that there is nothing to be done or changed because there is no ‘I’ to begin with. What is the actual role of the process here and how to ensure that the seeing is really authentic?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Ilmari (questioner), basics, fundamentals. What is all spirituality for? To whom are the sayings of the sages addressed? Who is Wei Wu We talking to? The Ego might just be a concept, but is it a concept to itself? Please understand. From the point of view of the Absolute, the Ego is just a concept, vacuous fiction, an idiotic story. But who has the right to say this? Only the Absolute. Are we the Absolute? Conceptually, yes. Factually, not at all.

And why do we say that factually, we have no right to speak as the Absolute or on behalf of the Absolute? Because our lives do not permit that. Our lives do not stand testimony to our Absolute nature. We do not live as the Absolute. Since we do not live in Absoluteness, it would not be honest to take an Absolute point of view. It does not behove us.

It’s like the frog talking the language of the elephant. What does the frog live as? Frog. What would befit and benefit the frog is that it honestly acknowledges its ‘frogness’. In the heart of the frog, there might exist a…