Honest Observation is detachment itself

Acharya Prashant
4 min readSep 5, 2020

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

Question: Acharya Ji, how does one look at this life, observe himself and yet not get involved with that which he is observing?

Acharya Prashant: If one is really observing, then the distance is natural. When you will observe your life, what will you see? You will see that everything that appears so important today is no more important tomorrow. You will see that nothing stays. Coming and going is the nature of all things. If you are honest in your observation, you will also see that there is nothing called a permanent self.

The one who was looking at things five years back, or two years back, or even two weeks or two hours back, is no more the one who is looking at things right now. And when you will see all this, when there will be honesty in observation, then obviously it will become very difficult for you to forcibly maintain a stickiness with the objects of observation.

You stick to something only when you find some kind of solace there, peace there, assurance there. One sticks to something only in the expectation of finding a support there. But when you really observe the nature of things, Universe, and even your own inner self, you see that there is nothing worth relying there. There is really nothing you can expect to get permanent support from. And that automatically creates a distance. The question that you asked, assumed that observation and detachment are mutually exclusive, or at least difficult to practice together.

The fact is that real observation comes naturally along with detachment. So, they are not separate or contradictory or difficult to be taken together. In fact, if — as I said — observation has sincerity and honesty, if you are not predetermined to conclude, then observation itself will lead to detachment.

Question: Acharya Ji, how does one keep oneself from concluding?

Acharya Prashant: Just as all things come and go, conclusions also come and go. One looks at a room from a keyhole, and one gets a little, finite, contained glimpse. And one has a tendency to conclude because conclusion has an assurance of security, conclusion helps one believe that he knows. So, one wants to conclude quickly because…