The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question (Q): I am at a stage in my life, where I lack passion in everything. Be it my intimate relationships with my loved ones, or be it my career, I feel numb. It is like life has become a movie, or a moving painting, and I am a detached viewer. I want to get my sensitivity back. What can be done about it?
Acharya Prashant (AP): You have already done a lot. That is why you probably feel a little numb. And this numbness, you are also calling detachment.
Detachment is not numbness, detachment is not aloofness, and detachment is not insensitivity.
Have you seen that if there is a cut, a wound on the skin, soon the new skin there comes a little hard? And the deeper the cut or the wound, the harder is the scar. Have you seen it?
That is one effect of having been engaged in battle. It doesn’t matter whether you emerge victorious or defeated. What is certain is that you will emerge with a lot of scars — mental scars. The body and the mind are alike in this sense. Once they get wounded somewhere, there, they develop a certain hardness. Hardness as a defense, as an armor. So that they are not hurt again at the same spot.
Are you getting this?
That is the defense, the survival mechanism of the body-mind apparatus. That is what the body mind does. But you understand the body-mind, you know how they function. When you know how they function, you drop out of their need for self-preservation. Then you say that I do not need the defense, the support of an armor.
Yes, I was embattled. Yes, I got wounds, I got hurt. But far worse than those wounds, would be these scars. The wounds, mind you, get healed. The scars never get healed. The wounds go away, but they leave behind almost permanent scars. One must know, that the scars are worse than the wounds. And the scars, exist in defense against the wounds.
You must say, “I am prepared to take more wounds, but far worse are these scars. I do not want them. Kindly take this defense away. I do not need them. I got hurt ten times, I am prepared to get hurt the eleventh time. But I am not prepared to now become numb, to now lack in…