Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Listener 1: Last time we had talked about freedom. I had said that I find it easy to say, “No”, but I don’t know what to say, “Yes” to. It is difficult. You had advised me to do Neti-Neti (‘not this, not this’ — method of Vedic analysis of negation) and proceed. This need to immerse fully was coming from my present job, where the feedback I get is that I am not immersing myself fully. And I relate it to my conditioning, in the past, the bitterness that I hold, due to which I am saying no to a lot of things now. But you had said something later on, “The need to immerse fully is just a commandment of this industrial age, please remain doubtful.” Now when you say this, what emerges is that this in itself comes in the way of immersion, perhaps. That means I have not understood it fully.
Acharya Prashant: You see, immersion is not a cultivated thing. Of course, we all know immersion. It is something so simple, so ordinary; like holding a baby in your arms without any tension, there need not be any separation between you and the kid. That is immersion. The child may even be naked, even physically there is no separation, you too might be a mother, not wearing anything, and you are holding the baby to your chest; it is so simple, extremely obvious.
The mother is not even thinking of the baby. Mothers, and even fathers know that. The mother might actually be thinking of something else, but the baby is so close to the heart that even if the child skips one heartbeat, the mother comes to know. The mother might be thinking of miscellaneous matters. Like Kabir might be thinking of weaving, or the cloth, or the market, but not of Ram. When something is so near, why do you need to think of it? The mother might be thinking of the kitchen, the whistle of the pressure cooker. That is what she is thinking of and the baby is in her arms. It doesn’t make a difference. That is what immersion is.
Immersion does not come because you have been told to be immersed in your job. People who have been told to be immersed in their job, please see that they appear immersed because they have been told to.
Now there is a motive for immersion. What is the motive? “I have been told to be immersed so I am immersed.” The one who…