If you don’t rely on God, then you’ll rely on thought

Acharya Prashant
4 min readJan 26, 2020

Question: What I notice with myself is that having thoughts prevents me from listening with attention and then I say to them, ‘leave; go away!’ What’s your opinion on this?

Acharya Prashant: Don’t say even that much to your thoughts.

Listener 1: Then? Is it not about being conscious of thoughts?

AP: No. Don’t even be conscious of the thought; because whatever you are with respect to the thought is just the furtherance of the thought.

Don’t even look at the thought! And when I say don’t even look at the thought, I would amplify it by saying that ‘don’t even don’t look at the thought,’ and then I would amplify that by saying, ‘don’t even don’t even don’t look at the thought’.

L1: But when the thought is there there is no listening with attention.

AP: Please see that the thought is not there unless you know that the thought is there.

Is the wall there (pointing towards the wall)?

L1: Yes, but only when I see it.

AP: The wall is there only when. . .

L1: . . . I am aware of the wall.

AP: (Pointing towards a car parked outside the house) Similarly, is that car there!

Ultimately, what matters is — is it there for you? Let the thought not be there for you. The thought is for you only when you think that the thought is going to help you. It is never without reason that we nourish thought. We have a certain hope associated with thought. We think thought is useful.

L1: Maybe it’s a thought that I think I would miss something if I don’t listen with attention.

AP: Yes. If you live in a certain faith that you are already alright, that nothing would go wrong if you do not think, then there would not be any energy left in any of your thoughts.

What do you think thoughts are not ready to rise here (pointing towards himself)? They are, but I am so very committed to some other space and I am playing there, and I am enjoying there. I have no time, no energy, no space, no inclination to know those thoughts, let alone do anything about them. Even if I say that I will tell the thoughts to go away, even…