The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): You just said that when we make a decision, we need to see whether that decision uplifts our consciousness or not. So, firstly, how to know whether a decision will uplift my consciousness or not? And the second part, after I come to understand that a particular decision can uplift my consciousness, how do I gain the strength to take that decision in the midst of resistance and opposition from external factors such as peer groups, family, etc.?
Acharya Prashant (AP): The strength will follow from the right choice. The right choice itself delivers the strength. It is a benediction. It is grace. When you make the right choice, then you actually surrender yourself to the right choice. The right choice is a big thing, and that big thing then starts taking care of you. Your task is to choose the right thing, that big right thing. And after that, you find that unpredictably and unasked for, strength and help are coming from various directions — most importantly, the inner direction. So, that will happen.
So, only the first part of your question is more relevant. Let’s go into it. The first part is, “How do I know which choice really elevates the consciousness?” Let me try to answer it by the opposite. How do you know that a particular choice is depressing your consciousness?
Q: If I am not gaining anything out of a particular choice, or if I become unhappy because of that choice.
AP: Okay, let me revise the question. Give me an example of a choice that you definitely know will lower your consciousness. You very well know that “If I make this choice, it has a bad impact on my mind.” Give me one example.
Q: For example, if I start smoking, I know it will affect me negatively.
AP: Great. And let’s make that a bit extreme: not merely smoking tobacco, let’s say you have weed, let’s say cocaine. Now, here you won’t dispute that it is having a bad impact on your consciousness. Now, tell me, how do you know that the impact is bad? Surely you have some criteria. Let’s use that criterion in knowing what is called elevation of consciousness, but on that later. First of all, tell me, how do you know that…