The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question (Q): My beliefs have come out of my experiences and my experiences have shaped my individuality. If I give up my beliefs, then I am giving up on my individuality?
Acharya Prashant (AP): (quoting the questioner) My beliefs have come out of my experiences and my experiences have shaped my individuality. If I give up my beliefs, then I am giving up on my individuality?
If I ask you to write down what I just said in the last fifteen-twenty minutes and I say, write down in three clear points what has been said. And you write it down. And then I say, compare it with your neighbor, what he or she has written. You will be deeply surprised. You will be deeply surprised at the variation. You will look at your neighbors’ sheet and say, did he ever say this? What have you written?
Now I am one and I am saying the same thing, but all of you are experiencing different things. What is this experience? Where does it come from?
What is an experience?
Experience is nothing but the experiencer.
Kindly do not think that the experience is factual, that experience has any objective reality to it. You only experience what you have been conditioned to experience. Take a clear example. Even as we speak right now, a cricket match is going on. India versus England, right? Suppose we project the game here, live. On this side are Indians and on this side are Englishmen. And India quickly loses three wickets. What does this side experience? Gloom, disaster, three wickets in two overs, long faces. What does this side experience (pointing to the other side)? Cheerfulness, enthusiasm, right? Same happening, different experiences.
Now, can these people call their experience as my own experience? Are ‘you’ experiencing it? Or is the ‘Indian’ experiencing it? Similarly, can these people call the cheerfulness their own experience? Are they experiencing it? Or is the ‘Englishman’ experiencing it?
You do not experience anything!
You are the experiencer who is a bundle of his conditioning.