Man-made values versus existential values

Acharya Prashant
4 min readMar 11, 2020

The real, the valuable, the really valuable is discovered by the mind only when it gives up that which is trivial. Mind lives in its own values. We will call them ‘man-made values’.

See what mind values, see what it has been trained to value, see how it gets habituated and conditioned. Look around! What does the mind value? Look around the world and you will see what the mind values. Prestige, respect, power, position, money, greed, security, pleasure, acceptance, validation, physical arousal, that is what the mind values.

As long as the mind is valuing these, there is no question of coming upon that which is really valuable.

You say, ‘I already know what is valuable in life.’ What is valuable in life for you? ‘The honour of my tribe, the respect of my family, the certificates that I gain from others, having a nice secure house, having some kind of bank-balance’, that is what most people say is valuable.

Till the time you find all these important, your boxes are already ticked. There is no scope for inquiry, there is no scope of opening the gates of mind to the Truth. You have already decided!

‘The most important thing is to have a good life.’ And what is that good life? That which TV commercials tell you- branded clothes, luxuries, working in a reputed organization, a fixed salary, and prospects of growth. When the mind is cluttered with these values, then the real cannot come. Hence, it is important to say, ‘Give up these values.’

Why am I saying that give up your values? Because your values are artificial. Your values are all man-made values, not existential values. On the other hand, I am also saying that the real values cannot be shaken, they are your essence, that which is really important.

But that which remains right at the core, right at the center, is very subtle. Only with clarity does one reach there. What is that? What is that essential? What is that subtle? What are the real values?

When you empty the mind of all that which has been put into it, all its contents that have come over a process of time, only then you find that which is real, existential. What is that process of time? It can be divided into two halves:

Acharya Prashant