Running the same circle again and again will not take you beyond the circle

Acharya Prashant
5 min readOct 18, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question (Q): Sir, there is a common notion that if I go about consuming things, then there would be a time when I will see the uselessness of these things. And ultimately this would help me to go to the other center, the immensity. I have a strong belief in that, though I do not know whether I am right or wrong. Would you please shed some light on this?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The man who is rushing towards his fiftieth round of consumption, is he in any way different from the man who is rushing towards his five hundredth round, and the man who is rushing towards his first round?

Listener 1: Not much, except that he will be more experienced.

AP: That experience means nothing. The forty-nine times have given him nothing. That is why he is rushing the fiftieth time. The man, who is rushing the five-hundredth time, is again standing at the very same level, because four hundred and ninety-nine times he has failed. That is why he is rushing the five-hundredth time.

Listener 1: Yes.

AP: You know, there is breathing, that happens continuously. It has a utilitarian role. You breathe, but you never think that breathing will give you contentment. So you can continue to have an ‘experience’ of breathing, right?

And it has to happen continuously, mechanically, thousands of times, millions of times, right? But with your experience, your approach is different. You do not enter into your experience in the same way as you breathe. With experience, there is a mental component involved.

Breathing happens without mentation. You are not thinking about breathing. Or are you? You are not placing any hopes on your breath. Or are you? Nobody ‘hopes’ anything from the next breath, or do you? Do you ever think that “With the next breath, I will be taking in God”? Or do you? Or, “With my next exhale, I would be shutting out, all my suffering.” You never say that.

With experience, with consumption, there is a thought involved, there is an expectation involved, there is hope involved. And the hope is always the same. “Can I get it, this…

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