The difference between seriousness and Immersion

Acharya Prashant
4 min readNov 5, 2020

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

Question: In one of our sessions we came across the words, ‘seriousness’ and immersion’. Sir, there we only came to know about their surface meanings. There was no light thrown on their exact detailed meanings. What is the basic difference between them? Which one is more advantageous to inculcate and how can we enhance it?

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, words by themselves are nothing but when we are saying that we need to differentiate ‘seriousness’ and ‘immersion’, what we are saying is that these are two distinct states of mind and we must understand what they are.

Names are not important, what I will be calling as seriousness, you can call it something else. What is important is to understand that this is a state of mind. You can give any label to it. Seriousness in some senses can be a beautiful word as well. Jiddu Krishnamurti would always say ‘Be serious’.

In what sense are we saying that seriousness is a load? Understand this. Seriousness implies- a mind that is bogged down. Seriousness implies that I am considering something very very important. Don’t you say that I am serious about something? When you say ‘I am serious about something’, what do you mean? You mean that this thing is important.

Nothing is important.

Because whatever will become important for you will push your life into fear. Because if something is very important then the thought of it being lost will create fear within you.

Seriousness says that there is something outside of me, which is very, very important and this becomes a burden upon the mind. Immersion on the other hand says that I am into it.

Remember when you are serious about something, the thing is outside of you. ‘I am serious about a person’, ‘I am serious about an event’, ‘I am serious about an examination’. Now you are not the examination, you are not that event, you are not the person; the thing is outside of you, your concern is located in the world. Your mind is wandering. When you are immersed, then you are into it. Whatever is there, you are fully into it, it is not outside of you. These two are in that sense opposite to each other.