The four grades of mind

Acharya Prashant
5 min readAug 23, 2020

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

Question: Acharya Ji, what is the most important lesson in Spiritual Wisdom? How to understand the mind of a commoner? How to understand a Spiritual mind? How to understand a scientific mind? What are the challenges faced in Spiritual journey?

Acharya Prashant:

One of the key lessons in spiritual wisdom — is to keep imagination apart from facts, is to not take your ‘personal world’, as ‘the’ world.

It is already bad enough that we take ‘the factual world’, ‘the world’ to be real. And it would become far worse if we start taking even our ‘personal world’, ‘the imaginary world’ to be real.

The mark of the commoner is — he lives in his personal world, and attributes to it the finality of Truth.

The mark of the scientist is that he does not live in his world, he does not care about subjective interpretations of the world, he lives fully in facts. So his Science is fully objective, and does not contain trace of personal subjectivity. The scientist is obviously an advancement over the common psyche.

And then the mark of the Spiritual mind is that — it does not lend veracity even to the factual world.

The common mind is inclined to say, “Something exists because I feel it does.” Right? “Something exists, because I feel or think that it does.” So he says, “Something exists.” So his world is very-very subjective. Then there is the world of the scientist. He says, “Something does not merely exist because it appears to exist. Appearances can be deceptive. Appearances vary from person-to-person, even mood-to-mood. So I have to verify. I have to cross-check.”

And that is the scientific method.

Prove it, and any number of proofs do not suffice to ascertain the veracity of something. But one proof against the veracity of something, suffices to prove that it is false.

That’s the scientific mind.

And then there is the spiritual mind.

The spiritual mind says, “Not only is the imaginary world unreal, even this objective, factual, scientifically-proven world that you see, expanded all around you and inside you, is