Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: Sir, I would like to raise the issue of gossiping from an evolutionary psychology perspective, it has basically only benefits like maintaining community and building bonding in large groups. I’m raising the issue because I cannot see the benefit in today’s world, neither in the role of the gossiper nor in the role of the listener. And so, I would like to request you that you elaborate on the topic, whether it has any role in the spiritual process?
Acharya Prashant: No, it has no role. One has to understand what is it that evolves over time. What is this entire game of evolution in Prakriti, physical nature? The urge to be peaceful stands where it is, or has it evolved? All evolution has taken place in the material domain.
The center of man’s consciousness has not evolved. It cannot evolve, why? Because it is standing right next to the real thing. Any step of evolution would just dissolve it. It has everything except freedom, right? The only way it can evolve is by disappearing into freedom.
So, it has not evolved at all. Human beings have evolved in all other ways and continue to evolve. But their center has not evolved. The brain has evolved, mind hasn’t evolved. It cannot, it just cannot.
So, there are so many things that are beneficial from an evolutionary perspective. You should ask, beneficial to whom? Beneficial to the physical complex called the person, or beneficial to the center of the mind that seeks redemption liberation.
There is a clear distinction and that is the reason you often find that human beings in their search for liberation, would often do things that their physical nature would never advise, never permit. They go there against their own instincts against their own bodies. They in fact sometimes, put themselves in very hazardous situations even lose their life.
Such a thing is not an outcome of any kind of evolution. Such a thing is never taught to a human being by his physical evolutionary tendencies. They don’t come to him from there.
So yes, indeed gossiping, serves, a purpose. Not only did it serve a purpose when man was in the jungle, hunting or gathering or foraging. It…