We don’t want love, we want behavior that looks like love

Acharya Prashant
6 min readApr 26, 2020

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

Question: What is the difference between ‘conscious innocence’ and ‘innocent consciousness’?

Acharya Prashant: If you are consciously innocent, or if you are consciously loving, or if you are consciously truthful, or if you are consciously simple, or if you are consciously religious, then all your religion, love, truth, simplicity, innocence is just thought. Because you are conscious about it because you are doing it consciously.

To do something consciously is to act from the center of the little self the ego. So, conscious innocence is no innocence at all. Conscious truth is no truth at all. Conscious living is no living at all. Conscious spirituality is no spirituality at all. It is not the real thing, because consciousness does not live in reality.

Consciousness lives in duality. Consciousness lives in images. If you are consciously innocent, then you’ll have an image of innocence and you’ll try to comply with that image. Then the image of innocence will predate innocence itself. Not only predate but also dominate. Then your innocence will not be rooted in Truth, then your innocence will be an idea of behavior, of action, of personality, and you will just try to abide by that idea.

Not only will you try to abide by that idea, you’ll also assure yourself, console yourself, that in behaving as per the idea of innocence you have actually become innocent. Consciousness equates reality with the image of reality. And, because reality, the non-dual reality is beyond dualistic consciousness, hence consciousness always makes do which images themselves.

Consciousness has a great stake in avoiding the real, because where the real is present, dualistic consciousness itself will evaporate. So, how can consciousness be fond of the real? When the real arrives, consciousness with all its dualistic insistence sings, settles into silence, into just pure awareness. An awareness that has no object, an awareness that does not want to do anything, an awareness that does not know anything. So, it cannot be called awareness in the usual way we use it in language.

Acharya Prashant