What affects you from outside is actually present inside
Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: Acharya ji, I am a doctor by profession. When I treat my patients, I too get depressed by looking at their suffering. What should I do?
Acharya Prashant: Keep doing what you are doing, or drop the intention to help people.
The very intention to help people, indicates that you know of a state, beyond sorrow. Had sorrow been acceptable to you as a norm, why would you aim to pull other people out of their sorrow?
You would say, “Sorrow is the norm.” If sorrow is the norm, why does anybody need to be helped?
The intention to help, itself is proof of your deep inner conviction, that sorrow is transient, that sorrow will go.And sorrow must go.
But then, there is the heartfelt conviction versus the age-old habits of the mind. The mind is acquisitive. And it loves to acquire all kinds of diseases. So with sorrowlessness in your heart, you go to help others. And as you go to help others, you find that the same sorrow has started affecting you.
That’s bound to happen!
Keep doing what you are doing. If you think that by retreating, or giving up, you would be able to save yourself from sorrow, that is not going to happen. The sorrow that you think is an infection coming from outside, is not really coming from outside.
Coming face-to-face with sorrowed people, it is your own ancient sorrow, that wakes up. Had it not been present in the recesses of your mind, it couldn’t have affected you. Seeing the agony of others, you are reminded of your own.
And it’s great, if hidden angst, hidden sorrow, come to the fore. Now, at least consciously, you know that it exists. Otherwise you can live in the delusion, that you are sorrow-free.
Do you see how the whole thing operates? When you decide to help others, it is yourself you end up helping. So in your own self-interest, continue helping others. Who said that it is going to be easy?
The doctor must know that he himself is the most difficult patient to treat. So difficult, that he can’t treat himself directly. He will have to treat…