Why does one get trapped in false spirituality?

Acharya Prashant
4 min readOct 17, 2020

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

Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! People’s faces and vocal tonality show what they mean in actuality. But people like Toohey (one of the principal characters in Ayn Rand’s novel ‘The Fountainhead’) have control over their emotions like an actor. They dumb down our intellect using emotions.

How to recognise such people and their intentions? They make my logic feel so low with their wordplay that sometimes even I start doubting my logic. I may be able to counter them sitting at home, but in social situations, it gets much more difficult.

In groups, they will turn everyone against me if I speak against them. They are not saints, so there have to be some fundamental defects in their ways.

Acharya Prashant (AP): It surprises me as to how most of you are unable to see through Toohey’s mischiefs and all the adulterations in his sentences. In fact, it would be a good exercise. Pick up anything from Toohey, and you should be able to clearly underscore those parts of his speech where he has played the trick, where he has performed that sleight of hand.

Your inability to call him out, or spot the exact trick is coming from your lack of familiarity with the Scriptures.

What Toohey is using is scriptural language to justify his petty ends,

if you are conversant really with the Scriptures,

then you will see where he is deviating from the Scriptures.

It’s very easy to figure out. You will be able to pinpoint the exact words in those little sentences where he plays his deft trick.

He is going alright, alright, alright, and now……here, here. Here he has pulled a fast one as the magicians do on stage. They keep demonstrating everything to you as if the entire procedure is quite transparent.

“So this is the table and the box. And now I am putting the girl in the box.” In fact, he will call somebody from the crowd to verify. “See she is the real girl. Touch her, hold her, she is real.”

“Is this the real girl?”

“It’s a real girl.”