You need to realize that it is not the outside scene, but the innermost perception you carry for the outside scene, which is impacting you and giving you the experience of your reality.

A blind man was sitting in front of a huge fire with a burning stick in his hand. Somebody came and asked him, ‘What is this? Such a huge fire ! Don’t you see? What are you going to do about it?

The blind man said, ‘Yes, yes! That is why I took this burning stick and put it on my eyes. Now I am not seeing the fire!

Can that be the solution?

You may laugh now, but all your solutions are usually of this type. And you even accept as your master, the fool who tells ‘Take the stick and put it on your eyes!’ Will not seeing the fire, solve the problem? Burning your eyes is not going to give you liberation from the scenes you are seeing. Look in! Shrinking from life is nothing but putting the burning stick in your eyes!

Just because your eyes are burnt, it does not mean that the fire will not impact you or the world will not impact you. Perception of fire is still burning from inside you, as per your experience. The innermost perception has to change. You need to realize that it is not the outside scene, but the innermost perception you carry for the outside scene, which is impacting you and giving you the experience of your reality.

I tell you, if there is fire burning and you sit at a distance and just go on gazing at the fire, you will feel the heat in your body! If you just turn your eyes away while maintaining the same distance—you will not see the burning and no more experience the burning in your body! How? The seeing has reduced the distance between you and the fire! That is perception and reality!

This is what Śrī Kṛṣṇa means when He says,

O son of Kuntī, contact with sense objects causes heat and cold, pleasure and pain, and these have a beginning and an end.’

Understand, a pattern is any action that is unfulfilled as per your fantasy, either because of an outside hindrance or an inside hindrance, and is in incompletion!

Please listen! Now, I am defining perception.

The way your patterns react and respond to the facts is perception. Perception is nothing but processed facts. There are three levels of perception:

  • No pattern, no perception, that is the worst.
  • Pattern with perception, that is okay.
  • Perception but with no pattern, that is the best.

I am giving you the essence of philosophy, which is a combination of your patterns and facts.

If only facts are playing a hundred percent role, you don’t have any pattern. These are the non-responders who are soaked in dullness. They neither have patterns nor have consciousness. The vast eleven lakh (one hundred and ten million) army of Kauravas signifies this dull unconscious space of ‘no pattern, no perception.’ They lived in stupid materialism with their life philosophy as stupid atheism. That is why Duryodhana is never attacked by any pattern or dilemma that overpowers Arjuna.

Then, there are responders who have ‘patterns with perceptions.’ The moment Arjuna sees the vast Kaurava army, his whole body and being shivers with the fear pattern. His patterns do not let him see the army as army and just fight as per his natural perception of himself as a warrior. No! He sees relatives, friends and teachers and wants to escape the war; he wants to shrink from life!

Ultimately, we have the Lord of all perceptions, the one with complete consciousness, Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa Himself! His very existence is the pure space of perception. He is the destroyer of all patterns, who enriches Arjuna in destroying and completing with the army of root patterns by transforming Arjuna’s own perception!

source: chapter 2, Bhagavadgita Decoded

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