Here is the full transcript of Indian yogi and mystic Sadhguru’s (Jaggi Vasudev) talk on Developing an Inclusive Consciousness @ Talks At Google conference. This event occurred on October 3, 2016.
Jonathan Berent – Owner, SocialAnxiety.com
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Jonathan Berent, and I’ll be your host today.
Thank you so much for coming. Thanks to those that are on the livestream today as well. We live in dynamic times. Never before has a generation been so assaulted by the images from the media, stories from the internet that seem to touch a nerve in us personally. Seems like every week, whether you are black or white, straight or gay, from a rich background or a poor background, there’s a story that elicits a reaction in us.
But there is hope. As long as the human spirit is alive on this planet, there will always be hope. We only have to think of names like Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa, Anne Frank or Martin Luther King, to know that it just takes a single, passionate individual who has the courage to risk it all to bring the light into this world. If you would, picture one of their iconic faces in your mind right now. Just take a moment.
Bring one to mind. What do you notice inside? Is it courage, inspiration, love? Before them, there had been numerous beacons of change that have walked from all walks of life. Milarepa was a Tibetan monk who was very revengeful in his youth, but then he became one of Tibet’s most loved and cherished figures of history. Saint Francis of Assisi was a rich, disillusioned young man who left it all to pursue a life of compassion and generosity towards everyone. The prophet Muhammad was also born into a noble family and grew up to be rich but then turned contemplative.
What these three individuals have in common is they all had the courage to do the inner work first before they brought outer change. Let’s stop there for a minute.
Speaking of inner work, how many of you might have had a little twinge of emotion when I said one of these names? Why? Well, these names, these last three ones, are associated with world religions. And some of these religions have been associated with violence. We’re not talking about religion today.
We’re not talking about spirituality today. You can all breathe a sigh of relief. We are talking about taking a moment to reflect on the times that we live in and what they require of us, what they require of us as an individuals and what they require of us as a company, one of the most influential companies on the planet. If you felt a twinge of emotion when I mentioned one of these names or even the word “religion,” that’s normal. If you feel outraged by the things you see on TV or read in the newspaper, that’s normal.
If you have passionate feelings about the election that’s coming up in a month, that’s normal. In fact, if you don’t have some of those passionate feelings, I’d say that’s not normal. However, we have to learn to deal with these emotions. We have to learn to find ways that integrate our thoughts and our emotions more constructively so we can more skillfully navigate these dynamic times so we can have impact. Today we hope to give you both the permission and the tools to do just that.
Sadhguru is a realized yogi and mystic. He’s a man whose passion spills into everything he touches, including, I learned yesterday, golf. With a keen mind and an unbounded heart, his presence alone gives you a taste of what the natural state of the mind can experience in terms of love and joy and freedom. Sadhguru’s vision to transform the world has been unfolding over the last 30 years. The Isha Foundation, which he started, has numerous programs to promote inclusive culture and establish global harmony.
Named one of India’s 50 most influential individuals, he has deeply touched the lives of millions worldwide. He has spoken at forums like the United Nations and humble villages throughout India. He’s equally known for his transformational yoga programs, as well as his large-scale social projects. The projects address things like quality education for the poor, environmental stewardship, holistic health, peace, and well-being. Sadhguru says joy is our nature, misery our own making.
This is a provocative statement that he addresses in his new book, “Inner Engineering, a Yogi’s Guide to Joy,” which there will be a few copies for sale in the back. Sadhguru!
Sadhguru: You don’t mind if I cross my legs?
Jonathan Berent: No, please.
Sadhguru: My brains don’t work if I don’t cross my legs.
Jonathan Berent: Your brain doesn’t work?
Jonathan Berent: Yeah, all right. Thank you so much for joining us today, Sadhguru. I think the audience is very interested in what you have to say. I guess to start, they define inclusive consciousness. I’d love to hear your thoughts on–
Sadhguru: They did not define it.
Jonathan Berent: They did not, OK. Well I was just going to ask you what’s missing. So you can start.
Sadhguru: With all due respect, they spoke about intent, right intent. They spoke about the right kind of thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and to some extent actions. There is no consciousness in this. If we are understanding that the way we think, feel, and act is of a consciousness, no. It is like we are mistaking a plant. We are mistaking the flower for the soil.
We are mistaking expressions for the source. This is something that’s happening everywhere, not just here. People think by changing attitudes, their consciousness will change. No. By changing attitudes, certain actions will change — yes, positive, beneficial. But it is not truly transformative.
Change will happen. Transformation will not happen. If I have to define a distinction between change and transformation, change means the residue of the past will still remain. A transformation means nothing of the past will remain, which is what is needed today if you want to create a new world, if you want a new generation to have a fresh life.
It’s been expressed in so many ways. Being in this part of the world, what their family are with, generally, someone said, leave the dead to the dead. It’s very significant. This is not coming out of recklessness. This is not coming out of unconcern. But this is coming with the concern that you must be a fresh life.
You can learn many things from the past about how to conduct yourself. But there is nothing to learn from the past about how to be. Because you are a complete life by yourself. You don’t have to learn how to be a life from the past.
Maybe you have to learn how to be a good engineer. Maybe you have to learn how to be something else in the society from the past. But you don’t have to learn how to be a life from the past, because past has nothing to do with this. This is a fresh life, and this is a complete life. Consciousness is that dimension, which is the very source of who we are.
Our intentions, our actions, our thoughts, and our attitudes are a consequence of that. Or in other words, we are trying to fix the consequence without fixing the source. Now all these distinctions of variety of things that they said, gender discriminations, racial discriminations, every kind, OK? Somebody is Hindu, somebody is a Muslim, somebody is a Googler– it becomes a religion after some time, believe me. Second generation, they will become a religion by themselves. Yes.
I’m saying you will see a football match going on. It’s like a religion, two different clubs. They’re willing to fight and kill each other. Just a game. So where does this come from? See, the nature of being human is this. If you give me two minutes.
There are four dimensions of our mind. In modern societies, the nature of our education has constipated our mind in such a way because we are just largely using just one dimension, which we call as the intellect. The other dimensions of mind, if I have to use Indian terminology, it means buddhi, ahankara, manas, and chitta.
What buddhi means is the intellect. You do what you want. The nature of the intellect is to slice things open and see. If you leave the world in the hands of your intellect, your intellect will chop it into a million pieces and will want to chop it into further micro pieces and want to chop it into further micro-micro pieces, depending upon how sharp your intellect is. The sharper your intellect, the more you dissect the world. You cannot stop it, because that is the nature of the intellect. And it’s good.
So you must apply intellect only to know the material aspects of life. You can’t know life this way. If I want to know you, can I dissect you?
Jonathan Berent: No.
Sadhguru: But if a doctor wants to know some aspect of you, materially what’s wrong with you, he will take a biopsy. And in a way, he opens it up and looks at it. It’s OK on that level. But I can’t know you as a person by dissecting you. I can’t know you as a life by dissecting you. I can know a part of your body maybe.
Similarly, I can know parts of the world to make use of it. But I can’t know life as such. So intellect has been over-energized in the last 100, 150 years. This is a European impact on the rest of the world, where we think our thought is supreme. Someone went to the extent of saying, I think so I exist or whatever.
I want to ask all of you a simple question. Tell me, is it because we exist we may think? Or is it because we think we exist? Which way is it? Hello? Because we exist, we may think, because people are in such a state of mental diarrhea all the time. Nonstop it’s going on. They think it’s more of an existence than existence. But my head is all the time empty unless I want to think about something.
So I know a thought is not necessary. I can just live here without a thought. When I want, I will think. Otherwise, I’ll keep quiet. Just like my hand– if I want to use it, otherwise I keep it here.
Similarly, you must be able to do this with your mind. Just because you lost control over your mind and you think it’s everything because it’s entering into every aspect of your life where it has no business. Thought has been over-energized by people. And the very nature of the thought is such that if you think it must be logical, it cannot be any other way. Well, what somebody is thinking may look illogical to you, but they have found their own logic.
The most extreme person that you have met, within himself or herself, they have their own logic. Isn’t it so? They’re not speaking illogically as far as they’re concerned. They have found their own kind of logic. Logic means it needs two. Logic means it needs division.
Now logically you’re trying to arrive at inclusive consciousness. It’s not going to happen. Because you’re using a knife to stitch. This is not going to work. If you use a knife to cut, it’s efficient. You use a knife to stitch things together, you will only tear it up further. So my thought and your thought, I am telling you, whatever great meetings you have– I’ve been to every kind of peace conference on the planet. What happens there? It’s just short of war. After some time, it heats up. But on the second day anyway, it’s all over. They all get drunk in the evening, and they go home.
If you make them stay there for a week, I’m telling you right there, there will be a battle. Yes, it is true. I’m not saying this with any disdain. I made a sincere effort to participate in all these conferences at one time, believing they’re going to lead to peace.
But eight years ago, I decided I will never again go to these events, because people are professional conference attendees. They’re making a living out of it. It’s not about peace. So the next dimension of intelligence is called as ahankara. Ahankara means identity. This is important that in modern societies, we have not cultured our children to culture their identity.
When I say identity, the fundamental identity for you is always your body. There’s a racial thing that concerns him and concerns all of us. I’m darker than him, you know. I face it all the time, joyfully. But I face it everywhere I go. I have extra features which make me further discriminated. But our first identity is with the body. When we identify with the body, the color of the skin also becomes part of it.
Why do we identify with the body? Because our experience is limited to this. If you say me, you mean this, isn’t it? Because you experience of life is limited to this, naturally you are identified with this, and this is you, and this is how you look. Somebody looks so different, whether in gender or because of race or because of maybe just fashion– who knows what makes them different? But suddenly, this is me, that’s you. It’s established. But we sit here in this hall.
Whatever the color of our skin, whatever our religion, whatever our agenda, we are inhaling and exhaling the same air. But we have no issue. Body has no problem. But the identity has a problem. You are identified with something.
We have not cultured our children right from an early age that your identity should be universal. This is something in India traditionally. Before you start education for a child, there is something called Vidyarambham, where the first chant that they must do is that my identification is with the entire cosmos. Without this, you should not give education to a child. That is the understanding.
Because education is seen as an empowerment. You should not empower a person who has limited identifications. Because it doesn’t matter whether it’s of individual nature or of family or of community or race, religion, nation. It doesn’t matter. Once you have limited identity, you will cause disharmony. You will cause cruel things thinking you’re doing the right thing.
I know the debate always goes to ISIS and things like this. I want you to understand this. These people, looking at their actions, you may be sitting here — I know I’m getting into a minefield. Sitting here, all of us think, these are horrible people. But you must understand this. They believe they’re doing the greatest thing that a human being can do. They’re working for God. There can be no better employer. Not Google– God.
Jonathan Berent: Who you’ve never prayed to…
Sadhguru: That’s my problem. What I’m saying, you should have seen this. I’m sure you guys can Google anything. You must see there is a press meet that the Afghan Taliban is conducting with the international media just before the United States invaded Afghanistan.
All these young guys with long beards and big, big turbans, they’re all sitting like this. And they’re asking questions. Just then they bomb that Buddha statue, and they made this thing that girls should not go to school and many other things. So these kind of questions are coming. Whatever you ask them, they say, in our holy book, our prophet, our God said this, this, this. We’re just doing that.
I was just watching those guys, I had tears in my eyes. These are wonderful guys. These are guys who are willing to die for what they believe in. But they’ve been screwed up by the scriptures.
Yes, these are wonderful people who are willing to die for what they think is that right, all right? A man who is willing to die for what he thinks is right is a great man. But look at the consequence, simply because of limited identity. So there’s ahankara. This identity is what wills the intellect. If you hold the right identity, from an early age if it’s brought into us that your identity is with the entire cosmos– because nothing happens here without everything’s involvement in you.
We are sitting on this round planet, which is spinning and moving at a great speed in the middle of nowhere. You don’t know where it begins, where it ends, this thing. And look at us sitting here and talking. How many forces– how many forces in the existence are keeping you and me in place on this chair? So there is no way we can exist without the involvement of all this. But talking about this intellectually is not going to help, because you try to understand intellectually, you’re using a knife. Further you will divide.
So there is another dimension of intelligence within you, which can make you come to an experience of this. The next dimension of intelligence is called as manas. Manas means a huge silo of memory. There are eight types of memory in this. I will just name them. I’m not going through this.
These eight types of memory are referred to as elemental memory, atomic memory, evolutionary memory, karmic memory, sensory memory, and in the karmic memory there are two types. One is called sanchita.. there is a bank of memory, which determines the very shape and size of your body.
There’s another one which is right now in play, so two dimensions of karmic memory. Inarticulate memory, that there is a memory but you can never articulate but it’s finding expression. When you see a chair, you know this is where you should sit, not there. You didn’t think about it, because there is a memory in you that this is where you must sit. When you see a glass, you know this is how you must hold. This is not simple Without this knowledge, you cannot build this.
There is an enormous memory which allows you to do almost everything automatically. Because an inarticulate memory is constantly in action. And that is articulate memory, which is a very minuscule part of your memory.
The next dimension of intelligence is most important. This is called as chitta. This is an intelligence without an iota of memory in it, unsullied by memory. See, memory means a boundary. You guys are always dealing with information.
Today you’re in technology. I think memory does not mean what’s here. Memory means– chh– all over the place Memory is a boundary. What I know is always a boundary. What I do not know is a limitless possibility, isn’t it? We have misunderstood the power of ignorance. Our knowledge is always bound within boundaries. Our ignorance is boundless. So always in the yogic system, we identify with our ignorance, never with our knowledge. This is something we must do in a technology company.
Because that’s where the possibility is. That is where the new terrain is, in your ignorance, not in your knowledge. So chitta is unsullied by memory. It’s just pure intelligence. Right now, if you eat an apple, it turns into a human being. You cannot do it with your brains. Even your brains were created by what you eat, isn’t it? There is an intelligence here, which is capable of transforming anything to this, because it is making use of the memory and the manas and making this happen. But the most important dimension of your intelligence is chitta.
In today’s education systems, in today’s social conditions, there is no effort to dip into deeper dimensions of our intelligence. We’re just too enamored with our own intellect and now using this knife to stitch everything.
Jonathan Berent: Well, you should know that even at Google when we interview people, we have something called GCA that we look for, which is General Cognitive Ability. I suppose that that would fall into that intellect dimension. Most of us weren’t raised where we were told from an early age to identify with the cosmos. So is there any hope for us? Or are we lost?
Sadhguru: See, identifying with the cosmos is just another thought. As a thought, it doesn’t do much. It makes people a little airy brained and they’ll start acting funny. You become New Agey. You know, I love the cosmos. It’s very easy to love the cosmos because it’s not here with you. If you’ve got to love somebody next to you, there’s lots of problems.
See, this wanting to set up boundaries, the instinct of wanting to set up boundaries, is so deep. You see a dog peeing all over the place not because he has some urinary problem. He’s building a kingdom. It’s a pee kingdom, but it’s a kingdom, all right? He’s building a kingdom. Every human being is also doing the same thing because there are two dimensions of your intelligence.
One is designed to create self-preservation. One aspect of your intelligence is designed for self-preservation, which is your intellect. The chitta, that dimension of the intelligence is designed to make you expand. Once you have come as a human being, this is your issue fundamentally. Whoever you are, whatever you are right now in your life, you want to be something more.
If that something more happens, you want to be something more. If that something more happens, you want to be something more. I’m sure you guys want to set up Google Maps for Mars. Yes, if that happens for the entire universe if it’s possible. Because this is the nature of being human. There is one dimension which always wants to expand.
Another dimension always wants to build walls. You build a wall. You feel safe. After two days, you feel you understand the walls of self-preservation are also the walls of self-imprisonment. You want to break it, you break it, and you put a new wall there, and you think this is great, this is freedom. After some time, you feel that’s not it, and you want to expand it. These two dimensions are not opposing each other. They’re are not diametrically opposite to each other. They are complementary.
There is only one thing about you which needs preservation. That’s your physicality. This body must be preserved, because if you break it, you can’t fix it. Everything else in you right now– suppose I take out all your thoughts, all your emotions, all your ideas, all your philosophies, all your belief systems, and trashed them right here, break them into pieces. You can come up with a fresh thought, fresh emotions, fresh belief systems, fresh philosophies just like that.
So all those must be every day put into the– what you call them– the shredder. You must have a pulverizer, because shredder means they’ll go again, pick it up, and fix it. You must have a pulverizer for yourself before you go to bed. Today’s ideas, today’s thoughts, today’s belief systems, today’s experiences, you must leave the dead to the dead.
Jonathan Berent: Let me challenge. Let me challenge that. Because I thought something that [Pabani] said was very interesting. And she said almost the wound becomes the healer. Or sometimes you hear the wounded become the healer. So you can take some of that, can’t you not transform some of those things that have been difficult and use that energy, use your intellect to do something for good?
Sadhguru: So the experience of life can cause two things. All this is nice when things, small things happen. When really major things happen to you, the wounds are so big for people that they don’t heal in a lifetime, many of them, OK? So the choice is just this. The experience of life, whatever happens to us, you can either make it into your wound or into wisdom. You can either become wise or you can become wounded.
If you become wise, you will become a solution. If you become wounded, you will also become one more problem. It’s a choice we have.
Jonathan Berent: So where does this wisdom come from? How do we access– if we’re so used to using one of these four, and probably like most people in the audience, I wasn’t even aware that there are these other dimensions, what’s a starting point? What’s a way to access beyond the intellect?
Sadhguru: See, it’s like this. Right now there is water in this glass. This is definitely not you. Yes? But if you drink it, it becomes you. What is it that you did with this water that something that’s not you became you? When you say inclusiveness, this is all you’re talking about, something that is not you. You want to make it a part of you in some way, isn’t it? So this is right now not you. But if you drink it, it becomes you.
So what is it that happened technically for you, peace, justice? Right now I’m asking you– you take your right hand, all of you. Take your right hand and touch your left hand. Is that you? Hello? Touch the chair on which you’re sitting. Is that you? How do you know this? What is the basis of this? How do you know this is me and this is not me?
Here there are sensations. Here there are no sensations. Or in other words, what you are saying is, whatever is in the boundaries of my sensation is me, whatever it is outside the boundaries of my sensation is not me, isn’t it? Right now this is not me. If I drink it and include it into the boundaries of my sensation, this becomes me, isn’t it?
Now, the boundaries of your sensations are such that if you make your life energies very exuberant, you will see they will expand. If it happened to you, suppose– it should have happened to many of you– there was a moment in your life when you felt so joyful tears came to you. Has it happened to you? You were so joyful or loving tears came to you. At such a moment, if you take your hand and just put it six to eight inches away from your body right here, you will feel sensations.
If such things did not happen to you, I can do something horrible to you so that you experience something. We can chop off your right leg. If you chop off your right leg, the leg is gone, but still the sensory leg may remain intact for a period of time. You’ve heard of this phantom leg. Leg is physical. Leg is gone. But the sensory leg is still there. This means sensory body has a structure of its own. If your energies become very vibrant and exuberant within you, your sensory body expands. Suppose my sensory body became as big as this. Now you’ll become a part of me and my experience. If it became as big as this hall, all these people become a part of me and my experience. Because my sensory body has stretched. We can do a small experiment. You OK to be a Guinea? Hello?
Sadhguru: What we will do is– with you eyes closed you have to do this, but right now observe me. What do you do is with your eyes closed, just rub this briskly like this for two minutes, let me say, one minute — briskly OK, keep your eyes closed, and just hold your thumbs three to four inches away from each other with your eyes closed. Something happening between your hands? Hello?
Sadhguru: OK, please open your eyes. So just a little bit of rubbing– you didn’t do it for a minute, either, just 20 seconds. You rub it, and suddenly something happening between these two hands, simply because of vigorous movement the sensory body has expanded. You can feel something happening right here. You know why people are rubbing each other all the time? It’s an effort. It’s an effort to include someone who is not a part of you as yourself.
If this happens– If this happens in a very basic, physical level, we call this sexuality. If it happens emotionally, we call this love. If it happens mentally, it gets labeled as greed and ambition and conquest. If it happens on the level of your sensory body, we call this yoga. Now, yoga means union.
Union does not mean you cause the union. Anyway, this happening is one. You are allowed yourself to experience it. That means the walls of self-preservation you loosened up a little bit, that’s all. Why you want somebody close to you, why you want a loud one in your life is somewhere you want to loosen the walls of self-preservation where you don’t have to worry about protecting yourself.
Suddenly you feel one with them. And once you feel one with them, in some way you want to be in touch with them. Because you’re trying to loosen up your sensory body in such a way that you can experience that which is not a part of you as a part of yourself. Now, this need not limit it to be one person or anything like that. This need not be biologically connected.
If you can sit here with your life at its peak of exuberance, you will experience the whole universe as yourself. Then we say you are a yogi.
Jonathan Berent: And you had that experience 34 years ago. You talked about it a little bit yesterday. I’m just curious for those of us that haven’t had a peak experience where we’ve had this sense of union, what advice, what step would you take if we are of the place where we think, all right, I’m willing to try this out. I’m a skeptic. I don’t know what the sensory body is. I had a little taste of it here. What would be the next step if we wanted to try for ourselves?
Sadhguru: Let’s describe what is being skeptic. Being a skeptic means you don’t believe anything unless it truly makes sense to you. Most people are just downright suspicious. But they think they’re skeptics. They don’t qualify as skeptics. They’re just suspicious about everything. This comes from a certain fear within you that everything around you can be wrong.
Suspicion means you made a conclusion about something that you do not know. Believing something positively or believing something negatively is not different. They’re the same things. You believe something that you do not know. Skeptic means whatever I do not know, I do not know. I don’t assume things in my life. What I know, I know. I think everybody should come to this much sense and straightness in our life, that what I know, I know, what I do not know, I do not know. It’s perfectly fine. “I do not know” is a tremendous possibility.
Only if you see “I do not know,” the longing to know, seeking to know, and the possibility of knowing arises. So if you are a skeptic, you are an ideal candidate. If you’re a believer, we have to debrief you.
Jonathan Berent: Get the shredder out.
Sadhguru: Because you assume too many things that you do not know. You know the geography of heaven, though you can’t operate the local Google map.
Jonathan Berent: OK, well, we’ll be taking questions, so be thinking about the question you might want to have. I think one more question I want to ask is, how do we– we’ve been talking about some things that are very big. I think they’re promising. But yet think about the conversation we had earlier. And how do we tie these two things together? How do they relate in your mind?
Sadhguru: Those of you who are interested, because right now we must understand this. Your intellect needs data to function– yes or no? Hello? Without data, your intellect is useless. It needs data. That’s why you guys are in the business.
Everybody knows everything in the universe right now, not because they went there and saw it. Because they googled it up. Because intellect feels stupid without data. Now, the nature of the intellect is like this only, that it feeds upon the data. Where does the data come to you? What you see, what you hear, what your smell, what you taste, what you touch.
In the video nature of things, these five sense organs, which are the main agents of gathering information for you, are all outward bound. You can see what’s around you. You can’t roll your eyeballs inward and scan yourself. You can hear this. So much activity here.
You cannot hear this. If an ant crawls upon your hand, you can feel it. So much blood flowing. You cannot feel it. Because in the very nature of things, your sense organs are outward bound.
You cannot use these to turn inward. There is another dimension of perception, which needs to be activated. Why is it not active in me? Because the sense organs are instruments of survival. They come on when you’re born. Whatever kind you are.
Anyway, it comes on. It comes on for a dog, pig, cat, elephant– for everybody. Similarly, it comes on for us. Whatever is needed for survival for any biological creature, it turns on at the time of birth because it’s needed. Otherwise you wouldn’t survive.
But anything beyond survival process, without striving it would not have ended your life, isn’t it? Anything that you know from an alphabet to whatever else you know– I’m sorry I’m not talking about your brand. I’m talking of the real alphabet. Anything that you know, from reading to writing to using a computer or singing a song or whatever, you know these things with certain striving. I want you to remember when you were three, four years of age, that damn A, how complicated it was, as if it were not enough, there were two versions of it, which freaked the hell out of you.
Today you can write with your eyes closed. Still, there are others in the world who did not strive in that direction Even today, you ask them to write, they will struggle, yes or no. Without striving, anything beyond survival would not enter your life and will not enter your life. So turning inward is not a survival process.
So there are two fundamental dimensions within you, instinct of self-preservation, longing to expand limitlessly. Both true for a human being. This is essentially a human problem on the planet. No other creator wants to expand limitlessly. They are only thinking of survival.
Their stomach full, life settled. For you, stomach empty, only one problem Stomach full, 100 problems. Yes, so all your trouble begins after stomach gets full, isn’t it? Because this is longing to expand limitlessly. In the evolutionary process, we can say this.
But every other creature, nature has drawn two lines within which they live and die. They’re quite final. But once you become human, there is only a bottom line. There is no top line. So what humanity is suffering and confused about is not their bondage. They’re suffering their freedom. What do you do with that?
Jonathan Berent: Wow! All right, well, I’m going to invite anyone–
Sadhguru: All these identities of religion, race, caste, creed, nationality is they’re trying to set their own bondage. Because no bondage has been given to you by nature. You’re trying to set your own bondage so that you feel secure somehow.
Jonathan Berent: And so that’s part of the motivation that’s driving the attacks.
Sadhguru: All these identities, being identified with the color of your skin, with whatever nonsense you believe in and nationality– just a cloth, a flag. People will stand there and tears will come to them. Just look at that. It really amazes me.
And on one level, it’s beautiful. On another level, it’s super ugly that you get identified with all these kind of things. People get identified with a symbol, with a word, with just about anything, all right? So you are trying to create some artificial boundary of your own. Once you create this boundary and you have another boundary, I have my boundary, when they meet, we clash.
Jonathan Berent: So if you have a question, please go ahead and come to the mic.
And again, we’re trying to think about this topic of inclusive consciousness. You’ve heard a lot of things shared from our VPs and also from this conversation. So let’s hear what’s on your mind based on all this. Over here.
Audience: Hello. So I’m involved in organizing a peace conference in India. And it’s a very grassroots-led effort, so no politicians, thank God. And I found it interesting that you said you stopped attending peace conferences. So I’d love to hear from you any advice on what we should do or what we should avoid to make this small effort a success for the people who are attending.
Sadhguru: See, when you say, no politicians, thank God, you’re just not attending to the source of problems. Politicians are not another breed of people. A democratic society means tomorrow you may become the president of this nation. That’s what it means, yes? If you’re willing to stick your neck out, you may become the president of this country or a prime minister of another country. So a politician did not drop from the sky. He is not some other creature.
He is just like you and me. He stuck his neck out, which you and me are not willing to do. Let’s admit this. It’s not an easy thing. It’s easy to sit down and comment, but it’s not an easy thing to try to run a nation.
It’s complex, believe me. So you must have politicians. But you must have an atmosphere where it’s not political in nature, where they will also let their hair down and talk like common citizens or human beings. But without them, what are you going to change? So peace conferences, if it’s just an entertainment, you can gather your friends and have a peace conference. But if you want peace on the planet, the most important politicians, the most powerful politicians in this world must be there.
Only then there is a possibility of peace, isn’t it? Otherwise it’s just entertainment. I’ll tell you I was in a very important peace conference. There were 42 Nobel laureates, each one of them pulling out 10, 20, one of them 44, 45 pages of printed sheets without even looking up at anybody, just went on reading their paid speeches from morning to evening. And slowly, the hall was becoming peaceful.
In one afternoon, the second day afternoon, I’m sitting right here in the front row, and I look around. Literally everybody has fallen asleep except the security man who was standing there and me, the idiot, who is sitting up there and believing there’s going to be world peace because of this conference and sitting up there, alert, listening to every word. Then I looked around. Everybody’s become very peaceful. They’ve been having late-night parties, and they’re all very peaceful.
Then when my turn to speak came, I said, see, I’ve heard so much peace. Today I want to ask you, can all of you or any of you put your hand on your heart and say you are genuinely peaceful in your life? They were straight enough. They said, no, we are not peaceful. I said, if you cannot make your mind peaceful, how the hell are you going to make the world peaceful? What’s happening in the world is just a larger manifestation of the nonsense that’s happening in our heads, isn’t it? If you and me were truly peaceful human beings, do we have to worry about you and me fighting someday? Hello? Whatever the issues, we’ll sit down and handle it, right? Because there is violence in us, now we have to have a boundary. Here there’s a barricade just in case I get violent or you get violent.
Jonathan Berent: How about from this side over there.
Audience: Hi Just a very basic question– you mentioned that before we start educational of our children, we should try and make sure that their identity is the cosmos. But how do you do that then we ourselves are so hard-wired– I mean, how do we tell our children that their identity is more when my own thinking is so limited, when in my own identity is so limited? How do I pass something like that to a child when I am not capable of doing that myself?
Sadhguru: Anyway, whatever you tell your children, your children don’t listen to you… if you have them on the way, I’m telling you, forewarning you. They don’t listen to a damn thing that you say. But they observe you. They pick up things from the way you are behaving. If you don’t show that in your life, your teachings will be hated after some time. Yes.
See, this is most unfortunate I just see this happening to so many people. When they have a child, these parents, they did everything possible to the child. They thought this is their life, not just changing diapers, so many things, everything possible. They taught they’re living for this person.
As this person becomes bigger and in their over-concern about how this child should be, trying to teach him the best things in the universe, which is not true in their lives, slowly you will see by the time he becomes a teenager, he avoids them. If he wants to share something, if he wants to listen to some sense, he goes to his friends, never to his parents. Not everybody, I’m saying, but largely it is happening. Because they don’t make sense. They talk things that doesn’t make sense.
People keep asking me, Sadhguru, how did you become like this? What is this… Did you display your life and you are like this? This is all I did. I strive to remain uneducated. It’s not easy, believe me. From the day you are born, just everybody around you is trying to teach you something that did not work in their life. You can clearly see it’s not worked in their life.
Because if it had worked, they should have been joyful and ecstatic. It’s not worked. They’ve become long-faced. But they’re teaching you all kinds of best things, louder universe. It’s not going to work. You don’t have to say a word. I will tell you– is it OK if I can share something?
Jonathan Berent: Sure.
Sadhguru: I brought up my girl alone. At the age of seven, she lost her mother. So one rule I put– she’s been traveling with me since she’s 4 and 1/2 years of age, OK? I’m sorry since she is 4 and 1/2 months, not years.
4 and 1/2, I sent her to school. But as a little infant, she traveled with me. And I made one rule. Wherever I went, I always stayed with many, many families all over the country. I always told everybody, never teach her anything, no ABC, no 1, 2, 3, no rhyme, nor nonsense.
I don’t want anybody to teach her anything. People thought this is strange or… And I said, just leave her. By the time she was 18 months, she was speaking three languages fluently because nobody messed with her. And she grew up joyfully, went to school, everything.
At the age of 13, something she was disturbed at school, and she came back home. And one day she said, you’re teaching everybody so many things. You’re not telling me anything. I said, well, I don’t do anything unsolicited. I’ve been waiting. It’s all right. Now you come. There’s only one thing you need to know. I said, never to look up to anybody. She looked at me, “what about you?” kind of thing in her face.
I said, not even me. Never look up to anybody. Never look down on anybody. That’s how you have to do with life. Never look up to anything or anybody. Never look down on anything or anybody. Suddenly you will see life just the way it is. Right now, something is high, something is low, something is God, something is devil, something is virtue, something is sin. You divided the universe in a million different ways, and then you’re trying to fix it. It’s not going to work.
The instrument which broke the world into pieces is your intellect. With that, you’re trying to fix everything. It’s not going to work. Now, this racism thing, it’s disastrous that in 21st century, every day there’s a shooting. I think this has been happening all the time.
Only now because of cell phones and Facebook it’s out there and everybody knows. I think it’s been happening right through, all right? At one time, it was happening legally. Now it’s been happening illegally. Now, these kind of things are happening because we’re using our intellect to fix the problem. You’re using a knife to stitch.
This is not going to work. You just live that way .Whichever way you live, your children will grasp it, and they’ll make a sense out of that in their own way. And maybe they’ll fall this way or that way because you are not the only influence upon them. You better know that.
You’re going to be a mother. You must know this. You are not the only influence. There are all kinds of people, and there’s Google.
Audience: Sadhguru:, you talked about identity and inclusive consciousness. So I want to know, let’s say like you talked about the sensory body and feeling that everyone is part of you kind of thing. So where does the role of action come in? So if I do something, do I identify myself with it what I did? And let’s say if I feel that you are or everyone is part of like me or the whole cosmos, and you do something. Is you doing something, cosmos doing something, me doing something? Where does the action come in the picture?
Sadhguru: See, this is the beauty of our existence. In this existence, in this cosmos, we are not even a speck of dust. That small we are. But still, creation has given as an individuality, an individual nature that we can experience these things. But countless number of people who lived on this planet before you and me came. Where are they? They’re all topsoil. They’ve become part of the Earth, isn’t it? So if you get it from me today, you can transform your life, that really everything is a part of you, and you are a part of everything, not as a thought, but experientially. If you can experience everything around you as you experience the 5, 10 fingers of your hands, then you will see life becomes tremendously beautiful.
Otherwise, anyway one day you will get it from the maggots. But it will be a bit too late lesson. But everybody will get it one day, isn’t it? Hello? When people bury us, we are going to get the point that we are part of the Earth. Right now, we forget it. We can live sensibly.
So this must come from an experience. If you come from a thought, again you’re thinking how is inclusiveness and individuality existing at the same time? That is the beauty of this existence. It is the filth which has become the flower, isn’t it? Yes or no? It is the filth which has become the flower. In your mind filth is different, flower is different, but in existence filth and flower are same. They are not different, just different ways of existing.
For you nose, filth doesn’t feel goo.d But if you were a pig, you would like the filth. Nothing wrong with that. Because it’s the same thing. It’s the same thing or no? Hello? It’s the same thing, isn’t it? It is just that in our mind and with our intellect, we are breaking everything.
This breaking is only a psychological reality. This is not existentially true. See, we started a huge movement called Project GreenHands. I think something a little bit was there in this. This happened like this.
When I saw that entire southern India was turning into desert very rapidly, rivers were drying up, ground water went from like 100, 150 feet to almost 1,500 feet and palm trees, the crowns were falling off, we thought we must do something. Then I did this to them. One day I called– I went to a small village and called for people. About 5,000 people turned up. So I made them– this is around 11 o’clock in the morning.
The weather is not like this in southern India. It’s hot, summer sun. I made them sit there. Close by, there were about five rain trees, three of them really large ones. You’ve seen rain trees? Some of them can be as large as an acre. It’s shade. So three of them are really large ones. Two of them were medium-sized ones, very attractive. I would love to be under those trees. But I made them sit here in hot sun.
And I went on talking, stretching the talk, telling them stories, telling them jokes. They were all very enthusiastic in the beginning. Slowly– if you’re walking around, you won’t feel the sun. If you just sit under the sun, it just really gets you. About 1 and 1/4, 1 and 1/2 hours, they were really going away.
They’re thinking, what’s wrong with this Sadhguru? He’s just frying us in the sun. Then I said, come, and I took them under the tree. Ah! Everybody. Suddenly, you know what is a tree. Otherwise you were thinking of how to make furniture out of this.
Now suddenly you know what’s a tree. I made them sit down there and read. It’s a certain spiritual process that I set up, a process for them where I told them, what you exhale, trees are inhaling. What they exhale, you are inhaling. Once they experienced it, now you can’t stop them from planting trees.
They planted over 28 million trees. And you can’t stop them. They changed the entire culture. But when this happened to me about 9, 10 years ago, I went back to my city, which I had not gone and done any work there, I had never spoken there, I avoided this because my family lives there. I wanted to be anonymous in that town, not recognized.
But because of the Google and stuff, I got recognized everywhere. So when I went there, they insisted I must do something. I called for a program. All kinds of people turned up, my kindergarten school friends, teachers, my college teachers, school teachers, everybody. When I spoke and all this happened, and my English teacher came up to me from school and she said, now I understand why you wouldn’t let me teach Robert Frost.
I said, ma’am, why would I not let you teach Frost? I like Frost. I have some poetry in his own voice. I said I like Frost. Why would I not let you teach? Don’t you remember? You didn’t let me teach Frost. Then I remembered.
One day she came up, and we were always studying English poems and English literature. Suddenly she introduced this American poet and said, this is Robert Frost. He’s a great guy. And she started out the poem “Woods are lovely, dark and deep”. I said stop. I said, a man who calls a tree a wood, I’m not going to have anything to do with this guy. She said, no, no, Robert Frost is a great– I don’t care who the hell he is. He calls tree a wood. I’m not going to listen to that guy.
I didn’t let her teach. We chose Longfellow instead of Frost because I didn’t let her teach Frost that year. So I’m saying if you call a tree a wood, it’s a commodity. This water, this Earth that you walk upon, the people that you see, these are not commodities. This is life, isn’t it? The air that you breathe, the water that you drink, the soil that you walk upon, the trees that you sit under, everything else in this world is life and life-making material for you. If you forget this, you will treat it as commodity.
If you experience this, that this is actually what is making your life, then you will see the most fantastic thing about this universe. Everything is one, but everything is separate at the same time. That’s what gives us an experience. That’s why I can sit here and talk to you. Otherwise, how to talk to you?
Jonathan Berent: Maybe one more question.
Audience: Hi, Sadhguru. Thank you for coming. So for me, one way to achieve inclusiveness is to see other people as ourselves. For example, right now I know for sure that you exist within me, because your voice happens within my head, your image.
Sadhguru: No, no no. If voices are happening within your head, it means something else.
Audience: So your image happens within me, because it reflects through my eyes and–
Sadhguru: You mean to say you have nightmares every day?
Audience: Well, so my point is, I see you within me. That I know for sure. But I wonder whether you see me within you as well. And if you answer yes or no, then that may be a belief, because how do I know it’s true?
Sadhguru: See, there are two levels of reality here. There is a psychological reality, and there’s an existential reality. Existential reality is not your making. Psychological reality is entirely your making. But a large part of it is unconsciously made, so you believe it is real. Whatever is true in your psychological reality may have some social relevance but has no existential relevance.
Right now, if I say you are within me, you will feel good. If I say I love you, you’ll feel good. Maybe it’s true for me. Maybe it’s true for you. But it’s not floating around anywhere here, OK? It’s just my emotion and your emotion.
Yes, it is nice that our emotions are sweet, our thoughts are sweet, our actions are sweet. It’s wonderful if it is so. But it has only psychological and social relevance. It has no existential relevance. If you want to know life, you have to step out of this bubble called psychological reality and step into existential reality.
Then only you have a taste of life. Otherwise, you are just a bundle of thoughts, emotions, ideas, opinions, and now I’m there in there in all that. So what I would tell all of you is instead of thinking about it, instead of analyzing it, an experiential dimension has to happen. If you’re willing to dedicate 28 to 30 hours of focused time, we will give you tools with which you can make this happen for yourself. This is not some empty talk.
This has happened to millions of people. This has worked. And I must tell you, first 21 years of my work, as a rule I never appeared in the media. Of course, I didn’t have a website. I never put up one poster or banner or even a brochure.
Only by word of mouth millions of people came. Obviously it must have worked for them to bring their family and friends. And now I’m not promising any miracle. I’m not taking you to heaven. I’m telling you the source of all your problems is you, not somebody else.
I’m saying it’s hard talk. It is not some miraculous promise of going to heaven, some La-La land is there and everything will be fine for you. No. In spite of that, people came, because they saw the transformation within themselves. And people around them had to come.
There was no other way. So I’m saying this is the technology of well-being. We are handling our external well-being in a scientific way through many means of technology. Why is it that we are so crippled when it comes to our interiority? We are trying to handle it through our emotions. We are trying to handle it through our philosophies.
We are trying to handle it through our ideologies and belief systems. No, it’s time you approach this human mechanism in a scientific manner, how to make this into a full-fledged possibility. See, every life in this world is only trying to become a full-fledged life, whether it’s a worm or an insect or a bird or an animal or a tree. All they’re striving for is to become full-fledged. But we know what is a full-fledged worm.
We know what is a full-fledged insect. We know what is full-fledged everything. But we do not know what is a full-fledged human being. Because even if I make you the king or queen of this planet tomorrow, still you will ask for the stars. Because there is something within you which is longing to become infinite.
If you are longing for the infinite, you can’t go about conquering space. It’s not going to get you there. The finiteness to you has come to you only because of your identification with your physicality. Because the nature of physicality is a defined boundary. Without a defined boundary, there is no physical nature.
But is it true that this physical body you slowly accumulated? Is it true? Or were you born like this? You accumulated this What you accumulate can be yours. It can never, ever be you Or in other words, you are living your life without experiencing the life that you are even for a moment. Your entire involvement is with your physiology and psychology.
It’s time it changes, that you experience the life that you are. This life that you are doesn’t come with boundaries. It’s only the body. It is boundaries, and you must stick to the boundaries. It’s very important. Don’t expand it too much. Thank you very much.
Jonathan Berent: Thank you so much, Sadhguru. Thank you. Thank you all.