Sunday, September 5, 2010

Overcoming Obstacles on the Path - Sadhguru

When we make an attempt to cross the threshold of where we are right now and move into other dimensions of experience, a few things gets mixed up. If you do not develop the necessary discrimination and balance within yourself, handling this mixup can lead to lots of confusion. You step into spiritual process and suddenly you don’t know where you belong. You don’t know whether you are this or that. People who don’t know any kind of spirituality, who just live their mundane life, seem to be dead sure of what they are doing. Spiritual people are always confused. [Laughs] It is good if you are confused. It means you are constantly stepping into new territory – that is why you are confused, and it is okay. If you live with the familiar forever, there will be certainty, but there will be no progress. If you are stepping into unfamiliar territory on a daily basis, you will always be confused. This confusion needs to be handled properly, productively, rather than becoming a self-defeating process.

It is doing like trapeze – when you are swinging on your own trapeze, it is fine. But when you let go and try to catch the other, that in-between space is terrible, because you are neither here nor there. This is the predicament of the people who want to explore, know, and experience other dimensions of life. They want to know the other side, but they are unwilling to release themselves from the familiar even for a moment, so the struggle becomes unnecessarily long. If you letgo of your trapeze anyway and jump, the trapeze on the other side is always in place. You could catch it, but instead you just swing and swing, you loosen the grip, or you hold it with your little finger. This is torturous.

When I talk about leaving the familiar to explore the other, it does not mean leaving physically. It does not mean you have to leave your home or office and go somewhere. It is not an external thing. It is an internal process – internally leaving things that you have been attached to , things that you have been identified with. Only because you have felt that you are not sufficient, you took this step of turning spiritual. Suppose you were just happy, absolutely fulfilled, just be eating your morning breakfast and drinking coffee, you would not have tried anything else. Somewhere, a realization came that this is not enough. You want to know something else; you want to experience something else. You want to be much bigger than who you are right now.

So when this state of mixup happens, you are neither here nor there, there will be confusion. If you are a devotee kind of person, confusion is not a problem; but such a thing is not possible if your mind questions everything. If unconditional devotion is not there, you will have to handle it the harder way, trying to make a sense of every little thing that is happening which is actually not reasonable. When you just about to reap the benefits of things that you have worked for all your life, suddenly they become meaningless. That’s not reasonable; but that’s the way it is.

So, if the spiritual process should not be painful, if it has to become a joyful process, one way is devotion – but that is out of question for most people. If that is so, the next thing you need to develop is a very keen sense of discrimination so that you are able to clearly see what is true, and what is not. Not arriving this from past experiences and conditionings of life, but out of very keen sense of discrimination. If you go into this, first of all you must have developed a razor-like intellect so that you can cut things clean and see. If you have a blunt knife, you cannot do this; it will mess up everything. It won’t give you a vision of anything.

So one of the things that you can do is to keep the intellect aside and become very devout; it will work. Or, you really sharpen the intellect to such a point that it will cut absolutely clean and give you a clear distinction of what is what. If these two things are not possible, the next possibility is that you just crank up your energy to such a pitch that none of this things matter. Your mind says something else , your emotions say something else, but your energies are so cranked up that it all doesn’t matter ……. Your mind can be wrong, you know that. Any number of times it has been wrong. It is continuing to be wrong, but your life energies cannot be wrong. Your life energies do not know any right and wrong; they know life and life alone; low pitch or high pitch, that’s all. If your energies are getting high-pitched, so high that they are almost slipping you out of the body, that’s very good. Otherwise, you must give yourself to service activity. Simply serve whatever you see has meaningful. Any one of this things, you must do, otherwise spiritual process becomes painful because there is a mix-up of realities. You are in transition from one state to another. You are neither here nor there.

You have heard of the hippie movement during the 60’s ? People wanted to break everything that was familiar and try to live their life in some other way. All conventions of society became so suffocating, they wanted to break this and do something new. In many ways very genuine people, but they did all the wrong things. They got so mixed up that they it became the most confused and tortured generation for a long time. But the longing and their sincere effort to break away from what they know and step into something that they do not know was wonderful. That generation was a tremendous possibility, if only they had a right kind of guidance. Not much of this movement happened in India, but especially in the United States, it really swept the country in a big way. When they did not know what to do and how to break their limitations, they got into alcohol, drugs and all kinds of things. One of the reasons was, to take away distinction. So, probably for the first time, men and women started dressing in a similar ways.

The hippie couple like this came to the Indian embassy in New York because India was one of the big destinations at that time. Because everyone was after mukti, nirvana, or very cheap hash, whatever, lots of people queued up to come to India because India was a promise of something else, they thought. So they came to the Indian Embassy where Shankaran Pillai was a concerned officer. He looked at this couple, couldn’t make out which is a man and which the woman. Then he asked, “Which one of you has a menstrual cycle ?” The man said “No man, I got a Honda”.

So stepping into spiritual process is like that – things get mixed up. When things get mixed up, don’t step back. What you need is a little more discrimination. If you step back, again you will fall back into the familiar, that is no good. After having made the effort to step into the unfamiliar, there is no point in stepping back into the familiar; that’s a backward step. You just need more discrimination, more vision to see things clearly; which needs sadhana, which needs some work. The ability to see life the way it is does not come free. You have to do the necessary things to get the discrimination. It won’t happen by accident.

Is it difficult ? It is not difficult. But if doing the right things is very difficult for you – yes, it is. Otherwise, if you are capable of joyfully doing whatever you recognize as the right thing to produce results, then it is not difficult. Simply sitting here without doing anything for the next two hours – is it very difficult ? If that is difficult , then sadhana is difficult. If you can simply sit for the next two hours without doing anything, no matter what is happening with your mind, no matter what is happening in the world, then sadhana is very simple and easy.

I see many of you going through these struggles and confusions. Some of you step back and struggle. Some of you are cursing me. “Before he came, we were fine. He came and confused all the hell out of us “. [Laughs] Because I’m not one of those sweet ones who have come to please you, to become popular with you. There is a saying in Telugu for people who go on hesitating to do things; they won’t take a drastic, decisive step when it is necessary. They say, these are the kind of people who want to do chicken masala, but every day, they go and ask the chicken, “Shall I grind the masala today?” The chicken will anyway say, “No, not today.”

I am not one of those. I cut the chicken and then grind the masala. [Laughs] If you are unwilling to cut up what is familiar and see the basis why you are inclined towards it, you will not step into the unfamiliar. Unless you begin to see the hollowness of where you are right now, you will not begin to seek something else strongly. If the longing is not strong, you will hang in between forever, in limbo. The longing will not become strong unless we open up our lives, dissect everything and see what it is; what it is worth, and what it is not worth. It is not about making it meaningless. It is not about making it ridiculous. Not glorifying it, not making it filthy, just seeing everything the way it is. If you see everything the way it is, you will see there is no point in stopping in one place, you must move; this will become very clear.

Only because you decorate your present situations with all kinds of sweet emotions, you cannot see them the way they are. This is not about demeaning your present existence. This is about seeing the limitation of where you are so that you can move to the next step of life.


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