Responding to a question on turning inward, Sadhguru asks, are we even sure what is inside and what is outside of ourselves? The first step in understanding, he explains, is to leave aside things we don’t know and work towards clarity of perception.
Questioner: I have been seeing your videos in YouTube, this is the first time that I am seeing you live. So, I have a basic questions, which will help everyone here. Everyone talks about, you know, knowing ourselves and the first step is going inside and then the way to go inside is meditation and when I try to…
Sadhguru: I don’t know, please don’t (Laughs)… do… I never said such things. I don’t know which everyone said those things (Laughter).
Questioner: Okay, so then how do we go inside?
Vinita Bali: That is the question (Laughter).
Sadhguru: Inside what, you are already inside the hall (Laughter)? Inside what?
Questioner: Inside ourselves.
Sadhguru: Ohh (Laughs)!
Questioner: Okay, if that is the truth of the first step of knowing answers for all the questions, if going inside is the answer, then how do we do that?
Sadhguru: First of all, you must understand what is inside, okay, and what is outside. If you do not understand what is inside and outside, then you will go to all the wrong places. Now what is inside? Your body – accumulated over a period of time, yes or no? Hello, Maa?
Sadhguru: What you accumulate can be yours, cannot be you. Is that much clear?
Sadhguru: Whatever it may be. What you accumulate can be yours, cannot be you. So, this body (Gestures) is an accumulation. What you call as my mind, the whole content of the mind is accumulated, depending upon what you are exposed to in your life. So your body is a heap of food, small or big. Your mind is a heap of impressions, again small or big. Between these two heaps, where the hell are you? So, inside, outside – leave these words because when it comes to language, there is only that much leeway, so within that, maybe different people are trying to use it in different ways, we don’t know in what context they used. You put everybody into one bundle and said, “All of you said this.” I don’t know who these all people are. Different people employed different methods around them, looking at the people around them, what was best suitable for the people around them, accordingly they would have worked most probably. If they are genuine, they would have worked with the people around them, not with concepts from somewhere. What… Looking at an individual person, you will do something, what works for that person. What you do with this person (Gestures) may not work for another person, you’ll have to do something else with that person but you are talking about a generic inward, outward. So, first determine what is inward, outward. Everything is outward right now. The world is outside, body is also external material, ev… all the material in the mind also is external so what is this inward you are talking about? Then you will immediately say atma, paramatma, soul, this one. Now you are going into belief system. You don’t know! You know you have a body, yes? Hello?
Sadhguru: Please check your neighbors (Laughter). You know you have a body, you believe you have a mind (Laughter). But to some extent, you know but rest is belief. Yes or no?
Vinita Bali: Yes.
Sadhguru: I’m not questioning whether it’s true or false, let’s not go there at all, but it’s belief, it’s not yet in your experience. If you talk about something, which is not yet in your experience, to put it bluntly you’re just a bloody liar, that’s what it means. But because lies are holy, lies are written in scriptures, lies are repeated by all kinds of people who dressed in different ways, which are supposed be holy though ridiculous. Because of this, you are not supposed to question these words. Anywhere you go, first thing is people say, “Sadhguru, what about the soul?” I ask them, “Which sole, right or left” Laughter/Applause)? So, let’s not te… talk about something that is not in your experience. Right now, your body is in your experience to some extent, your mind is in your experience to some extent, rest you don’t know but we can infer. If I have to ca…ca…accumulate this much (Gestures) body, if I have to accumulate this much (Gestures) mind, something more fundamental must be there, yes? Something more fundamental must be there, we don’t know what the hell it is. For now, we will call it “you.” How you will go into yourself, I’m asking (Laughter)? You can go into this hall, you can go out of this hall? How will you go into yourself, I’m asking? Tch, saying let’s leave this, this is not the way. You do this way. What is not you, all those things you keep it aside. Before today… if you… before you go to bed, everything that’s not you, keep it aside. They may be precious to you. You think about it, your house, is it you? “Oh! My house” (Gestures) (Laughter). All right, you have lots of passion about it but all right, keep it aside. Your husband, is it you? No, that’s easy, “He is not me” (Laughter/Applause). My children are… is the… are they me? Oh, little difficulty, but no (Laughter), tch, they are not me. They’re beginning to tell you – if they’re twelve, they’ve already told you (Laughter). So, the clothes that you wear, is that you? No. The body that you wear, is that you? No. All these thoughts and emotion, is this you? No. Everything that’s not you, keep it in one heap, not physically, just do this mentally. Keep everything aside, let me see. Every day, you practice this. One day, when you successfully keep everything aside that you are not, what you are will be there (Applause). We have too many ideas about things that we’ve not seen, this is a big problem. Shankaran Pillai went to Britannia (Laughter/Applause). Can I…?
Vinita Bali: You love the story, yes.
Sadhguru: Shankaran Pillai went to Britannia Industries (Laughter) to find a job, to find a job. So, they were looking for a really smart, farseeing sales manager. So they asked him one question, “Which is further (farther?), Mumbai or moon?” Shankaran Pillai thought, he said, “Mumbai.” They said, “What? Mumbai is further than the moon?” He said, “Yes.” “How?” “Well, I can see the moon, I can’t see Mumbai” (Laughter and Applause). So what I am saying is – if you go by your present perception, you’ll get all the wrong conclusions. So don’t be in a rush to make conclusions. Let’s pay little more attention. You are a worthwhile life, which deserves some attention, isn’t it? Don’t seek other people’s attention (Laughter). Your own attention, doesn’t this life (Referring to oneself) deserve attention? Pay attention to this (Referring to oneself). Enough attention, everything will be clear. Everything about you, you’re asking me. If I tell you, what do you have? You have some more words. Tch, some more words you have, that will not get you anywhere near the truth. One more word or ten more words doesn’t get you any closer to reality, just you’ll have more things to say to somebody else. This kind of hearsay is spreading in the world. Everybody knows where god is, who his wife is, how many children he has, when is his birthday, his address. In every bhajan, people are singing his address, where he is and how to get him but they don’t know a damn thing about themselves. This kind of, what to say, a very knowledgeable ignorance is dangerous (Laughter), you know? If you do not know, it’s not a problem. If I see, “I do not know,” the possibility of knowing is always there, isn’t it? If I do not know and I think I know, then I’ve destroyed all possibilities. So, we have arrived at many things, we know… In every culture they know what is the nature of god, where he resides, how the ambience is there and the works, you know? Tch, you… Everybody knows the geography of the heaven, isn’t it? Don’t you? but you don’t know a damn thing about yourself. It’s time, it’s time we paid attention because everything you know, you know it only the way it’s projected in the firmament of your mind. You don’t know anything any other way. Yes or no?
Sadhguru: So, what you need to fix is – you are seeing everything in a mirror of your mind and the mirror is wonky. First fix it, first thing is to make it stable, flat, proper plain mirror, so that you see everything the way it is. Does the plain mirror show you everything the way it is? Everything reverse, you know? Then you’ll have to flip it, that’ll take much more skill, most people can’t flip a dosa (Laughter). Now to f… flip the whole universe, the whole life that is reflecting in your mind, to flip it over without shattering it into pieces will take much more. But the first thing is to level out the mirror so that it shows you everything the way it is, not some other way. Right now, everything is seen depending upon how you are identified with something. Every identity has distorted the mirror of your mind and it shows you things in completely different way than the way it is. First thing is stop talking about things that you do not know – no soul, no atman, no paramatman, no god, no divine, no heaven – talk about something that you know and then the longing to take the next step will become strong. Otherwise, when you know the geography of the heaven, what is the need to pay attention to anything?