What does it take to go beyond the familiar and known, and explore mysticism? Sadhguru looks at going out of our comfort zone to experience the mystical.

Sadhguru: The very nature of logic is such that it always looks for the similar to associate and connect with. This is an impediment for exploring the mystical dimensions. The nature of creation is not to be found in similarities, sameness, or the familiar. Only on the utmost surface of creation, there is similarity. If, for example, there are two people with white skin or two people with dark skin, and you look at those two only on the surface, you may think they are of a kind. But if you go deeper, are two people ever the same?

In searching for the similar, logic naturally remains on the surface of existence. If you go deeper, looking for the similar will become bewildering. If you look deep enough into anything – from your fingerprint to your eyeball and your hair – everything is unique. If you travel through the cosmos, you will not find one single thing that is exactly the same as another. No two atoms are the same. Every one of them has a unique signature.

The familiar feeds the logical dimension of your mind. The stronger your logic, the more you remain on the surface. To delve into the depths of the mystical nature of creation, you need to train your mind in such a way that it does not seek the familiar, and consciously tread out of your comfort zone. You are uncomfortable with the unfamiliar, with that which is new to you. The unfamiliar could be the Divine, but still, you would rather settle for a known devil than an unknown angel. A known devil is comfortable. The unknown may be an angel, but who has the courage to explore the unknown?

People get stuck to familiar things. They want to tread the same path every day. As they get older, their circle of familiarity becomes smaller and smaller, and after some time, the greatest adventure for them is to go into the final “box.” Even when they are dead, they do not get out of the box. When seeking the familiar, you are making a U-turn, and after that, an elliptical movement. Those who seek the familiar naturally go in circles – like every other creature. Everything that is physical is in cycles – from an atom to a solar system to the universe. If you remain in cycles, the physicality will not release you. It has a power of its own.

Samsara to Sanyas

One important step that one needs to take to go forward and explore is to develop a mind that does not seek the familiar. This is the journey from samsara to sanyas. Sanyas does not mean becoming a monk – it means breaking the cycle. Samsara does not mean family – it means repetitive cycles. When you seek the familiar, you are always looking for coincidences. That reminds me, Shankaran Pillai’s son went to school. The teacher was giving words and asking the students for the meanings. She asked, “Who knows an example for ‘coincidence?’” Shankaran Pillai’s son raised his hand and said, “My father and my mother got married on the same day.”

This little boy is missing the point. The reason why he exists is because the parents got married – it is the source of his creation. He misses the source of his creation and instead looks for a date that matches. Unfortunately, even in the physical sciences, they are looking for coincidences to make connections. That is one way of looking at things, but it will remain on the surface. It will not explore the deeper dimensions of existence. You will see everything around, but you will miss the source of creation.

A Stable Foundation

To consciously seek and tread unfamiliar terrain, you have to strengthen the energy structure, and you have to stabilize the body and the emotions. You need a mind that is capable of handling a variety of emotions. Your emotions need to be such that they can flow at will and become stable at will. “Stable emotions” does not mean staid or dead. It does not mean there is no love or compassion in you. Stability does not mean absence or dryness. If stability is not there, the mind will naturally look for the familiar, and if you step into the unfamiliar, your emotions will spill over.

You can hold a lot of juice only if you are stable. If you are unstable, you will not dare to carry a lot of juice in you. Just because someone has nasty emotions does not mean emotions per se are a bad thing. Emotions are the sweetest thing in human life – they can make your life most beautiful.

Without this stability, no one will ever dare to explore the unfamiliar terrain of life. If you do not seek the unfamiliar, there will be safety, but you will remain on the surface. The familiar is comfortable, but you will die of boredom. If you die of excitement, it’s all right. Such a magnificent creation and you die of boredom – that’s the worst crime.

Editor’s Note: This article is based on an excerpt from the February 2014 issue of Forest Flower. Pay what you want and download. (set ‘0’ for free). Print subscriptions are also available.